This Nashville Designing Duo Decked Their Home With Color For the Holidays
Step into the Sohrs' foyer, and one thing is clear from the interior's original banister and millwork paired with a graphic printed wallpaper: This decorating duo has a deep respect for the traditional but also likes to take things up a notch. We had a hunch that their mix-and-match philosophy would create sunny inspiration that we could steal this season. Their major piece of advice: "Don't let the actual holiday at hand dictate your look. Instead, let your own style lead the decor so everything is a reflection of you," says Gen. It can be intimidating to branch out from classic schemes, but the Sohrs welcomed us into their home and proved that Christmas decorating can be more than just red and green. Get inspired by their fresh combinations of patterns, unconventional colors, and years of family collections.
"We like to think our signature look is traditional meets modern with a touch of whimsy," says Gen. "That really resonates in the foyer with the classic stairs and lively squiggle-print wallpaper." For the holiday season, Gen and Benjamin hang the family's stockings from boxwood and white-felt ball garlands that cascade all the way down the banister. "Each of us gets a different stocking that suits our distinct personality, and then we hang them up with unique grosgrain ribbons that finish the look," she says.
Gen fills up the stockings on display with treats. "That's the kind of holiday magic that goes a long way!" she says.
Because the Sohrs don't have a formal dining room, they host a family brunch on Christmas morning in this fabulous mid-century sunroom with a tiki-inspired bar. After all of the presents have been unwrapped, Benjamin whips up his signature eggs Benedict and mimosas while Gen sets the table with an intriguing assortment of collected things.
A collection of old etchings and a grouping of myrtle topiaries accent the bar in the sunroom.
The Place Setting
"Holiday gestures have a big impact," says Gen, who chose a vintage red-and-pink ikat cloth for the table. "It extends to the floor just like my mother's did," she says. Scattered around the tabletop, a collection of paper ornaments from Etsy and holiday cards from Rifle Paper Co. work as place cards, underscoring the Christmas theme.
The Powder Room
After the tree has been trimmed and garlands hung, most people have extra greenery that can be put to work in some frequently used (but often overlooked) places throughout the home. In the powder room off the foyer, Gen filled a large basket with extra clippings. "The scent of pine is always so nice in a room like this," she says. Additionally, she set a few red berries in a white vase on the sink for a saturated bit of holiday color that takes minimal time and effort.
The Master Bedroom
"It's all about the editing in here," says Gen, who dreamed up little ways to add holiday flair like hanging a small boxwood wreath over the bed.
Gen added more sublet holiday charm on the nightstand. She placed a paper ornament alongside a grouping of berries and an arrangement of anemones. "The anemones have an organic shape and high-contrast black and white colors, making them another one of our signatures," she says.
The Son's Bedroom
A lover of color and collecting, Gen has amassed over 20 nutcrackers for Oden, her 12-year-old son, from flea markets, Etsy, and other vintage stores. "Occasionally, I display them downstairs, but they typically stay in the children's rooms." This year, she kept the arrangements simple by standing them in two groups—one on Oden's dresser and the other positioned on his nightstand. Groups of vibrant nutcrackers stand out against the dark walls and bed, painted in Tricorn Black (SW 6258) by Sherwin-Williams.
Celebrate Like the Sohrs
1. Start collections.
"We make a point to give our two children, Lucy and Oden, each a special new ornament every season," says Gen.
2. Make happy selections.
The Sohrs are both masters of editing and collecting, but how do they decide what to keep and what to display? "It's got to be a piece with memories that bring us joy," says Gen.
3. Create structure.
"We love to host all kinds of holiday parties—from big bashes to small and intimate brunches, like the one we do on Christmas morning," Gen says."But I can't do potlucks. I need more structure when I entertain," she adds.
4. Stock up on a great gift.
Gen and Benjamin designed the new tasting room at the George Dickel Tennessee Whisky Distillery in Tullahoma, Tennessee. In turn, they like to dress up bottles of whiskey with festive ornaments and vintage ribbons as gifts to deliver to friends and family.
5. Realize that less is more.
"You don't have to purchase everything new. Add to the things you already have. For instance, one bit of easy decorating I do is just tying a velvet ribbon on my pots by the front door," says Gen.