A walk through this nearly 5,000 square foot Piperton, Tennessee home is like exploring an enchanted forest full of holiday treasures. Every nook and cranny is packed with Christmas delight — whether a zany, mischievous angel fairy; a classic display of nutcracker statues; or a gorgeous arrangement of seasonal flora and fauna.Designer Steven Ennis has been doing the decor for this home belonging to his parents, Fred and Carol Ennis, since it was custom built in 2004. Steven, who is currently manager of Capel Rugs in Germantown, has been doing interiors in the Memphis area for around 10 years. Steven's designs are heavily influenced by his background in art, dance and theater, and he won't mind admitting that this home's decor has always had a flair for the dramatic — in the best possible way, of course."It is insane," Steven says as he laughs about the elaborateness of the decorations in the home. "Every year, we add onto the display, and it continues to get bigger, and bigger, and bigger. Just when you think you've filled up every space, you find a new one just begging to be used."One of the more insane and quirky things in the home is the upside-down Christmas tree in the media room. As one of nine Christmas trees in the home, this one definitely takes the cake for most original. Steven got the nine-and-a-half-foot tree at Market in Dallas a few years back. It is made to hang upside-down so that the branches suspend correctly. The decorations on this tree and all around the media room are in funky, bright jewel tones — non-traditional colors for a non-traditional display.Another stunning space is the home's formal dining room.
The rich crimson walls serve as the perfect background for holiday decor, featuring an eclectic table setting and luxurious florals. The sconces are heavily adorned in lush greenery, golden bows and an array of pheasant feathers. Floating candles, lanterns and an ornately accessorized chandelier covered in frosted garland, berries and ornaments add soft, ambient light to the room. And crowning the room are several silver branches, hung from the ceiling and decorated with glittering icicles, stars and globes."The idea of using branches first came to me when I was visiting Germany," says Steven. "I noticed that they didn't have the huge, lush trees like we did here in the states; but instead, they used branches that were a little more bare, and they placed them in some of the most unusual spaces."The branch motif continues in the large, two-story living room, where the branches suspend icicles and snowflakes above visitors' heads.
In the corner stands the grandest tree of all, which, when it is on its stand and balancing its three-foot topper, reaches 20 feet high. The tree's decor features baubles in bronze, copper, gold and silver, and the intricate tree topper is a combination of elegant, white florals; full hydrangea blossoms; and LED branches, to make it shine.Bright red, glittery resin trees sit atop the mantle, along with a "Merry Christmas" wish from the family. The message, while appearing to be a custom stencil, is merely a custom peel-and-stick decal that the family brings in every year. Also in the living room is a gloriously attractive nativity scene, for which Steven designed and built a custom crèche-like backdrop. From room to room, tree to tree, the holiday decor varies to include something for everyone's mood, taste or fancy. There's a pheasant-feather tree in the master bedroom; a peppermint tree at the top of the stairs; and even a soft, Southern magnolia tree, decorated in hues of blue and silver, brightening up the office.However, one constant throughout the home's decor is a group of little angel fairies, created by designer Marc Roberts. The Ennis family was lucky to start their collection of these mystical beings at San Francisco Market several years ago when a dealer was selling everything at half of wholesale so she wouldn't have to take it home.
This marvelous deal turned out to be a tradition and the family purchases another fairy to add to the collection each year. You can find these magical guys all over the house — clinging to the Christmas trees, guarding the holiday cookies, and even hanging upside-down from the kitchen chandelier.Decorating at this magnitude definitely amps up the holiday cheer but it's no doubt that it takes a lot of work. "We start in mid-October and it usually takes about a month to get everything in place; then, we just sit back and enjoy it," says Steven. "This is our family's main gathering place for the holidays, so we just wait to welcome everyone — from California to Hawaii — to come enjoy this beautiful space with us. The only drawback, if there is any at all, is being covered in glitter for several weeks. Who knew that hard work could be so sparkly?"The Ennis home is open for touring this holiday season through The Collierville Contemporary Club's Christmas Home Tour on Dec. 14. Visit colliervillecontemporaryclub.org for ticket information.
Get into the holiday spirit with a spin through this winter wonderland.
Story by Cara Sievers | Photos by Terry Sweeney