A family heirloom nativity scene sits atop the Carrara marble mantel of the Selser family. Photos by Melissa Oivanki.

Holiday room tours from homes from ‘inRegister’ issues past

Over the years, inRegister has showcased the interiors of Baton Rouge homes decked for every season, whether sprung with spring flowers or glittering in the glow of Christmas lights. And as is tradition down here in the South, sophisticated elegance radiates through each one of them, with just enough emphasis on individual style to let each owner’s aesthetic shine through (all while looking chic enough to inspire).

Subtlety is key: from garland-wrapped staircases to daintily detailed mantels, the aspect of what takes a Southern home from ordinary time to Christmastime has always relied on texture and shine—enough to fill the void of a chilly, though snowless, landscape. To help keep the season just as bright, we’re looking back at a few of our favorite rooms from years past, each one dressed for a holiday night in.

Here are a few tips on how to create a holiday-ready home of your own:

The Smith family employed Colleen Waguespack to bring classic New Orleans style to their home through both interiors as well as holiday decor. Photo by Melissa Oivanki.

The Smith family’s Fair Oaks Estates home was designed with the timeless flavors of St. Charles Avenue in mind, all under the guidance of interior designer Colleen Waguespack. Since Waguespack also serves as head of the team behind Fig & Dove, inviting her to assist in the home’s holiday decorations was the obvious next step.

“I love Christmas and wanted it to feel festive, but at the same time, reds seemed harsh against the soft colors of our house,” says Alayna Smith. “So we went for glimmer and sparkle with lots of silver and gold—and a pop of bright green.”

With gilded magnolia and pine added into the garlands, plus the pop of handmade floral arrangements, the living room space (which also houses the family Christmas tree) takes on the trappings of Christmas while remaining true to its everyday charm.

Christmas décor doesn’t have to be monochromatic to leave a sophisticated impression, however. In Mia James’ Ingleside Drive home, featured eight years ago, fiery reds meshed perfectly with cool blue cushions and natural light. Family photographs also took center stage adding a cozy touch of interest to a gathering space.

Atop the original antique Carrara marble fireplace mantel in the living room sits a nativity scene handed down by Kyler Selser’s mother, Coco Martin. The mirror is decorated for the season with a simple suspended pinecone wreath.

The Selser family’s Walnut Hills house, featured in 2014, drew Christmas inspiration from the foliage of the natural world, with soft textures and earthen colors famous for putting people at ease.

Interior designer Joel Fazende of Dixon Smith Interiors coordinated the décor with the existing layout of the home, an interconnected series of broad rooms and ample doorways perfect for entertaining crowds.

“I think that Christmas can be summed up in one word: family,” says Kyler Selser. “To be able to be with family and spend time with brothers and sisters who live near and far … it truly is a special time.”

Relying on “soft golds, muted grays and silvers” as well as textures of “soft velvets and mohairs” helps draw people in with a warmth akin to a winter fire—minus the safety hazard.

What’s your favorite holiday home from inRegister issues past? Let us know in the comments below.