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Creating Christmas With Lizzie Borchers

Posted on 11/01/2018 by Jean Sexton

When your responsibilities include decorating America’s Largest Home® for Christmas, you want to make sure you’re ready for the start of the holiday season.

Father and daughter enjoy Christmas at BiltmoreCreate a Biltmore Christmas tradition with your family

Ahead of schedule

“We’re a little ahead of schedule this year,” said Lizzie Borchers, Floral Displays Manager for Biltmore, “and that’s a great place to be, because there's no telling what bumps we may encounter!”

Now in her second year leading the team that creates the spectacular décor for Christmas at Biltmore, Lizzie feels she’s got a handle on the whole process.

“I feel fortunate to have gone through the entire Christmas at Biltmore season last year before I had to plan it all,” she said. 

Members of Biltmore's landscaping team with poinsettiasTodd Roy, Clare Cottrell, and Kathryn Marsh of Biltmore's landscaping team with decorative poinsettias 

Team effort

Although her team includes nearly a dozen full-time floral designers and several reserve members who assist with special events, it still takes more than 100 people to bring Christmas together, from housekeeping and engineering to logistics, landscaping, and more.

Not everything happens as expected, however, and Lizzie admits they always have back-up plans, just in case. 

“Orders can be delayed and things can change at the last minute, but we make it work, even if it means pulling extra items out of storage. It’s really all about the details—that’s what sets Biltmore apart. We’re fastidious about what we do, from developing beautiful displays that delight our guests all the way to straightening the ornaments and carefully spacing the lights.”

Antler Hill Village illuminated for the season

Beyond Biltmore House

In addition to decorating Biltmore House, Lizzie’s team also enlivens Antler Hill Village & Winery, both hotels, and all estate restaurants and shops with seasonal splendor

Compared to the formal tone of Biltmore House, Lizzie and her team create a more rustic feel that is authentic for the village.

More than 7,000 ornaments decorate the Winery ceilingBubble ornaments sparkle at the Winery

“Inspired by the name, we’ve used a lot of antlers in the décor this year. We've added more illuminated grapevine spheres around the Village Green and more cascading waterfall lights in the trees—guests told us how much they love those. And don't forget all the beautiful bubbles adorning the Winery ceiling—it's like being inside a glass of champagne!”

Memories that last a lifetime

Although she doesn't plan to make sweeping changes to the look and feel of the estate’s decorations, Lizzie wants to continue exploring ways to distinguish between Christmas at Biltmore during the day and Candlelight Christmas Evenings at night.

Choirs perform in the Winter Garden during Candlelight Christmas Evenings at BiltmoreChoirs perform in the Winter Garden during Candlelight Christmas Evenings

“They’re very different experiences,” she said, “and I want to ensure that our guests enjoy how special the décor is during regular hours, and then return at night to an entirely different feeling, like they’ve stepped back in time. Christmas is the perfect season to discover Biltmore all over again.”

Featured blog image: Lizzie Borchers with some of the "bubbles" that adorn the Winery ceiling

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