Farm­house Glam

A lit­tle rus­tic, a lit­tle re­splen­dent, this so­phis­ti­cated hol­i­day home in Con­necti­cut blends ca­sual el­e­ments of farm­house decor with touches of the glam­orous look.

Country Sampler Holiday Homes December 2018 - - Festive Homes - Pho­tographed by GRIDLEY + GRAVES. Writ­ten by ROBIN CATALANO.

Kim Ja­covich and her three sis­ters had decades’ worth of fond mem­o­ries of cel­e­brat­ing the hol­i­days in their child­hood home in Water­bury, Con­necti­cut. When their mother was wid­owed and planned to sell the home, Kim stepped in and pur­chased the 1916 Colo­nial. Sev­eral years later, af­ter their mother’s pass­ing, Kim de­cided to carry on the hol­i­day tra­di­tion for her own children, sib­lings and their spouses, and her nieces and neph­ews, cre­at­ing a bea­con of wel­come for fam­ily mem­bers to gather, re­lax and make new mem­o­ries.

The home, in a neigh­bor­hood dubbed White City for its snow-hued, sin­gle-fam­ily homes built in the early to mid-1900s by Scov­ill Man­u­fac­tur­ing (which fur­nished its em­ploy­ees with houses in ex­change for lower wages), needed a va­ri­ety of up­dates. In ad­di­tion to tak­ing down a wall be­tween the liv­ing room and din­ing room to open the space, Kim and her hus­band, Paul, re­placed the dated wall-to-wall car­pet­ing in the hall, liv­ing room and din­ing room with hand-scraped wide-plank Saratoga hick­ory floor­ing, and pre­mium vinyl tile in the kitchen and bath­rooms. They also re­painted ex­ten­sively, stick­ing mainly with neu­trals like white and al­abaster to lighten up the small space and make it ap­pear larger. ABOVE The Christ­mas tree is al­ways gen­er­ously dec­o­rated, thanks to a col­lec­tion of or­na­ments Kim amassed dur­ing road trips with her hus­band and children over the years. The tree skirt was her first at­tempt at a chunky knit throw. “I hadn’t made one be­fore, so there are some dropped stitches,” she says. “I lined the bucket of the tree with it. I like that it gives it a softer look.”

In keep­ing with the home’s his­toric charm, they in­stalled a sub­dued toile wall­pa­per in the liv­ing room and a bolder hunt- style pat­tern in the kitchen. “I love wall­pa­per,” Kim says. “It’s time­less. And if we end up get­ting tired of it, we’re not afraid to take it down and start again.”

The neu­tral theme, which ex­tends to Kim’s fur­ni­ture and many of her rugs and ac­ces­sories, serves as the ideal back­drop for her di­verse col­lec­tion of hol­i­day decor. Each year, Kim sur­veys her items and de­cides what to re­use and when to make ad­di­tions. “I love dec­o­rat­ing on a bud­get,” she says. “I bring out cer­tain sen­ti­men­tal things ev­ery year and then remix the rest with smaller pur­chases.” Her fa­vorite sources for new, bud­get hol­i­day pur­chases in­clude Joann Fab­ric and Craft Stores, Michaels, and Hobby Lobby.

The ef­fect is homey and wel­com­ing, with a dis­tinct nod to a not-too- dis­tant past. Kim says, “I al­ways try to make sure ev­ery­thing feels com­fort­able and easy, and not clut­tered. For this year, I wanted the feel­ing of an English cot­tage Christ­mas— sim­ple, home­made, cozy, au­then­tic.”

“I love dec­o­rat­ing on a bud­get. I bring out cer­tain sen­ti­men­tal things ev­ery year and then remix the rest with smaller pur­chases.”

“I wanted the feel­ing of an English cot­tage Christ­mas— sim­ple, home­made, cozy, au­then­tic.”

“I al­ways try to make sure ev­ery­thing feels com­fort­able and easy, and not clut­tered.”

LEFT In or­der to en­sure that ev­ery guest has a place to sit while open­ing gifts, Kim switched out the tra­di­tional cof­fee ta­ble for a linen-look, nail­head-trim bench and added sev­eral small stools, in­clud­ing a fuzzy, flokati-in­spired ver­sion. The crate on the bench serves mul­ti­ple pur­poses through­out the year; dur­ing the hol­i­days, it show­cases sev­eral dec­o­ra­tions, in­clud­ing a Santa statue given to Kim by her son.

ABOVE The wal­nut dresser with crys­tal knobs, which has been in Kim’s hus­band’s fam­ily for gen­er­a­tions, dates to the 1920s. On top, she ar­ranged painted metal deer and a sleigh that have been in her col­lec­tion for 25 years. On the wall above, a re­pro­duc­tion min­ing crate dis­plays more gar­land and a small grapevine wreath.

ABOVE In one corner of the liv­ing room, a painted rock­ing horse and turned-wood ta­ble lamp form a coun­try coun­ter­point to the geo­met­ric vase. The sign lean­ing against the wall is ac­tu­ally a win­dow sal­vaged from a 1920s Colo­nial; Kim added the stick­ers. OP­PO­SITE “I love the tufted look,” says Kim of these gray curved-back chairs. The drop-leaf ta­ble was orig­i­nally ear­marked for the kitchen, but it was too large for the space. She uses it here to spot­light a three-tiered wooden tray be­decked with sev­eral of her hol­i­day fa­vorites, in­clud­ing the tiny rock­ing horse on top. The pi­ano stool is a vin­tage piece sal­vaged from her sis­ter’s nearby fixer-up­per.

LEFT Kim’s par­ents’ mem­ory re­mains very much alive in the home, in­clud­ing in this corner, where books from her mother’s school­girl years have been wrapped with twine to form a mini stage for faux green­ery and berries as well as a sweet ce­ramic bird that was given to Kim by a friend.

ABOVE A cloche houses a gold- banded can­dle topped with faux green­ery and holly berries. To keep it from look­ing overly styled, Kim al­lowed the green­ery to trail out from un­der the glass. The hand­made ce­ramic tag makes ap­pear­ances through­out the house dur­ing the hol­i­days.

For the din­ing room, Kim painted a re­pro­duc­tion Dun­can Phyfe ta­ble from a lo­cal an­tiques store white. She con­trasted it with deep brown lad­der-back chairs and a can­de­labra chan­de­lier. Over the win­dows, she hung a white yarn wreath and a string of yarn balls with a burlap swag. “The burlap gives the white dec­o­ra­tions a lit­tle more di­men­sion,” she says.

A sin­gle or­na­ment tied with a rib­bon makes a sim­ple yet chic chair dec­o­ra­tion.

ABOVE “In a small home, stor­age is lim­ited,” Kim says. “But I have baskets and trays I want to dis­play.” She mounted this tray on the wall and of­ten dis­plays dif­fer­ent items in­side it. For the hol­i­days, she chose a frosted ar­ti­fi­cial gar­land with pinecones and a grace­fully draped bow of white-and-sil­ver rib­bon.

LEFT Cloches are one of Kim’s fa­vorite el­e­ments for show­cas­ing lit­tle hol­i­day vi­gnettes. This rope-topped ver­sion houses an icy beaded wreath and a mini burlap- wrapped conifer.

ABOVE Ev­ery year, as a lit­tle wel­come gift for each guest, Kim buys or­na­ments and ties them to the din­ing chairs with pretty rib­bon. “It’s nice to see them in­cor­po­rate the or­na­ments into their own homes later,” she says.

LEFT Kim’s hol­i­day tablescape is a woodsy twist on the Christ­mas vil­lage. First, she placed a frosted ar­ti­fi­cial gar­land along the length of the ta­ble in a sin­u­ous shape. Then, she filled in with bot­tle- brush trees, an­tiqued bronze bells, vo­tive can­dles in clear glass hold­ers, and brass ta­per can­dle­hold­ers that have been in her fam­ily for many years. The cen­ter­piece is com­posed of a metal stand, glit­tery twig wreath and over­size three-wick can­dle.

Bot­tle- brush trees come in all dif­fer­ent heights.

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