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A Home for the Holidays: Traditional treatments create a comfortable holiday atmosphere for a family of four.

After India and Alan Torrey purchased their, two-story Greek Revival home in the Bridgewater neighborhood of Ridgeland, the couple spent several months reconfiguring its spaces, working to create traditional style interspersed with French and modern design. The couple called on designer Dawn Thomas of After Five Designs to create an elegant space for them and their two daughters.

With several grandchildren of her own, Thomas understands the lifestyle of a family with young children. She takes this into account as she selects furniture, rugs, and accessories that are beautiful yet practical. "We wanted our home to be a place that our family and friends would feel comfortable, and Dawn has done an excellent job creating that," India notes. The homeowners' favorite aspects are the personal details she integrated into the home, such as drapery and pillow trims, accessories, and art.

The home's design incorporates family heirlooms and keepsakes with more contemporary pieces. While India's elegant mix of antique and modern styles is evident throughout the year, it is equally as impressive during the holiday season. Steering away from the expected holiday tone of red, she brings in her more favored hues of blue and green, highlighted by metallic silvers and golds. Subtle colors used in ribbons and smaller touches, along with the cooler and more neutral tones, complement her overall interior style.

Treasured keepsakes are interspersed throughout the home. India has amassed a collection of sentimental Christmas ornaments that she has been acquiring since her 20s. A menagerie of clocks that remind her of her grandfather share top billing with her assortment of vintage Santa Clauses. Her collections continue to grow, and new ones are started with her husband and children. "Alan's grandmother loved red cardinals, so you'll find many birds on our tree," she notes. "We have several golden retrievers and schnauzers because those were the breeds of our first pets." Her collection of Louisiana-inspired Christopher Radko pieces are loving keepsakes from her father and reminiscent of her home state. The couple's daughters, Lorelei and Hassen, get a thrill out of hanging Alan and India's childhood ornaments and reveling in their memories. "Our most beloved ornaments are all the handmade creations from our girls," she smiles. "I feel like our tree perfectly represents our family--both our past and our present."

While the downstairs areas are appointed in coordinating hues, the girls are overjoyed with the abundance of pink and white holiday decor that fills their upstairs spaces. A pink- and white-embellished tree is the center of attention in their living area, and each daughter has a Christmas house personally selected from BellaChes in her room. Alan's mother gives each granddaughter a piece of Moni pottery, which is also displayed. Last year, as an added surprise, Dawn and India revealed a pink flocked tree in the girls' outdoor playhouse.

A special Christmas tradition of the Torrey family is the display of their beautiful stockings on the mantel. Alan's mother Barbara stitched each one by hand and included many personal details. In all, she has created 15 stockings for her children, their spouses, and her grandchildren. Alan and India received theirs the year they were married; his features a deer and a church, hers a Santa Claus. Lorelei's and Hassen's each feature a resemblance of the little girls on Christmas morning. "Our stockings are a favorite decoration that we get great joy hanging on our mantel every year," India notes. "They are absolute works of art."

While India's initial focus is on the holiday design, the whole family lives for the Christmas season. As the girls get older, they participate fully in the traditions and fun. "We put on a holiday movie, Alan builds a fire, I make hot chocolate, and we all decorate the tree," she smiles. "It's my favorite night of the year!" The family also hosts several small gatherings throughout the season. And on Christmas morning, they will gather with Alan's parents for brunch as the girls open their gifts. Over a relaxing buffet and coffee, the family enjoys simply being together. Carrying on India's father's recipe and tradition, Alan begins a pot of gumbo that the family enjoys on Christmas night.

"We all just love Christmastime" India says. "We love the traditions, music, decorations--everything about it." The Torreys' home reflects this outgoing and welcoming sentiment while interjecting the classic style they appreciate, the holiday season is a special time for the family to come together with friends and family to make magical new memories.

Caption: ABOVE: Interior designer Dawn Thomas found the special nativity set that is the focal point of the family's holiday decor. The large concrete set is presented among fresh and flocked greenery, and the display is the first thing guests see upon entering the front door. The Torrey family tree is a collection of memories. From India's grandfather's love of clocks to Alan's grandmother's beloved cardinals, the tree is filled with ornaments that have personal meaning.

Caption: CLOCKWISE ROM TOP LEFT: Lush fresh garlands and a fresh wreath adorn the front of the Greek Revival home. Thomas draped the staircase with fresh greenery and silk ribbon. The family's stockings, made by Alan's mother Barbara, are the centerpiece of the living room. Layers of fresh greenery embellish the stunning place settings on the dining table.

Caption: ABOVE, LEFT AND RIGHT: The living room's simple and elegant style is highlighted by a fresh garland and red roses. Coordinating ribbons are intertwined to add dimension. A trio of selenite Christmas trees are the perfect addition to the living room.

Caption: TOP TO BOTTOM: The Torreys enjoy the spacious outdoor living areas of the Bridgewater property. The master bedroom is perfectly appointed and highlighted for the season by a single harmonizing wreath. The holiday spirit ventured outdoors when the daughters' playhouse received a fantastic holiday surprise in the way of a hot pink flocked tree.
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Author:Stewart, Mary Neff
Publication:Mississippi Magazine
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Nov 1, 2019
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