“It’s always Christmas before Thanksgiving at our home,” says Kim Jirik of her northwest Lonoke County house. “Our friends laugh, but we always enjoy the holiday so much, and we tend to go a little overboard when decorating.” Kim and her husband, Dr. Samuel Jirik, built their home in 1996 on 30 acres, complete with breathtaking views of the valley below. “We incorporated 18-foot pine ceilings and beams to enhance the rustic, tree-house feel,” Kim says. “We wanted plenty of room so we could be together as a family, and have room to entertain as well.”
The house was originally built without a fireplace, but that changed after the Jiriks discovered a Victorian-era mantel at Morris Antiques in Keo. Made of tiger oak with carved acanthus leaves, the mantel and fireplace have become a beautiful focal point during the holidays and throughout the year. “The mantel holds the all-important Christmas stockings, and it’s also a great place for a little glitz and glam,” she says.
The Jiriks enlist the help of LaMarche Interiors for the overall interior design of the home and Shelly Clifton Designs for the holiday décor. “I know the Jiriks’ like a flair of contemporary with a twist of traditional,” Shelly says. “And, I like to focus on the items they already own when decorating, and then fill in with new items. It builds the design each year.” With the large-scale decorating taken care of, Kim and Samuel, with son William and daughter Annalise, have time to make Christmas special each year. They always start by unpacking the nativity scene together, and talking about every figure and their significance. “Afterwards, Annalise and I decorate the tree together,” Kim says. “We’ve also started a new tradition of baking together, and last year we spent an entire Saturday with friends making Christmas treats for the kids’ teachers.”
For the home’s décor, Kim finds herself drawn to a mix of contemporary and traditional decorations. “I want our home to feel warm and inviting—a place to sit and enjoy each other’s company. I use many of the same items from year to year, but I always find something new to add.” Artwork also plays an important roll in the Jirik house, and Kim discovered Sandy Hubler’s work at The Showroom in Little Rock. “I was completely taken with Sandy’s work,” she says. “I have four of her pieces, and I always see something new as the light changes.”