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Christmas 2014 Home Decorating Ideas


Returning to the house where she grew up—for good—was the best present of all for Birmingham resident Betsy Goldstein. She and her husband Trey bought her childhood home when her parents decided to sell and transformed it into the perfect mix of old and new elements.

The Family Room

The Space: Birmingham based architect Chad Bryant, who was hired for the remodel, raised the former kitchen’s flat ceiling to make it an A-frame and applied wall paneling vertically to emphasize this room’s new height. “Chad put windows along the back wall so I can see the children in the backyard while I’m in the adjacent kitchen,” says Betsy.

Bright Idea: Wrap your tree in a garland formed from magnolia leaves stapled together with their backs facing out.


The Decorating: The Goldsteins asked Fran Keenan, neighbor and interior decorator, to reinvent the space with vibrant colors and lively patterns. She convinced the Goldsteins to enliven the walls with turquoise. She says, “Don’t overthink paint colors. Picture them as backdrops for all the colorful details you add on top of them.” Next, Fran selected comfy furnishings such as a tuxedo sofa, an English club chair, and a wing chair. Bursts of pattern inject youthful energy.

Bright Idea: Orange curtains printed with blue china and lemons are a jovial nod to the nearby kitchen.


The Dining Room

The Space: Back when this was a den, parquet floors suited it. But Fran wanted to dress up the look, so she stained them in diagonal stripes. New wall paneling painted deep blue-green grounds the room and mimics the original knotty pine that once hung there.

The Decorating: Fran offset the lively floors and blue walls with formal antique furniture and pops of red, including an Asian buffet and burgundy leather chairs, which Fran says were “born for this room.” The home’s original yellow front door, painted by Betsy’s mom, beckons guests to a new side porch off the dining room.

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