Date: November 15, 2013 | Story: Jennifer Bonds | Styling: Mandy Keener |
A charming, rural setting inspires Tanarah Haynie of Tanarah Luxe Floral to bring the holidays to life for a couple who loves to entertain
For Martha and Bob Snider, Christmas at home is more than just a turkey on the table and gifts under the tree, it is a chance to share their home with their blended family as well as friends, and to support the causes they hold dear. “Between us we have five children and four grandchildren, so it takes some space when we all get together,” says Bob. “This house has served us well in that respect.”
Ground was broken on the spacious European country-style home—which sits on four acres west of Little Rock—while the couple was on their honeymoon, and since then maintaining the home and property has been a labor of love. “Hardly a month goes by that we aren’t preparing for a tea, shower or something—and I’m the go-to guy to get things done,” Bob laughs. When the holiday season rolls around, all of that practice is put to good use as the home is decked out from top to bottom in preparation for the couple’s many parties and events.
However, all of the work is not left to Bob. Tanarah Haynie and her team from Tanarah Luxe Floral play an integral role in helping the Sniders prepare for the holidays. “Since the home is out in the country, we wanted the decorations to be a celebration of nature,” says Tanarah. “We used unconventional items like rust-weathered birdcages and found vintage medicine bottles to give it an industrial edge. Not only do the medicine bottles bring in the rich mink color found on the tree, they also hold water for fresh blooms when the couple entertains.”
Greenery—both fresh and faux—is a common element and is woven throughout the décor, beginning with the front entrance. A thick garland of faux pine and fir is draped over the double front doors. White lights of various sizes twinkle among grapevine orbs, silvery branches, large pinecones and even a few wooden birdhouses. Small pots of ivy are tucked in for additional texture, while lanterns and live noble fir trees in galvanized buckets line the porches.
Inside, the home’s warm palette is inspired by the European countryside. Dark wood floors, a brick backsplash and beams that stretch the expanse of the vaulted ceilings lend a casual feeling to the kitchen and hearth room. To echo the colors of the space, the family tree is outfitted in woodland tones and accented with notes of silver and gold.
The home’s dining room was designed to be a formal living space, but Martha had other plans. “I have never used a formal living room, so I thought why not make the smaller dining room a billiards room and use this as the dining room,” she explains. “Since we entertain often, it has served us well.” Here, another oversized garland is artistically draped across the mantle beneath a custom painting by Bob, who is known for his vibrant watercolor and oil works. Silver momentos that belonged to Martha’s mother and grandmother dangle from the garland and mingle with groupings of birch logs and mercury glass candlesticks on the table.
“The house has views of Rattlesnake Ridge as well as Pinnacle and Blue Mountains, so we wanted the Christmas décor to have a natural look to fit the setting. Tanarah took it one step further by using bits and pieces of things from the house to make it special,” says Martha. “What we love is for our home to be a place of blessing for other people. So when we were building, we wanted it to be big enough to accommodate a lot of visitors, but not be imposing,” adds Bob, recalling Christmas of 2012, when a rare Christmas-day snowstorm left them with a house full of guests and no electricity. “We had a pile of people, and that made for a wonderful time. We really ended up with something special.”
Contractor Carl Gray Henson Construction, Inc., Little Rock, (501) 413-8341, carlgrayhensonbuilders.com
Holiday décor Tanarah Luxe Floral, Little Rock, (501) 372-1400, designsbytanarah.com
Interior design Kathy Seay Interiors, Little Rock, (501) 821-5680
Art Bob Snider, Little Rock, (501) 690-3746, bobsniderwatercolors.com
Backsplash and countertops Inside Effects Kitchen & Bath Remodeling, Little Rock, (501) 954-8866, inside-effects.com
Cabinetry Duke Custom Cabinets, Roland, (501) 868-8111, dukecustomcabinets.com
Furniture Cobblestone & Vine, Little Rock, (501) 663-4249, West Little Rock, (501) 219-3676, cobblestoneandvine.com