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Deck the Halls

BY Laura Hine | November 2, 2017 | Feature National

Festive and chic coexist with warm and magical when designer Leslie Martin transforms her Kenilworth home into a place where children dream of sugar plums while guests toast the season and their lovely hosts.

LESLIE MARTIN MAKES the holidays look easy. Not only is she co-owner of M and M Interior Design with her sister, Kim Meardon, but she and husband, Michael, are the parents of five young children. Busy, yes, but frazzled? Not at all. She decorates her house to be both festive for guests and a magical space for her children.

“In our family, Christmas Eve is all about the kids,” says Martin. “It’s a big pajama party and they love it, but Christmas dinner is for the adults. The kids conk out early, and we have a fancy grown-up dinner.” Her home in Kenilworth is the backdrop for the holidays. She and Michael bought the house in 2015 and totally transformed the space. “In a lot of my projects, I like to start with white walls and dark floors, and from there, it’s easy to build and add color and warmth,” she says. “So before we moved in, we had the basics done, and now I can change things at will—and it makes holiday decorating that much easier.”

The foyer Christmas tree goes up right after Thanksgiving and the kids help decorate it, but the living room tree—where the family opens presents—doesn’t get decorated until the kids are in bed on Christmas Eve. “They see it for the first time in the morning, and they’re so excited!” she says.

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