Sparkle & White
Modern Holiday Décor Meets Coastal Elegance
Photos by Emily Sidoti
Snow is heaping down, you have loads of cooking to do, and not one present is wrapped, but from the moment you enter the Frost family home, you feel suddenly at peace. A tonal sea of white, gray, and beige flow seamlessly through the space, while wide arched doorways, an unconventional layout and stunning views of the water draw you in and urge you to stay.
“My husband and I have always liked a neutral palette, even at Christmas,” explains Frost. “We love a clean, simple style that is relaxing in contrast to the busyness of every day.”
The Frosts bought their home in 2006 while looking for a nice cozy place to raise their girls, now ages five, seven, and nine. The couple spent two years gutting and rebuilding, and then a year later enlisted designer Raquel Garcia to furnish the home and emulate an elegant, beachy feel. Frost wanted a sophisticated eclectic look, which Garcia artfully achieved with a mix of comfortable furniture and unique luxe accessories.
The effect is striking: Moroccan mother-of-pearl inlaid benches greet you in the foyer, lucite end tables add luster in the living room, a pair of large silver drums from India flank the dining area and some mohair throw pillows add a touch of glam. At the back of the home, a framed Indian tapestry practically floats between two back windows that overlook the Sound, while a handful of Moroccan lanterns are sprinkled throughout the patio. The result is a well-edited, stylish example of coastal elegance.
This mantra of chic simplicity is evident in the Frost abode year-round, but no more so than during the frenzied holiday season. “I always have a white Christmas,” laughs Frost, whose goal is to provide a relaxing, serene enclave for her family and friends. The only trace of red you’ll see is evident in the playful miniature houses of her girls’ advent calendar and in “Elfie,” their Elf on the Shelf.
The family loves to entertain and celebrate in their festive home leading up to Christmas. “We like to have intimate dinners with family and friends, and we treasure quality time with people and a warm, relaxing place to celebrate,” adds Frost.
As a full-time mom and freelance graphic designer, Frost doesn’t have a lot of time to deck halls, so last year she recruited friend and Fairfield-based interior designer Olivia Charney of Olivia Charney Interior Design to help. The two met while running a fundraiser together at their children’s nursery school, and the connection was instant. “I loved the way Olivia worked, and we had a great chemistry that grew into a friendship,” explains Frost.
“Olivia is able to decorate for the holidays in a way that is beautiful with attention to detail, practical for a home with three children, anddoesn’t break the bank,” explains Frost.
To begin, Charney took Frost’s lead on the all-white theme, and set the scene around a few items she currently owned, including some glitter reindeer and a cluster of small white feather trees. “Sandra’s color palette is very subtle, and there’s an elegance in that,” notes the designer.
The two women had fun spending a few days together sourcing local accessories and doing some creative DIY projects. In the kitchen, they adorned the windows with small faux boxwood wreaths and tied them with pecan hued double-faced satin ribbon. Another successful venture involved painting raffia placemats white, then using spray glue and glitter to bedazzle.
The pair worked with floral designer Marna Ringel who combined sprigs of pine, white tulips and roses, and silvery Lamb’s Ear for texture in various arrangements. All this combined with silver chargers, crisp white china, linen napkins, and jingle bell napkin rings, and Frost’s holiday table sparkles without overwhelming.
The mantel was another focal point, explains Charney, who adorned it with garland made of three different kinds of greenery and silver sprigs. “The smell of fresh cut pine during the holidays is classic, and the sprigs are faux and easy to add and remove, so Sandra can reuse them each year,” she says. A pair of contemporary white quartz obelisks adds height and interest to the tableau.
Charney agrees that Frost’s neutral approach to Christmas is warm and appropriate, given the home’s location and time of year where gray, white, and silver shades are pervasive in the sky and water. “We balanced the outside and in and used them both as a natural backdrop,” she says. The designer chose glitter and silver items to add a reflective element that kept things bright, energetic, and sparkly, despite the gray light outside.
“We added a little glitter and some texture with feathers and fur, yet all this glamour was carefully coordinated and restrained to appeal to Sandra’s simplistic style. She has a young, active family that’s in and out of the house constantly,” notes Charney. “I wanted her to be able to enjoy the decor and not be intimidated by it.”
Amidst this beauty is a little positive chaos, in the form of the three Frost girls who create a lively, fun atmosphere in the house with their genuine excitement for the season. They help adorn the large tree in the family room with silver ribbon, white sparkly balls, and their favorite animal ornaments—namely horses—as the sisters have a passion for all things equine.
“The girls are creative and love to make their own ornaments and paper snowflakes,” adds Frost. The mini trees on the third floor liven up the trio’s art studio and are topped with sparkly stars.
This year, the Frosts will have another peaceful holiday spending time with family and friends. “The message we continue to teach our girls is that although we decorate for this one special day, we try to live our lives like every day is special,” says Frost.
At this chaotic time of the year, there’s not a more peaceful message than that.