Traditional Trimmings

For Jane and Jim Fitzpatrick, tradition is the foundation on which their home is built. Here, holidays are filled with tinsel and togetherness, family and fine china. They found this home just a few years ago, and after having lived near a golf course for over 20 years, they decided to find a home better suited to entertaining the whole family. The result of their search is this stunning English-style home trimmed in traditional flair and full of dazzling festivities around the holidays.

From the outside, this home features a strikingly symmetrical appearance, with arched windows, charming shutters, and the integrity of enduring English architecture. The sparkling glass front door has an arched transom window overhead, making it an attractive focal point. Flanked by columns and lanterns, the front entry is the perfect place for an elegant, lighted Christmas garland to welcome visitors. “When we saw this house, we loved it,” Jane explains. “You can tell it’s very substantial and well built. Plus the location is perfect! It’s not far from where we lived before so Jim can still enjoy the golf course, and we’re close to all of our favorite spots.”

By Katie Faulkner | Photography by Philip Slowiak

Walking into the home, the traditional style is apparent in every detail. The formal living room and dining room are open to each other, distinguished only by half walls and columns in between. Both rooms carry the same stylish shade of aqua. “Those who know me, know that I love aqua! I have had aqua in every home I’ve ever lived in, and these two rooms are the epitome of our style,” Jane shares.

The formal living room features two striped silk-covered sofas, set as mirror images to one another in front of the fireplace. With touches of gold in their upholstery, they are the perfect foundation to tie the room together. Brass accents around the fireplace, gold and brass frames holding paintings, and a beautiful gold mirror all carry the same warm accent color throughout the space.

“My style is definitely traditional, and the home is full of antique pieces – some that I’ve found, and some that were family heirlooms,” Jane explains. All her life, Jane was very close to her aunt Sue, and several of the special heirloom pieces were given to Jane by Sue. The tall wooden secretary desk in the living room is one of those pieces.

The living room is also where the Fitzpatricks set up their Christmas tree. It is decorated in a matching aqua and gold color scheme, adorned with ribbons and a very special collection of handmade ornaments. Jane explains, “My aunt Sue and her friends made hundreds of the beaded ornaments, and she made sure I had a lot of them. They are all over the tree, in every size. In fact, I had so many that I’ve begun to give them to my sons and their families over the years. But those are very special to me.” In addition to the tree, the Fitzpatricks decorate with gorgeous swaging garlands on every fireplace in the house.

In the adjacent formal dining room, Jane’s finest pieces are on display. Two stunning silver services, one that belonged to her aunt Sue, adorn two tables in the dining room. A unique wainscoting elevates the room in partnership with the show-stopping Venetian glass chandelier. The chandelier’s feather and floral pattern is washed in a very pale gold tone, keeping with the palette from the living room.

The table, which seats 12, is set with Spode in the Christmas tree pattern, crystal, silver cutlery, and silver goblets. Even her thriving white orchid is potted in the Spode Christmas tree pattern. As she explains, mealtime on Christmas day is a special part of their holiday. “We usually have both sons and their families over, and my girls (my daughter-in-laws) each bring dishes. Jim cooks the beef tenderloin, and I do several side dishes. When everyone arrives we do a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres hour before having our afternoon meal.” Afterward, everyone gathers in the living room for presents and conversation.

As lovely as her main entertaining spaces are, if you ask Jane or Jim where they spend the most time in the house, they’re likely to mention the den or the sunroom. The den, a more casual sitting room, features a brick fireplace, which is also adorned with a holiday garland. This room has another very special holiday decoration. The clay cast nativity set was made by Jane’s mother, who also made one for both of Jane’s sons.

The nearby sunroom is wrapped in windows and showcases the home’s lovely and private view. During holiday celebrations, this is where Jane sets her second dining room table. This one is set with Lennox china that bears a holly leaf pattern. A long running centerpiece of red roses accentuates the red holly berries on the dishes, as does the red stemware. “These dishes belonged to one of my very good friends, and she was ready to get rid of them, so I was glad to use them for my second table to provide plenty of seating. When the whole family gets together, it can be as many as 20 people. And my friend comes over sometimes too, so I hope she enjoys seeing them.”

Close by, the kitchen is a spacious central room with luxurious traditional cabinetry and green granite countertops. The rest of Jane’s Christmas china is displayed to carry the holiday spirit into this workspace.

Great-granddaughter Kinsley and granddaughter Melissa Armstrong, with Jim and Jane Fitzpatrick

Further into the house is one of the main bedrooms. This room, styled especially for Jane, carries a shade of her signature aqua color. Beautiful pieces elevate this bedroom to a lovely French style. Additional pieces from her aunt Sue are on display in this room, including a candelabra which Sue gave Jane as a gift after her second son was born, and two beautiful, blue tufted velvet side chairs.

With each detail executed to perfection, every event from the Fitzpatricks’ traditional “Trim the Tree” get-togethers to their Christmas day celebration is polished and warm, with sparkling touches. CS

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