Keeping the needs of her family of four in mind, Beth created a year-round house that easily lends itself to both entertaining and daily life. The kitchen is anchored by hand-painted checkerboard-patterned floors and accented by her favorite collection of green-glazed French pottery. Sumptuously appointed bedrooms are plush with dressmaker details in her favorite designer fabrics (Rose Tarlow, Colefax and Fowler), and public spaces are awash in Benjamin Moore’s Carrington Beige. The result is a timeless, pleasing backdrop that, come Christmastime, calls for little more than fresh botanicals to accessorize.
“Jeff is not heavily involved in my decorating; he lets me do my thing. But when it comes to Christmas décor, he loves every aspect,” says Beth. “He buys new ornaments every year. And he’s the first to ask, ‘When are we getting a tree? When will the wreaths go on the windows?’”
The dining room’s focal point is the fabulous Albert Hadley chintz used on the curtains. A tall gilt mirror reflects sunlight to visually expand the space. A symphony of textures appears in the gray linen velvet on the French Regency chairs, as well as in the antique walnut on the Italian Directoire dining table and in the woven jute rug.
For the Ervins, the tree is a Fraser fir—without question. And the wreaths are made from aromatic balsam boughs. “I love a mix of greens,” Beth says. She often cuts sprigs of arborvitae and boxwood from the garden, brings in bunches of ilex and hypericum berries, and accents with cruciferous kale leaves, bright red amaryllis, and, on occasion, forced paperwhites.
Unfailingly, Beth reaches for the classic color scheme of red, green, and gold every year. “I’m a traditional girl,” she says. Using wired velvet ribbon, she fashions her own voluminous bows. Evergreen garlands grace stair railings and mantels, where fires always roar from real hardwood (the aroma and the crackling sound are essentials for Beth).
All told, it’s a warm and welcoming environment that naturally plays host to gracious entertaining, whether for weeknight meals with the kids (both twentysomethings who still live in Atlanta) or holiday gatherings full of platters of Beth’s favorite Southern foods. “Jeff’s parents and mine have passed, so we have friends of the family—with children the same ages as ours—who always come stay with us for Christmas,” says Beth. It’s clear that during the holiday season, and every season, this hospitable house is a happy house.
For more Holiday inspiration for your cozy home, shop the issue below!