Here in North Grafton, MA, our picturesque and historic New England village, I did a double take over a year ago when I drove by the stately Greek Revival mansion up the street from me and noticed that someone had moved in (it was empty for a long time) and painted the front door a striking turquoise. Somehow the jazzy door made my day.
I kept an eye on the mansion at 151 Worcester Street (Rte 140) as it was decorated for the Fourth of July this summer with red, white and blue banners hanging down the two-storey high columns. Then, in Halloween, when it was infested by spiders bigger than Volkswagens and mummies hanging from the windows, I had to find out who was behind this inspired decorating. So I knocked at the turquoise door.
Turns out the mansion has been acquired by a team of young design geniuses who call themselves Bergeron Creative Studios, led by Al Bergeron. They are “a nationally recognized, award-winning branding firm” according to their website , who have won all sorts of awards for making videos, creating logos, and doing high-tech stuff for their clients that I’m too low-tech to understand.
Nevertheless Dara King, the company’s Social Media Director, kindly gave me a tour of the offices, filled with antiques and ultra-modern furniture and fixtures they’ve designed themselves. I noticed that the color turquoise has been strategically used on the front stairs and on details of the colonial moldings.
When I complimented Al and Dara on the Halloween décor, they said in unison “Wait till you see what we do for the holidays.” So last Sunday I was there to watch the unveiling as their photographer, Dan Vaillancourt, recorded the scene. They had personally built, painted and lighted all four Nutcrackers, each of them eight feet high. Rudolph was peering out the attic window and providentially, just as the photographer snapped the photo, Santa Claus and his reindeer were out on a practice run silhouetted by the moon.
Al Bergeron setting up one of the nutcrackers
When the Worcester Telegram and Gazette published photos of the Halloween décor in October, Al was quoted as saying, “The Creative Mansion is an iconic and well-known landmark – our seasonal decorations are one way we can give back to the community.”
Another way is by collecting toys for needy kids and Dara wanted me to pass on the word that the Creative Mansion is a drop off for Toys for Tots during this holiday season.
Taking a final look at their work
Having the Creative Mansion nearby has really enlivened the neighborhood, as every night passers-by are honking their car horns and waving to signal their approval. Not since MGM used Grafton’s village center as the set for the film “Ah Wilderness” in 1935 has there been so much excitement around here.
"Warning: contagious ideas beyond this point."
Personally, I can’t wait to see what the Creative Mansion gang will do for Valentine’s Day.