A historic home with modern accents is the perfect backdrop for refined holiday decor
When you think holiday décor, shades of red and green may naturally come to mind. However, it’s not necessary to use a tried-and-true palette to create a holiday setting with warmth and cheer—in fact, you can look to the colors of your home for a Christmas display that complements your existing décor and is a reflection of your style. For a family home in Little Rock’s historic Edgehill neighborhood, this was just the case. Interior designer Garry Mertins of Garry Mertins Design and Howard Hurst of Tipton & Hurst florist each worked at one end of a residential revamp, from property renovations and cosmetic upgrades to seasonal botanic highlights, respectively, to create a home that is traditional and welcoming year round.
Before they considered seasonal decor, the family started by reassessing the bones of the structure. Over the course of five years, they slowly and thoughtfully remodeled each room in the house to be conducive to entertaining as well as their on-the-go lifestyle. Walls came down to create one large, multipurpose space in the kitchen, which can now accommodate every scenario, from an after-school hangout spot to a game day headquarters. “At Christmastime, I’ve seen this family spread out from one end of the kitchen’s central island to the other—making candy, wrapping gifts and addressing cards all along the same countertop,” Mertins recollects.
While updating the home’s floor plan was a major renovation, Mertins kept many of the home’s original features intact in an effort to stay true to the traditional heritage of the interior. These include the black-and-white checkered marble floor, which leads from the foyer through the dining room and the coffered ceiling in the dining room. To add modern flourishes, Mertins also integrated an “edgier, more contemporary feel” with hand-picked furnishings and accents. “My main goal for this family-oriented home was to create an environment that would not only stay relevant over time and become an extension of the family, but would also be a great foundation for seasonal accents, no matter the time of year,” says Mertins.
Picking up where Mertins left off, Tipton & Hurst introduced a holiday floral design scheme to bring out the warm red, brown, gold and bronze undertones in the home’s color palette. “In this modern-meets-traditional home, the trim matches the décor—tasteful and moderate, yet it makes a statement,” Hurst explains.
A garland of mixed greens in the entryway, including cedar, juniper and noble fir, provides a texture that is more interesting than a single variety. Integrated with gold berries and ribbon, as well as muted bronze and multi-colored ornaments in a matte finish, the garland runs solely along the stair railing, but easily fills the space with holiday cheer. A petite, winter white arrangement of hydrangeas, lilies and roses on the adjacent console table is a perfect complement to the festive swag.
Lifelike noble fir garlands adorn the mantles in both the living room and den, and are dotted with muted gold balls that play off the gilded furniture and wall accents. In the dining room, an intimate, but vibrant atmosphere is set by a centerpiece of three small arrangements which include blush roses, pinecones, kale, berries and juniper. The end result? A home where the everyday décor is the perfect backdrop for holiday accents.
Contractor Chuck Hamilton, Little Rock, (501) 374-7173, chuckhamiltonconstruction.com
Holiday décor and fresh floral Tipton & Hurst, Conway, (501) 329-6663, Little Rock, (501) 666-3333, North Little Rock, (501) 753-0709, tiptonhurst.com
Interior design Garry Mertins, Garry Mertins Design, Little Rock, (501) 376-6600, garrymertinsdesign.com
Kitchen design Meredith Hamilton, MLH Designs, Little Rock, (501) 766-0594, mlh-designs.com
Accessories, furniture and mirrors MertinsDykeHome, Little Rock, (501) 280-3200, mertinsdykehome.com
Appliances Metro Appliances & More, Jonesboro, (870) 933-7800, North Little Rock, (501) 771-1840, Springdale, (479) 750-2200, metroappliancesandmore.com
Countertops—kitchen AHI Stoneworks, Hot Springs, (888) 485-8424
Fixtures—kitchen Falk Plumbing Supply, Hot Springs, (501) 321-1231, North Little Rock, (501) 664-3911, falksupply.com
Hardware PC Hardware, Little Rock, (501) 224-1724, pchdwe.com
Lighting TEC Electric, Jonesboro, (870) 932-7252, North Little Rock, (501) 758-5483, tecelectric.com
Rugs Hadidi Oriental Rug Co., Inc., Little Rock, (501) 225-8999
Stonework—fireplaces All Natural Stone, Little Rock, (501) 280-9777, all-natural-stone.com
Tile—backsplash Elder Tile, North Little Rock, (501) 758-4170, elderdistributing.com
Windows Pella Windows and Doors, North Little Rock, (501) 758-5050, pella.com
Window treatments Mary’s Hang Ups, Little Rock, (501) 372-6421