Weather Forecast


Old friends offer a look inside new home

If three times is the charm, the fourth time can only get better. Carol Palm and her husband, Bill, have already had three houses on the annual Chamber of Commerce Christmas Tour of Homes and they didn't hesitate to invite tourgoers into her new home at 1877 Twilight Lane. Carol enjoys everything about the event.

The Palms' history with the tour started in 1991 with their home on Fourth Street. Carol, an interior design consultant who has worked throughout the Hudson area on both new and restored or remodeled homes, remembers that first house as "very country looking."

From the bedroom window of that house, she could see the house at 706 Sixth St., and the couple eventually bought it. That house was on the tour a few years later, and the decorating scheme there was more Victorian.

From the windows at Sixth Street, the Palms had a view of the house they would move to just a block away, and when organizers asked if Carol was game for one more tour, she said yes.

While their newest home is very different from all the others, it will likely be another tour favorite. Built within the last two years, it is more contemporary in style than Palms' previous homes on the tour. Carol admits that she was not always a fan of contemporary design and decorating, but she has grown to appreciate it more, provided it has "a warm feel to it."

"I hated contemporary (design) at first. I found it kind of harsh and cold. I didn't think I could do it the first time I was asked to but I've come to appreciate it. I like the clean lines. It can be just as beautiful as any Victorian look and just as comfortable as country can be. The wood in this home is just as warm and inviting as any of the older homes we've had."

Twilight Lane is an area few casual visitors to Hudson would ever find, located in the city, yet secluded, sitting near a pond and across from a wooded roadway. Part of a condominium complex, the home offers all the amenities of new construction with very special attention to the details. Bill and Carol have even added more to theirs. Carol decorated the model for Twilight Lane and went on to do three other homes there. By the time she got to her own, she had plenty of ideas including wood columns setting the living room and kitchen apart, tile designs she created in the bathrooms, a special chocolate finish on the cherry Shaker cabinets in the kitchen and art glass over the doors. There is even a special window in the laundry room that could make doing dirty laundry more fun.

The Palms' new home is filled with an eclectic mix of old and new, antiques and custom furniture and everything from exquisite to very clever.

Chief among the exquisite items in the home is the Palms' collection of Oriental rugs throughout. The large and small handmade and machine-made carpets come from Iran and Afghanistan and range in color from dark burgundy to a rose color.

The furniture throughout is complemented by the carpets and the wide wooden blinds that give the light that filters into the house a special glow. Accent pieces are also a collection of finds Carol has come across through her work and as a result of her serious skill as a shopper.

The house has three bedrooms including a large master suite and guest room on the main floor and a special guest room in the "attic." The upstairs room is designed for storage but Carol and Bill converted it into another bedroom.

The home also features a screened porch with a stone fireplace.

Christmas is a favorite with Carol and her special holiday decorating is as well known as her everyday good taste. Like her house on tours past, visitors can expect to see Christmas trees throughout the house including the Dickens Village tree many veteran tourgoers will remember. Carol's father designed the tree after she said she was running out of room to display her village. The rotating tree was on the first tour back in 1991 and has been on loan over the years to other homeowners and even downtown retailers. It will be back in a new home this year.

Carol and Bill say they are happy to be a part of this tour. Carol says it's a way to be sure that she gets all those things done she has been putting off since they moved in. "I love looking out and seeing all the buses of people getting off and heading to the door. I remember one year I had to finish mopping the floor with people at the door but it's all exciting and so fun to see their reactions to the house," said Carol.

Bill says it's nice to have people come through and like what they see. "It makes all the work worthwhile."

Meg Heaton can be reached at

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

(715) 808-8604