If you visit the home of Tom and Barb Reynolds during the holidays, you might just feel like you’ve stepped inside a classic Christmas card. The interior of the family’s handsome Signal Mountain tudor is outfitted with classical furnishings encased in a soft color palette of pale cream and soft neutral tones. Against the comfort of this graceful backdrop, traditional Christmas décor adds a warm and cheery effect.
By Rebecca Rochat | Photography by Med Dement
From the foyer of the Reynolds’ home, solid mahogany pocket doors open into the great room (see previous page), which has soaring 25 foot ceilings and a triple-paned bay window at the rear of the room framed with gold velvet draperies. The view from the windows is mostly of the sky beyond, but below, the Tennessee River meanders through the gorge.
In the years that they’ve lived in the home, Tom and Barb have worked to develop a soft color palette in order to make the interior feel more open and spacious. This is especially evident in the great room. Walls painted in a pale cream color expand the space, accentuating the height of the walls and ceiling.
The couple chose fabrics in soft, neutral colors for the room’s sofa, love seat, and two club chairs. A centrally placed floral oriental rug on the mahogany floor has muted shades of rose, blue, and beige against a cream background. Robin’s egg blue is used as an accent color for velvet pillows on the beige and cream brocade sofa. For Christmas, the fireplace mantel is decorated with fresh pine and spruce greens interspersed with magnolia leaves.
Every grand English home has a library, and the Reynolds’ home is no exception. Situated at the front of the house, the library is a cozy retreat with its paneled walls of mahogany and cherry wood.
On one wall of the library, an oil painting flanked by wall sconces hangs above a comfortable sofa covered in a neutral brocade fabric. On either side are two built-in bookcases holding artfully arranged vases and books. Red and green are used as accent colors throughout the space – from the decorative patterned pillows to the Oriental rug to the floral draperies.
On the left, a bank of double hung windows is dotted with centrally placed colorful heraldic symbols. Placed in front is a gateleg table flanked by a leather club chair and a French provincial-style chair and ottoman covered in a red-and-green plaid fabric.
The master suite with its octagonal master bath was recently redone in a subdued color scheme inspired by the floral wallpaper comprised of pink roses and green foliage.
The bedroom’s blond furniture includes an armoire, two night stands, and a dressing table. A white lacquered desk sits in front of a triparte window with Tudor arched mullions. To coordinate with the neutral carpet, bed linens are a mixture of patterns and textures in neutral colors. Green velvet was used for the draperies and a tufted ottoman in a seating area at the rear takes in views of the Tennessee River gorge.
Situated close to the bluff high above the river at the rear of the house is the pool around which are concrete retaining walls capped with Bluestone. Curving concrete steps with Pennsylvania Bluestone treads and brick risers leading to the pool area were designed to blend with the landscape.
Mirroring the architecture of the roofline, the upper level ceilings have varying heights. At the top of the spiral staircase above the open foyer is a small balcony that looks down into the great room. From the bird’s eye view, it is easy to get a feel for the spaciousness and expansive height of the great room below.
Upstairs, there are two en suite bedrooms, each with a recessed reading nook and sitting area. Another room has been designated as the nursery/playroom for the Reynolds’ granddaughter Charlotte and future grandchildren. The room is well-furnished with everything grandmother, mother, and baby need, such as a white baby bed with pink linens, a white cradle, a white wicker rocking chair with pink cushions, and a storage cabinet for clothing, blankets, books, and toys.
The Reynolds have now lived in their Signal Mountain home for 10 years, and over time, they have carefully designed it to have the traditional, yet comfortable aesthetic they envisioned when they first moved in. Now what? “Well, for Christmas, we’re always adding to our tree,” says Barb with a smile. “We love how it holds so many memories for us as a family, from ornaments picked up while on family vacations to pictures of the girls growing up and now new additions each year with our sons-in-law Shannon and Cardon and our grandaughter Charlotte. Who knows what else it will hold in future seasons?”