Traditional holiday cheer is the theme of this home during the season of festivities.
Story by Ann Butenas | Photography by Matthew Anderson
Holiday Interior Designer: Picture Perfect Interiors
When homeowners Kathy and Mark asked Brenda Freebern, designer and owner of Picture Perfect Interiors, to assist with the presentation of their annual holiday décor, they knew the results would be nothing less than spectacular and inventive.
“We had her focus on just the main living areas,” said Kathy, who indicated most of the décor items were hers but that Brenda added a few additional items and used her talents in an impressive manner. “She was able to enhance everything we already had and display it differently. She also incorporated a lot of floral touches and bows.”
Prior to Christmas last year, Brenda had provided a major redecoration of this home’s elegant living room. Two wing chairs provided the central focus in this room, but Kathy and Mark did not intend to use those on a daily basis. Enter the creative expressions of Freebern.
“They had these two chairs that they were not using regularly, so I suggested we reupholster them with red fabric, making them perfect to use for the holidays,” stated Brenda. Positioned in front of the fireplace, these two pieces – referred to by the owners as “Mr. and Mrs. Santa” chairs – complement the bright Christmas reds and holiday blues that dance throughout the home. Brenda also took a few decorating cues from other colors within the home.
“Kathy has some Italian pottery she has collected from her travels, so I used those as inspiration for the general decor,” said Brenda.
Long before you reach the living room, however, you are greeted just outside the front door by two rather esteemed, full-size nutcrackers, keeping ceremonious guard on the covered porch. This is the first clue that the festivities within will not disappoint. Upon crossing the threshold, the foyer is bursting with holiday spirit. As a cascade of decorated garland dances down the bannister, a delightful Santa greets you with a welcoming wave.
“Mark hunted for a big Santa years ago,” recalled Kathy. “He came across this one at a store that sold decorations to malls and department stores. When plugged in, he waves his hand. It has always been a great conversation piece.”
Throughout the holiday season, Kathy maintains a happy and joyous atmosphere in her home, where the traditions of music playing, cookies baking and the fireplaces aglow never wane.
In keeping in line with the traditions they embrace, Kathy and Mark enjoy incorporating decorations that keep them connected to their past while simultaneously integrating new items. Celebrating the holidays has always been a big deal to both of them.
“We always enjoy spending Christmas with our families and have entertained a lot over the years,” expressed Kathy.
Among her many collections stands the impressive array of nutcrackers, yet another tradition that sort of started on a whim.
“We entered a raffle at a local high school years ago, and I won a set of six from the Nutcracker Ballet,” recalled Kathy. “That sort of started the whole thing from that point on!”
Kathy and Mark also have a delightful collection of various Santas and St. Nick figurines, which hold court atop a buffet in the dining room, a delightful space which enjoys a full embrace of the holidays. Red walls, abundant greenery, bows and floral arrangements all work in harmony to create a feeling of pure joy.
Of course, what Christmas story is complete without a Christmas tree….or two?
“We added a tree, so we now have one in the living room, themed with blue and white to complement the pottery collection throughout the house, and another in the kitchen, decorated with the more traditional colors of green and red,” stated Kathy.
Brenda even took the spirit of the season out to the backyard, where she added touches of the holiday to a beautifully yet subtly decorated table in the courtyard. A row of trees wrapped in soft lighting further accentuates the grandeur of the season. (Note: that particular lighting was provided by another company.)
“We love Christmas, and Mark especially loves it,” smiled Kathy. “Having our home decorated like this was really a gift for him, to really take it to the limit. Brenda went all in and did a great job.”
Taking that love of the holiday one step further, Kathy noted Mark is responsible for the Christmas lighting at a local farmstead.
“Since we had enough decorations in our own home, Mark took his skills and designed the annual lighting to cover the face of the red barn at Deanna Rose and has computerized it all with animated images and music, which can be accessed via a local radio station,” said Kathy.