They’ve decked the halls with boughs of holly and hung Christmas stockings by the chimney with care. Now Jim and Sandra Brewer are giving us a tour of their home in all its holiday glory.
By Candice Graham | Photography by Med Dement
Bright snowflake and icicle lights glisten as they hang from the peaks of the Brewers’ brick and stone-front house. Gold-ribboned cedar wreaths adorn window fronts and scarlet-hued poinsettias find a cozy home on the front porch. The glow of the Christmas tree inside spills its warmth through the garland-draped door, making it evident that this home is bursting with holiday cheer.Stepping into the entryway, the tree shines with strings of white lights. Red plaid ribbons descend from a golden angel that beams from the top. “We went with a real tree from Weaver’s down the street,’’ explains Sandra. “I collect ornaments from places we go, so the tree is like a walk down memory lane.”
These include everything from handmade fixtures crafted by Sandra and her daughters at Ignis Glass to a nutcracker purchased after her stepson’s performance in the ballet as the Prince. “The basics of the tree are the same each year, but I like to change up the flowers or the ribbon at the top. A couple of years ago I added feathers,” Sandra says. Near the tree is the formal dining room, which sees abundant meals on special occasions throughout the year. “During holidays I like to make things really festive,” explains Sandra. “We have five kids, so I set the formal dining room for a crowd.” On Christmas Eve, the family likes to have a seafood-themed dinner, complete with crab legs and shrimp. Jim does the cooking and grocery shopping, and they keep the meal semi-informal. Christmas china collected over the years adorns the tabletop, along with red napkins, crystal candle sticks, and a fresh wintry flower arrangement. Green and red glasses from the Chattanooga Market are displayed in the china cabinet.
The dining room has been the scene of many special memories with friends and family, but one memory stands out from the rest. “I had a formal dinner party around Christmas one year, and one of my best friends was here,” says Sandra. During the dinner, her best friend announced that her then-boyfriend had popped the question earlier that day, so it turned into an engagement party.
For everyday gatherings, the Brewers congregate with friends and family in their kitchen, which is located nearby the dining room. Equipped with a large refrigerator and an expansive granite center island, it can accommodate each member of their family and more. “When the kids lived here there was usually somebody sitting at the island waiting to get fed at all times,” Sandra says. Cream-colored cabinetry adds to the neutral aesthetic, while rich brown ceiling beams provide striking visual interest. A built-in desk, painted a deep black, adds a contrasting hue to the space. Finishing touches on the kitchen include a faux-painted range hood, rich red draperies, a natural stone backsplash, and a built-in flat-screen TV, which is perfect for watching football while preparing meals.
An informal dining area, housed alongside the kitchen, is where the family has the majority of their meals and does weekly entertaining. “When friends
come over, Jim grills and it’s kind of serve yourself around here,” says Sandra. In warmer months, the Brewers gather with friends on the patio, which is accessed by French doors near the kitchen’s dining area.
Adjacent to the kitchen is the family room. At Christmas, it sees wrapping paper and colorful bows strewn about the floor, while the fireplace crackles with bright flames. The mantle features an array of gold reindeer, which double as candleholders. A holly berry-clad wreath adds symmetry, while festive poinsettias nestled on the floor nearby add a pop of color. A miniature Christmas village recalls years gone by. The idyllic, snow-capped town is complete with carolers, a movie theater, and a tiny red phone booth. “Jim went out one day and came home with the whole set,” Sandra recalls.
Even the master suite can’t escape the holiday trimmings. In this space, the holiday décor comes in the form of a full-sized Christmas tree with cream and gold ornaments. The room’s pale green walls, which in any other season might seem beachy-cool, appear warm, rustic, and forest-like. In the bathroom, a miniature cream and gold-trimmed tree glows atop the his-and-her countertop.
From the inside out, this home is filled with yuletide spirit. Loving its gingerbread house vibe at Christmas, the Brewers say they look forward to spending many more holidays trimming the tree and stringing lights. And as for taking them down? That won’t happen until they’ve rung in 2016.