Shells, Christmas joy and lovely stories for Delwyn’s Deck the Rooms

Deck the Rooms features eight wonderful New Plymouth people who invite the public into their homes this weekend to share their Christmas spirit. 
Taranaki Community News caught up with homeowner and Christmas lover Delwyn McCurdy to find out a bit more about her involvement.

Hi Delwyn! You’re opening your home to the public for Deck the Rooms this month. What can people expect when they walk into your house?
To feel welcome and relaxed, always! Our small urban tropical oasis extends to everyone at Christmas time.

We would like you to take the time to sit and relax if you feel like it, my husband Craig will have his new coffee caravan (BBG Barista & Bar) parked outside so treat yourself to a hot or cold drink and some yummy cake or pastries with a donation from every purchase going to Taranaki Women’s Refuge.    

BBG Barista & Bar will be onsite

Homes involved with Deck The Rooms are always filled with such beautiful and interesting things. Do you have a favourite piece in your house, with a great story?
How on earth can I choose one thing? It would have to be more than just one so I will say my many shells, I am Pisces after all. I do love shells and anything of interest that I find at the beach and I love using my collections at Christmas.

I remember filling my pockets at the beach when I was younger, actually sometimes I still do! I also love special momentos from holidays which are often seaside related. When I really think about it almost everything in my home tells a story… it has been collected somehow and has special meaning.

Some of Delwyn’s beautiful shells

What sort of preparation goes into being a part of Deck the Rooms?
Thinking about Christmas so early can be a challenge, but getting things done is good. I convinced Craig we needed to get the deck oiled, but I also like to keep it real. We have very little spare time in which to do things and  I am grateful for my husband Craig’s help, he is cleaning the deck as I write this!

On the Christmas side of things I feel lucky to have support from Donna Stonnell at the Trade Aid shop and Lisa McCready who is both on the Trade Aid Board and has generously offered her home in past for this amazing fundraising event. 

Sentiments Flowers have also generously offered to support us this with floral work and I am excited to see their talent come together. The Trade Aid store Christmas accessories are always my favourite so seems the perfect and logical partnership. 

What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?
My family, summer weather and a simple beach walk.  In a crazy whirlwind of work, commitments, planning and life in general it is always a time for celebrations, gratitude and reflection.  

Embarrassing my adult children when I bring out the handmade two decade old Santa pictures, cards and decorations is always a pleasure. 

When my children were small it was a tradition for years to get a picture with Santa, usually one would be crying or they would all pull a face but it was one of those essential Christmas events. As they got older, they protested and I gave up taking them. 

Every year now they ask me if there is anything special I would like as a gift. My response for years has been the same; I wish for happy healthy children, a big kiss and cuddle and my darlings to have a photo with Santa.

So last Christmas my wish came true and it was an absolute surprise as I had resigned myself to thinking the Santa photo was never going to be.  I cried (bawled like a baby) when I opened my gift and there is was, my Santa photo of my kids, their partners and my two grandchildren, and of course Santa.

I so look forward to having a nicely polished deck and gorgeous garden because I have got it ready early this year for Deck The Rooms!

The best Christmas gift

Why are you involved with Deck the Rooms? What’s special about this event, and what keeps you coming back?
Giving back to the community has been important to me for as long as I can remember. My parents and family had been actively involved in many organisations.

As an attendee and supporter of Women’s Refuge fundraiser events in the past you really get an insight into what is involved and how it works. We hear the stories but many don’t get told, sadly.  I think it is really empowering and heart-warming for women of all ages and walks of life to come together and band together and fundraise for other women and their families in need of a bit of help.

“The difference between who you are and who you want to be,
is what you do.”

Deck the Rooms for Refuge
November 16 2019, 9am – 4pm
Eight homes in New Plymouth
Limited tickets now available from for $37.50
Tickets also avilable in store from Footloose, Trade Aid, Martins Inglewood or Taranaki Women’s Refuge office for $35.00.