Home for the Holidays

Artist Scott Allison merges his love for art and architecture in his handmade holiday homes.

By Moe Godat   

Photography by Colin Miller/Strauss Peyton


    “I never made a conscious decision to be an artist,” says Scott Allison. “It’s just the way it’s always been.” From a young age, Scott can remember making Christmas ornaments and hanging them on the tinsel garland on his family’s cardboard fireplace; he also remembers making costumes for his sister and himself. “Making something out of what seems to be nothing is what I do best.”

    Working by day putting custom finishes on kitchen cabinets, furniture and interior painting, Scott constantly keeps his creative muscles flexed; however, a few years ago, a deep windowsill in his old apartment gave him an idea that would turn into a new part of his career.

    “I decided to make a Christmas village for the upcoming holiday season,” he says. “I decided on three houses each with a different style, and one of them was two stories. I wanted them to be finished all the way around so that when people walked by my window they could see them too.”

    Then Richard Scott Home was born. Scott knew he needed to build the homes with a sturdy material so that they could last for years to come. He happened upon some high-quality holiday cardstock, which he decided to use on the exterior of the homes. His ideas kept expanding and getting more elaborate with the addition of lights, curtains and Christmas tree silhouettes. “I rarely do anything simple; once I have an idea, I run with it,” he says.

    Scott tries to hand make most decorations and embellishments, though he does have to get creative for some of his decorations. “On some of the houses I have peppermint swirl windows and that paper is actually the bottom of a cupcake paper cup,” he says. “I also have found Christmas buttons that are the right size and use them for decorations.” He uses six different trees decorated in one of eight ways depending on the style of the paper used on the home. Some of the houses have a tiny package by the front door, which were made by another artist in Ohio.

    During COVID-19, Scott has been keeping busy to reach his goal of making 300 houses. “Having been an interior designer in the past I have an understanding of what people are looking for in holiday decor,” he explains. “If you have a larger home then you need larger, quality accessories that not everybody has to decorate for the holidays.”

    Scott draws his inspiration from the holiday season itself, saying that he loves “the fact that everybody from all walks of life get together to celebrate with each other as a family, born into or collected. I have always loved architecture and art; this puts them together. This is about as close to becoming a custom home builder that I’m going to get.” To purchase Scott Allison’s work, visit his website at richardscotthome.com.