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Marrying Modern and Traditional for Christmas Elegance



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Story by Emily Robertson | Photography by Darren Harris | Harris Visual Media

While many family homes are decked out in red and green throughout the holiday season, Monty and Robin Holland wanted to take a modern approach in their Christmas décor to better fit their newly redecorated home and new pool house space, while still helping them to celebrate the season with their family.

A few years ago, the Hollands decided to re-imagine their six bedroom, 5,000 square foot existing home in Rockfield and add a pool house space to better accommodate their growing extended family. The couple couldn’t imagine leaving their slice of paradise, positioned just a few miles from the family business and close to Robin’s family in Logan county, but they knew they wanted a change. They turned to Liz Bradley of Lulu’s Fine Home Furnishings and Design for help in the huge undertaking.

“The home was built in 2004 and they were ready to give it a facelift, but they had a lot of pieces of furniture they wanted to hold onto, so we wanted to do a transitional take on marrying the traditional style with a more modern style,” Bradley says. “When they started construction on the pool house, I started working with the Hollands and we were finishing up with the redesign of the main home around Christmas last year and it was just a natural progression for me to help them decorate for the holiday season.”

Robin loves the style of chinoiserie, with a focus on blues, whites, tans and golds and that theme can be seen throughout the main home, from beautiful ginger jars, elegant new window treatments that mix traditional and modern patterns, beautiful textured wallpapers and new lighting and mirrors.

“The Christmas décor fits right into the home style, because we used blue and white for the trees, white poinsettias and lots of gold details,” Bradley says. “I especially love this house at Christmas. Robin wanted a grand millennial style and when you add Christmas, it really fills up the décor and gives it a ‘wow’ factor.”

Bradley says that for people who want to highlight a certain color in a room, but not spend a lot of money, they can focus on neutrals and then trade out pieces.

“If you want a room to feel a certain color, like say green, the walls and furniture can be neutrals, but you can use the smaller pieces in the room for the pops of color,” Bradley says. “When you walk into a space it highlights that color, but you haven’t spent lots of money to completely change the big pieces in the space.”

One of the new statement pieces of the home is the stunning light fixture in the dining area, a beautiful, modern Regina Andrew chandelier with glass and metal.

“I saw this piece at a hotel I stayed in,” Bradley says. “They had 50 of them in their dining room and when I saw it, I knew that’s what Robin needed for the dining area.”

In contrast to the Hollands’ main home, the newly built 2,500 square foot pool house, which was designed by Neal Downing of DRF Architecture and built by Bob Dillard of Contracting Unlimited, Inc., has a simple, modern design, with Christmas décor to reflect the different esthetic.

“The pool house is much more modern, but the exterior exactly replicates the main house and you can’t tell that it was built later,” Bradley says. “The trees in the main home are extravagant and over the top, but out here, we wanted to reflect the simple design in the Christmas décor.”

In addition to an outdoor entertaining space complete with a pool, outdoor fireplace and seating area, the new pool house boasts another full kitchen, mud room, loft space and a eating area with a 12 foot live-edge custom table and four benches with forged iron bases handmade in Bowling Green by Jason Woods with Bowling Green Home Furnishings. This new space accomplishes something that Monty and Robin have wanted for their family.

“We raised five kids here with plenty of space, but as the family expands, we wanted a space for us, our kids, spouses and grandchildren, to all be able to sit down together and enjoy a meal,” Robin says. “That’s what the pool house accomplishes, but it is also beautiful and a space that Monty really enjoys.”

As a tribute to Monty, who played baseball at University of Louisville, Cardinal trinkets and memorabilia tastefully decorate the new space. The large bathroom incorporates many luxuries for the space including a steam shower and a sauna area. The upstairs loft area contains a built in unique bunk bed space and sitting area for the Hollands’ seven grandchildren.

“This new space means we can have get-togethers and celebrate out here and the main house doesn’t have to be used,” Robin says. “We’ve had the pool for awhile, so to have a space people can use when they are at the pool works so well.”

The Hollands gave Bradley lots of freedom to help design their spaces, but that is mainly because they felt comfortable with her nearly immediately.

“When I was looking for someone to help with the design, I called a few different places, but when Liz came out, I knew that’s who I wanted to work with and she’s just connected with our family,” Robin says.

“We told Liz from the very beginning to use her imagination and do what she thought would look best and she definitely did. I love how she incorporated the old with the new.”

For those who may be considering working with a designer for holiday décor or general home design, Bradley says to remember a few important factors.

“Keep in mind your budget and the feel you want to have in your home,” Bradley says. “Do you want a modern Christmas, a traditional Christmas, a homey-feeling Christmas? And just in general, it is important to mix styles in rooms. It has a higher-end feel and it looks like it was curated over time.”

Now, as Christmas draws near, Robin is so thankful for the new spaces because it helps the family focus on what is truly most important – family. “The main thing for us is our family, and we love to host them here and I really know they are going to enjoy it a lot,” Robin says. “We are looking forward to the holidays.”

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