One of my great joys in interior design is creating spaces where memories can be made. Consider how you, your family, and friends share holidays in your own home. What are your traditions? While my home is my sanctuary, it is also the place I most enjoy hosting meals and celebrations, and what better time than Christmas to come together, break bread, and be reminded of what is most important? On that note, Danny and I are honored to be featured in the beautiful November/December 2020 issue of Huntsville Event Magazine.
~ Beverly Farrington
Welcome to the historic home of Beverly Farrington Alm and Danny Alm. A thoughtfully designed, curated mecca of calm, situated perfectly in the middle of the Twickenham Historic District. As you enter the large front doors adorned with single chic wreathes, the business and noise from the street begins to fade away, and a spa-like feeling of serenity begins to emerge. As your senses settle, you notice the spirit of Christmas is alive here, subtle, then palpable. It is warm and personal, while lavish and elegant. Beverly, owner of Accents of the South is a well established and respected local interior designer. Her credentials are expansive and impressive – but pale in comparison to her intuitive vision actualized. Being in one of her considerate, breathtaking spaces is an experience to be savored. As in a well-directed film, every detail matters. Nothing spontaneously took up residence on the coffee table. Each antiquity or accent was intentionally, artistically placed in this inspired space. Her Christmas decorations naturally follow suit. Simple, live greenery adorns the mantels, dining tables and main rooms, while a shimmering flocked tree commands attention in the living room. There is not excess. Only the timeless collection of Christopher Radko ornaments shimmering on the brightly lit, “snowy” tree, a special delivery from the flocking experts in Nashville. Its rarity is not lost on visitors. It appears to have been created for just this spot.
The centrally located kitchen is something dreams are made of. Adjacent to a cozy sitting area with a fireplace adorned with magnolia and pine, huge windows throw light on the thick and rich marble countertops reminiscent of French or Italian estates. The air is soft and silky. The sunlight ineffable. Her aesthetic encapsulates the elegance of restraint and simplicity. It is just enough. In addition to the main kitchen, the home is equipped with a well-appointed prep kitchen in the the back of the home, to keep the mess out of the way of the parties frequently taking place. One of these parties is an extra-special and important annual family tradition – the feast and celebration of Christmas Eve. A special night full of possibilities where they celebrate their faith, where they celebrate their faith, their love of God, the gift of Jesus, and their love for each other. As Beverly said, the tradition began “as my siblings came back to live in Huntsville to start their families, we would all gather at our parents’ for Christmas Day. But, I wanted to do something special for the children only. So, I found myself recreating a special Christmas Eve where each of my nieces and nephews would hopefully feel the magic of the night that I did as a child.”
Growing up, Beverly and her three siblings loved Christmas Eve, where they were lucky enough to each open an early present. The presents were always sent by her “Aunt and Uncle up North,” who they had never met, but they “knew must be fine people, because they sent each of us four children a present every year,” Beverly recalled with a chuckle. As her nieces and nephews have grown up, are getting married and have children of their own, one thing is steadfast. Christmas Eve is spent at Aunt Beverly’s. The house is abuzz with activity. Beverly’s ten nieces and nephews assist her for days in the preparation for the the night’s feast. The dinner is a formal four-course affair featuring different meals each time. The only constant is the marinated shrimp, artichoke and mushroom appetizer, a favorite which is always on the table. Different main courses have included sautéed duck breast with fig risotto, pan-sauteed redfish with beurre blanc and crappie meunière. All of the meat is harvested by her nephews, who also help in the preparation and cooking. The table itself is a sublime work of art. The flowers in the center are fresh and simple, allowing the ret of the traditional table to shine. Fine, stately china sits regally in between the shining sterling flatware, and the beams from the crystal stems dance in the candlelight. Everyone is seated, the feast is served, and the scene is complete with laughter, love and light. After dinner, everyone gathers in the living room for the singing of chorales, a reading of the Christmas story, and a devotional that ushers in the wonder of the holiday. The men, dapper in their suits, and the ladies, graceful in their cocktail dresses, help the children find their one early gift to open. Sleepy and full of Christmas magic, the children wave goodnight as thy are carted off in their parents’ arms. It is a storybook night indeed.