Merry and Bright Family Home
The Smith House
When Beth and Kevin Smith first moved from New Jersey to North Carolina, it was a homecoming for Beth, who is native to the state. But the house they selected was all white with what's politely called "good bones"—meaning that it wasn't bad but was somewhat boring. Beth and Holly Phillips, interior designer and co-owner of The English Room, quickly got busy bringing in Beth's personal style.
Interior design: Holly Hollingsworth Phillips, The English Room, Charlotte, NC; firstname.lastname@example.org or 704/377-3625.
Note: all fabrics and wallcoverings are available through The English Room.
A Happy Home
"The clean slate made it easy to add color, wallpaper, and lighting," Beth says. "A friend of mine walked in my house for the first time and said, ‘Oh, what a happy house!' I loved that. I don't know if it's conscious, but I think that's always the vibe I'm going for."
Love It? Get It!
Wallpaper: Summertime in Sand by Brunschwig & Fils.
Mirror and lamps (on buffet): The English Room.
As Christmas draws near, Beth, Kevin, and their children, Mac and Lilli, all lend a hand to decorate, adding simple touches that mark the season without overwhelming the home's everyday charms. Take a tour of the Smiths' "happy" holiday home.
In the formal living room, the tile on the fireplace was the starting point. "I think it's important to highlight things that are original to a house. The blue tile became the inspiration for the entire room," Beth says. Holly found a matching blue fabric for two tufted wing chairs that flank the fireplace (one chair is moved to make room for the Christmas tree). The painting over the fireplace is a contemporary statement in an otherwise traditional space. The colors in the painting are repeated throughout the house.
- Love It? Get It!
Wing chair: Transitional wing chair (8490-00) by The Charles Stewart Company.
- Floor lamp: Thurston by Visual Comfort for Darnell & Company; 704/376-6497.
- Cocktail tables: Parsons Mirrored Console Table by Arteriors Home.
- Silver trees: Antique Silver Tree in Urn and Silver Mercury Glass Tree from A Vintage Holiday.
- Sconces: Double Clear Glass Ball by Charles Edwards.
- Painting: by Chris Hayman, available from Hidell Brooks Gallery.
- Stockings: Hable Christmas Stockings from Garnet Hill.
This room highlights Beth's preference for symmetry and clean lines. "I was definitely going for traditional with some edge," she says. Beth wanted her new built-in china cabinet to look original to the circa-1920s house. The floral-print wallpaper has a hand-painted look that gives the room a feeling that is "somehow formal and informal at the same time," Holly says.
- Love It? Get It!
Rug: David Hicks by Ashley Hicks Collection by Stark
- Curtain rods: French Oak Fluted Rods by Antique Drapery Rod Co.
- Chandelier: by Currey & Company, available through The English Room
- Table: Hampstead Collection by Englishman's Fine Furnishings
- Dining chairs: The Panther Dining Chair in Madison Velvet in espresso by Victoria Hagan Home Collection
- China cabinet: custom, by David Lyles Remodeling, 704/562-4669
- Wing chairs: Marcel Chair by Artistic Frame Co.
- Wing chair fabric: Patent Snow (VK-04-27) by Valtekz
- Pillows: Kevin O'Brien Turquoise velvet pillows from Isabella
- Green vases: for a similar look, try the Red Chamber Series by Middle Kingdom
The family spends most of their time together in this room. Grass cloth wallpaper lends warm texture to the space, as does the mix of patterned fabrics on the room's upholstered pieces. The red sofa is Beth's favorite piece. "The closely arranged seating area makes this the best place to hang out with family," she says. Double French doors, custom-made to match doors that were original to the house, lead out to the patio.
- Love It? Get It!
Wallpaper: Katsura on Vinyl, by Brunschwig & Fils
- Carpet: Delmar II in Chocolate by Prestige Carpets
- Sofa (red): Steamboat Sofa (C270-00), by The Charles Stewart Company
- Sofa fabric (red): Pearson in Crimson (1744), by Pindler & Pindler
- Sofa (checked): English Style Sofa (ET3720-76), by The Charles Stewart Company
- Chinoisserie pillow fabric: Ping in Coffee Ground (16254-1), by Scalamandré
- Dot pillow fabric: Helios (J390F03) in Red, by Cowtan & Tout
- Club Chair fabric: Clef in Currant by Kravet (26380.916)
- Ottoman: custom, by The Charles Stewart Company
- Ottoman fabric: Zambezi Grospoint, by Brunschwig & Fils
- Sconces and lamp: by Restoration Hardware
- Mirror: from The English Room
Tucked in the back of the house, the office is "all Beth," Holly says. "She really is that organized." Beth says, "Organizing is really all about editing. Decide what you need to live simply. Donate or get rid of the rest." Choosing storage pieces that are aesthetically pleasing helps. "Utility as art is one of my favorite aspects of decorating. The funky bowl that holds crayons in my breakfast area gets more compliments than antiques I have in the living room."
"The builder had done a great job of making classic choices such as the white subway tile, the vintage-style hardware on the cabinets, and a mahogany top on the island," Beth says.
The stove is set in an alcove with a mantel and plenty of display area and workspace.
Drawing on the color of the tile and trim paint, Beth kept many of the accessories white. The only ingredient the kitchen and breakfast area still needed was color. They chose Sherwood Green by Benjamin Moore for the walls and then punched it up by painting inexpensive West Elm dining chairs bright green. Another addition: the built-in bench to add seating space and storage.
Mac's bold blue room began with the multi-colored bedding. From there, Beth paired catalog finds (such as the rug from PBteen) with budget-friendly custom touches (such as the monogrammed pillow sham).
- Love It? Get It!
Curtain fabric: Chevron in Brown (2644030) by Schumacher.
- Rug: Retro Rings Rug in Brown by PBteen.
- Side table: Rustic Block Side Table, by West Elm.
- Bedding: The Wide Stripes Bedding collection from The Land of Nod.
- Geometric pillow: Blue and Natural Double Concentric by Jonathan Adler.
- Football print: Rush the Field Wall Mural, by PBteen.
This cheery room was inspired by the graphic floral wallpaper. They continued the pink-and-green color scheme with bedding and fabrics and then punctuated with a hot pink chandelier and green desk accessories. Awning-like valances and a canopied reading hideaway keep the room youthful and dreamy.
Beth's Style Secret
Design your children's rooms to reflect their personalities. Create a palette of colors they like, and accent with motifs of some of their favorite things.
Two of the major color players in the Smiths' house are paired in the master suite, keeping the room restful yet crisp. "There are lots of blues and chocolate browns throughout the house, but the shades vary," Holly says. In the master bedroom, walls painted Benjamin Moore's Palladian Blue offer a soothing base. The floral curtains add a feminine touch, while the bed linens take a masculine turn with a bold monogram that complements the dark wood tones found in the furniture.