For Christmas decoration enthusiasts Timm and Cindy Garceau December can’t come round soon enough. They win the gold star for best Christmas-decorated home in Macau!
“Christmas is one of our favourite times of the year!”exclaims Timm Garceau as he and wife Cindy welcome me into their home, a veritable extravaganza of festive decorations. They transform their home with decorative treasures collected over the years that remind Timm of his native snowy Michigan
From Christmas wreathes, lit scented candles of coconut, vanilla and cinnamon, mistletoe and holly, strings of lights, a Christmas tree strung with garlands, decorated with ornaments and with gift packets sitting invitingly underneath, the whole apartment feels welcoming, homely and full of Christmas good cheer.
With a hugely effective and realistic looking log fire burning on the TV screen, two Christmas stockings hanging below and some old-time Christmas favourites playing in the background, one could be forgiven for expecting to see it snowing outside!
But no, we’re in Macau, and the Garceau’s 3 bedroom apartment is on the north shore of Taipa, in Ocean Gardens. The layout of this 2,800 square foot apartment leads the visitor from entrance hallway into a living dining area, to the left a large kitchen and laundry area, to the right a well sized balcony with spectacular view of the outer harbor, the three bridges and Macau skyline.
Through a doorway is another hall off which are the bedrooms and bathrooms.
Shoes off at the door, and one’s feet sink luxuriously into the thick snowy-white sheepskins underfoot. The large L-shaped sofa in the living room is covered in fur throws of fox and lusciously velvet-soft sheared beaver. On side tables are antler lamps made by Timm, using elk, deer and moose and hand-made real leather lampshades. Some have been exquisitely painted with rural scenes of deer with large antlers.
The colour palate of the home is predominantly soft earth tones – browns, tans, oatmeal, white, greys – “Because that’s what I work with, the earth”, Timm explains. As a landscape specialist, he has worked for a number of years for Wynn, first in Las Vegas and then for almost 3 years as Director of Landscaping for Wynn Palace in Macau. It was here that he met his wife, Cindy, a senior executive with real estate company, Savills.
Once Wynn Palace was up and running Timm returned to Las Vegas for a couple of months consulting but was soon after head hunted by the property owners of the 5-star St Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Puerto Rico. After the horrific typhoon in October 2017 that caused billions of dollars in damages, they badly needed Timm’s experience and expertise to help rebuild their extensive parks and gardens.
So essentially for the past two years Timm has commuted between Macau and Puerto Rico; all the more reason that when he’s back in Macau home is his haven. A keen and talented artist he retreats to his art room, converted from one of the guest bedrooms, to follow his first love – drawing. He’s self taught and works with pencils, charcoal and with his fingers. He uses paper, canvass, animal hide, wood planks and wood plates. On display throughout the apartment are some of his masterpieces – distinctive and strong pictures of lion, leopard, deer, and some from his Native American series.
Shelves and window sills are decorated with more favourite Christmas curios; Timm’s collection of antlered deer heads, various Father Christmases, more candle arrangements with holly, ivy and bunches of holly berries. Even the kitchen has been decorated festively with splashes of red and green in green in tea towels and pots of Christmas poinsettia plants.
On the balcony Timm and Cindy grow an impressive array of pot plants that are also given hints of Christmas. “Everything is real”, Timm is keen to point out, “and as I’m away quite a bit, Cindy has become an enthusiastic and skilled gardener!”
For this husband and wife team who love decorating their home for Christmas, this apartment would definitely win the gold star prize for ‘best dressed’! Their family and friends who visit at this time of the year are sure to enjoy such a cozy and festive Christmas scene.
This article was written by Ambiente Properties’ Suzanne Watkinson for her Home Affairs section of the November-December 2019 Macau Closer
Photographs by Suzanne Watkinson