Enter the Home Decorating Contest


The Marschall Family residence placed first in the 2022 annual home decorating contest.              Photo: Morgan Genser


Celebrate the “sparkle and shine” of Pacific Palisades this Fourth of July. Susan Montgomery, local Sotheby’s realtor, and sponsor of the Home Decorating Contest for the fifth year in a row, encourages the entire community to get creative, with this year’s theme, “Diamond Jubilee in 2023.”

“There are so many new families in the Palisades these days,” said Montgomery, who began her real estate career with Coldwell Banker in the late 90’s, about the time she moved to the Palisades. “I hope everyone will participate.”

In 2018 Montgomery, was named one of the Top 10 Realtors in Southern CA for Sotheby’s and top half percent nationwide. “The market has changed dramatically in the past 20 years, but helping clients find a place to call home has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember.”

Montgomery loves the tradition Fourth of July offers.  A longtime resident of Pacific Palisades, she recalls watching the parade with her two twin daughters. Now grown, her one daughter, Madison works as a consultant for McKinsey & Company in New York City and Paulina her other daughter, is a captain, first crew officer, in the 1st Space Brigade. “I can still remember seeing the awe their little faces as they watched the parade go by.”

Anyone who has lived in Pacific Palisades for any amount of time knows that our little diamond in the rough is a bit more polished these days, but Montgomery assures us this competition is all about patriotism, not polish.

“We love homespun ideas.” Montgomery said. “You don’t need some fancy display to enter.” No matter where you live in the 90272, entering is easy.

With the Fourth on a Tuesday this year Montgomery said to consider decorating over the weekend and submitting a photo (Palisades4th.com) by the morning of July 2.   If you need more time, Montgomery said to still submit and indicate you are putting the finishing touches on before Monday, July 3, when the judging will take place.

On Monday morning, July 3, Montgomery, accompanied by this year’s Grand Marshal, will make their rounds to the homes, selected from the photos submitted, and decide the winners.

On July 3, the judges travel to different homes to look at the decorations. Sponsor Susan Montgomery is in the back. Sam Lagana (red shirt) and Rob Weber (driving) helped with the judging.
Photo: Morgan Genser

In past years the town’s honorary mayors have participated in the judging and included, Kevin Nealon, Billie and Janice Crystal and Eugene Levy.

Montgomery recalls when Billy Crystal was the Honorary Mayor, he loved to see displays that offered “independent messages of what is going on in the world.” She said, Eugene Levy loved “meeting everyone’s pets and graciously took photos with all the contestants.”

Montgomery sees this as a fun way for people to get involved in the community. A time for families and neighbors to come together and create new traditions.

Not to mention the prizes!

“We have so many generous donations from the business of the Palisades,” said Montgomery. Look for gift cards to Anawalt, Black Ink, Beech Street, K Bakery, Palisades Garden Cafe, PalisadesGiftShop.com, Matthew’s Garden Café, Pearl Dragon, Porta Via, Cafe Vida, Modo Mio, Taj Palace, Viktor Benes (@ Gelson’s), Casa Nostra Trattoria, Ogden’s Dry Cleaners and Pali Barber Shop.

Additionally, the top home receives a banner that designates them as winner of the contest.

So, recruit your friends, families and neighbors and decorate! Each year as folks gather for the Fourth of July in Pacific Palisades, it is clear what a gem our little town is.

The Tim and Lisa Marschall house won the grand prize last year. The runner-up was the Hassett home and the Joan Sather Memorial Sponsor’s Award, which is given to a family that employs the used of homemade decorative elements was the Simon family on El Medio.

This home on El Medio received the Joan Sather Memorial Sponsor’s Award.
Photo: Morgan Genser

This entry was posted in Holidays. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *