Inside a buoyantly blue painted brick house, Phillip Marcum and Tim Burcham deck their halls with eclectic whimsy. As the holiday season approaches, decorative mastermind Phillip outfits each room of their downtown home for Christmas with the same semblance of fanciful fun and inviting warmth reflected in the home’s interior style. Abandoning worn-out traditions, they opt for Phillip’s much-adored peacock color scheme in place of evergreen and red, and dress their seven Christmas trees throughout the house with unorthodox symbols, colors, textures and tokens. Breaking away from tradition, while honoring old holiday sentiment, their version of a decorated Christmas home is tasteful and pretty, refreshing and bright, amusing, but not overdone.
The downtown location accommodates the homeowners’ desire to remain within walking distance from warm-weather attractions such as Thursday Night Live and Gallery Hop. But despite residing in the heart of downtown, the home also allows for privacy, quiet and coziness during the cold winter season. The homeowners purchased and renovated the home in 2013 with the help of contractor Bill Nuud. With a few structural alterations, the homeowners preserved many of the 100-year-old home’s features, including the original fireplaces and woodwork. Mastering the art of juxtaposition, the homeowners also mix interior design styles, blending contemporary pieces with aged antiques, rustic warmth with industrial sleekness, and breezy serenity with dramatic detail. The homeowners sourced luxurious furniture, lighting and window treatments from Norwalk furniture and sought out Creative Kitchen and Baths for custom shelving and kitchen design.
Entering through an artisan black glass front door from the quintessentially Southern wrap-around porch, visitors will arrive at the main hallway of the home.
Immediately to the right, visitors are welcomed into an intimate gray-toned parlor. The glossy ink-black quilted leather couch is reminiscent of a Chanel purse. Against the far wall, a Norwalk mirror cabinet adds depth and light to the cozy space. Over a cream shag rug, a black coffee table is set with a cream-toned nativity scene. Stockings hang from a two-tiered mahogany mantel over the fireplace, which is adjacent to a slender tree laced in turquoise and cream streamers.
On the left side of the central hallway, a pocket-door opening trails into a formal dining room bursting with personality and pop culture. A glass-topped table from Norwalk extends to accommodate as many as 12 dinner guests in chairs upholstered in a playful silver and orange polka dot print. The wide front window illuminating the room receives cover from floor-length Italian silk drapes in a tangerine tone. A hand-painted rendering of sunglasses-wearing Bono by artist Eric Wahl is displayed over the black-framed fireplace. On either side of the tile fireplace, custom-built open shelves and bottom drawers with handles inlayed with Swarvoski crystal hold a variety of glassware pieces and mementos collected by the couple through the years.
The dining room transitions through an opening into a bar area featuring a dark cherry bar with open shelves for storing glassware. The functional and sophisticated bar set was custom designed to match the original woodwork of the home. Considered the heart of the home, the clean bar area includes a quartz countertop inlayed with mirror pieces, which was provided by Martina Brothers in Lexington. Guests socialize and enjoy cocktails in matching white leather keyhole bar stools, which give a splash of retro style to the space. The large quartz countertop veers past a transition wall fitted with oversized gray tiles, which have a contrasting effect with the cream floor tiles. The room’s bright Christmas tree is colored in ribbons of electric turquoise, lime and hot pink.
On the opposite side of the gray tile wall, the homeowners utilize a sleek, modern kitchen characterized by classic symbols and functional beauty. The eye-catching dark cherry hood is etched with oak leaves and acorns, which represent nobility and strength as a meaningful symbol to the homeowners. The trim of the hood is decorated in a cornucopia of fruits and vines, as well as twig figures of reindeer, for holiday flare. The homeowners can choose to pause their cooking to relax in a tufted high-back chair beside the industrial island. Mimicking a stained glass window, the glorious Louisville tile backsplash is inlayed with a pattern of mother of pearl and mirrors. In addition to the canned lights overhead, triple pineapple pendants hang over the far countertop illuminating the kitchen.
The lively downstairs media room fills the need for a casual, colorful lounging space that emphasizes energy and fun. Colorful prints of grazing cows add a sense of whimsical charm to the room. A sectional tweed couch in black and white provides vast seating and is adorned with velvet throw pillows in shades of turquoise and mustard yellow. A turquoise leather ottoman doubles as a storage unit over an orange shag rug.
On the second level, the homeowners can host guests in one of three distinctively styled rooms. For Christmas, the banister of the staircase from the foyer is embellished with traditional garland, but with unexpected clusters of silver and black glass bulbs and loops of beaded pearls. The second-story foyer displays quad-strip paintings of a scene from the streets of Paris, with special significance to the homeowners. The first guest bedroom’s Christmas décor embraces the peacock theme with turquoise feathers and lime ribbons woven into the holiday garland on the fireplace mantle. Guests feel at ease in this airy room with floor-length waffle white cotton drapes and a bed tossed with decorated turquoise and lime printed pillows and an orange quilt. The bed is overhung with a flashy glam beaded turquoise chandelier. The homeowners furnished the space with leather chairs and leather nail-head nightstands to create a feeling of home.
A second guest bedroom includes dramatic red curtains and a bed decorated with a tribal printed black and white duvet and matching throw pillows. A velvet headboard and pair of steel red chairs add to the stark glamour of the space. A snow-dusted white corner Christmas tree is overtaken with twirling ribbons of silver polka dot, crimson red, and black and white hounds tooth.
The final Asian-inspired guest room is a picture of tranquility with its vintage woven rug and Victorian-style red sitting chair. The two-toned golden comforter of the guest bed is a priceless heirloom constructed from one continuous piece of Chinese silk. On the near-wall, the homeowners display a 30-by-60-inch embroidered silk wall painting. For holiday zest, they decorate the room’s fireplace mantle and small corner Christmas tree in streamers and feathers sprayed with gold. The homeowners converted the final guest room on the second floor into a boutique-style closet for Phillip. The contractor custom designed built-in shoe shelves and hanging racks to accommodate a love of fine clothing.