Every year when the Christmas season rolls around, the McQuaid home gets a makeover. Most of the year in this south Covington residence, the décor is focused on seascapes and natural materials. When December rolls around though, extra layers of soft colors and sparkling lights provide just enough glamour to make the season distinctive.
Homeowners Beverly and Andrew McQuaid have lived here with their two sons since building the house in 2006. During construction, Beverly made an effort to choose classic colors and natural materials so that the home would have a timeless feel. A trusted family friend assisted in the design process, reminding her to “keep it simple, sweetheart!”
Today, that simplicity has paid off, resulting in a home that serves as the much-needed respite for the fully-scheduled people who live there. The refurbished pine floors balance the cool, neutral palette and coastal art. Beverly, who owns Planet Kids Academy, used the same color for the walls in her home as she did in her school. The educational background she has gained over years in the field has taught her a great deal about environmental effects on children and adults. “Backstreet Beige is everywhere. It’s a tone that promotes healing and learning,” she said.
Looking at the whole body and mind is a signature of Beverly’s, both personally and professionally. She proudly discussed the new school garden they have recently installed at Planet Kids, and says her family intentionally enjoys home-cooked meals together whenever schedules allow. The reclaimed wood table in the kitchen area was selected for its hardiness, and looking at it now, it bears no evidence of the raising of two sons.
During the holiday season, the McQuaids begin early. They have a long-standing relationship with an area decorator Johna Costa, owner of Motif, whose beautiful work carries their year-round style into the holiday décor she uses; the clean look of the house is never interrupted. From the time you approach the entryway door, the décor is welcoming. A tall, elegant, artificial flocked tree is the centerpiece of the house. Using a flocked tree is something Beverly never thought she’d do. “My mother would have never used an artificial tree, much less put flocking on one! But today they look so much more realistic, and it simplifies our lives to use a faux tree,” she said.
Looking at it, the last thing that comes to mind is whether or not the tree is fresh or artificial. The white flocking adds a sophisticated, modern texture to the room. The tree is tucked next to the staircase, making for a perfectly magical corner of the room. Lanterns at the base illuminate beautifully wrapped gifts, and the same green and white décor runs dramatically up the staircase railing for a sweeping holiday statement. The color palette is incredibly simple, with layered greens and whites, with touches of twigs and branches mixed throughout. The effect is soothing and peaceful, which is fitting for this household.
There are a few sentimental touches incorporated into the holiday decor, the most meaningful of which is the family’s nativity scene that gets set up each year. It is a special heirloom from Beverly’s mother and has been part of her family’s Christmas tradition for decades. Monogrammed stockings hang by the mantel, giving presence to each family member. Even the exterior entertaining area gets the holiday treatment, with cheeky colored lights wrapped around the palm trees for a fun and festive outdoor touch that is especially appropriate during recent warm holidays.
With a goal of keeping the holidays focused on family time, Beverly loves to decorate as early as possible. This way, the enjoyment is maximized and the fuss is minimized. As the season draws closer, a walk into this cozy home is the perfect way to shift out of a hectic day and into the joy of being together.