Behind the Scenes: bb Interiors’ Winter Wonderland

Archive for November, 2017

Behind the Scenes: bb Interiors’ Winter Wonderland

Posted on: November 8th, 2017 by Claudia Beebe

Tasteful green and gold Christmas decor

Learn how Claudia and the bb Interiors team is transforming the Mehr home for the Geneva House Walk

For anyone who lives in or enjoys visiting Geneva, the Geneva Christmas Walk marks the official beginning of the holiday season. The town-wide celebration brings friends and neighbors together to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year as a community, centered on a celebration of something we hold dear: exquisite interior design.

The hallmark of the festivities is the Holiday House Tour, which showcases five unique homes decked out for the season. We’re honored to be styling the Mehr home for the event, and have been hard at work for weeks pulling together our Winter Wonderland-inspired display. Here, take a peek behind the curtain for a look at our process and a sneak peek of the magic that awaits you Dec. 1 and 2!

A Deeply-Rooted Design Relationship

We couldn’t be more thrilled to be appointing the Mehr family home for this event, because we feel so deeply connected to the Mehrs and their stunning French Provincial estate. The bb Interiors team had the privilege of designing the home’s entire interior, partnering with the family when the house was a blank slate and selecting elegant and versatile furnishings that complemented the exquisite architecture — truly a designer’s dream. As the space came together, it was hard not to imagine how stunning the home would look festooned for the holidays. Inspired by the home’s design features, like the sweeping balcony and commanding fireplace, our vision to create a Winter Wonderland around those focal points began to take shape more than a year before the House Walk decorations will be revealed. Months before we even began installing our seasonal decor, we had been imagining and planning and discussing our theme and ideas.

Steering Clear of the Expected

For any occasion or event with such deeply-rooted design traditions, our first thought is always to seek the unexpected. For the Mehr home’s holiday decorations, that meant steering clear of the typical red and green color scheme. While we love a classic Christmas aesthetic, we wanted to use this occasion to create a more unique, immersive seasonal experience that would be memorable for House Walk attendees. While white is often viewed as an accent in a traditional Christmas palette, we turned that trend on its head and made it the predominant color. The all-white backdrop evokes memories of the first snowfall and the simple joy of admiring pure, untouched snow.

The sophisticated Winter Wonderland theme allowed the natural design elements of the home to shine. We believe that Christmas decorations — or any seasonal decor for that matter — should enhance or embellish a home’s unique structural assets. A flocked white Christmas tree adds subtle drama to the Mehr home, with glittering hints of silver, gold and copper that draw the eye to the beauty of the dramatic staircase and hearth. The final result embodies Principal Designer Claudia Beebe’s contemporary approach to traditional design: elegant, understated, purposeful and unique.

A True Team Effort

To execute our vision, our whole team was involved, and we collaborated with beloved local businesses known for their exemplary creative work. Months before the House Walk, our design team, including Claudia and Ian Essex began sketching and re-sketching, choosing key pieces and assembling displays off-site for future installation. Weeks before the House Walk, we began executing our vision in the home’s interior and exterior. Aiding us in our efforts was Avant Gardenia, who designed and installed the custom greenery that functions as the centerpiece of our vision, and Neri Landscape & Maintenance, who arranged the outside lighting that welcomed visitors to the Mehr home’s holiday display.


We look forward to the holidays all year at bb Interiors, and participating in the Geneva Christmas House Walk has made this year an especially festive occasion for us. We can’t wait for you to see what we’ve created at the Mehr home. For more information on the event and to purchase tickets to the Dec. 1 & 2 event, please visit the Geneva Chamber event page or visit our showroom at 600 S. 1st St. to buy tickets in person and meet the bb Interiors creative team.

Style Your Mantelpiece for the Holidays

Posted on: November 1st, 2017 by Claudia Beebe

Simon Pearce Glass figurines on fireplace mantelpieceAdding a Festive Flair Above Your Fireplace

During the holiday season, the fireplace becomes the centerpiece of time spent with family and friends. If the hearth is the heart of our homes, then it certainly deserves to be dressed up for the occasion. Transforming your mantelpiece into a festive display offers a chance to showcase your personal style. Here are our tips to help guide you in creating a custom mantelpiece display that will WOW.

Tips from bb Interiors to bring holiday cheer to the heart of your home

Tip 1. Think big picture.

Calm image of interior Classic New Year Tree decorated in

The fireplace is the focal point of the room, so start by choosing a single item that will serve as the central focal point of your arrangement. Choose something that will draw the eye: a mirror that can play with the light, a wreath that rekindles fond holiday memories, or a piece of art you love that deserves to be showcased. If you have a television mounted above your mantel, consider instead a pair of larger items that will anchor your display on either side. They don’t have to match or even be symmetrical, but you want to move the focus away from your TV and towards your beautiful objects. Your focal point piece or pieces will help establish the overall style of the display: formal or informal, traditional or modern, a rustic winter wonderland or luxe and glamorous.

christmas tree with white and gold decorations in light room

A Bonus Tip: Arranging your mantelpiece for the holidays doesn’t mean you need to wipe the slate clean and remove all of your year-round decor. By including some of the items you usually display, you’ll provide a sense of balance, a feeling of home, and a familiar background for your pops of holiday spirit—they’re the ensemble, and your holiday additions are the stars.


Tip 2. Layer in texture, pattern and shine for visual interest.

Arrange greenery—real, faux, or non-traditional greens like succulents—to add fullness and dimension to your mantelpiece display. Consider incorporating candles and lights: battery-operated strings will let you skip the unsightly cord. Ornaments and pieces made of glass or metallic materials can bring in extra sparkle. Books, leather boxes and organic or natural pieces like pinecones and berries can provide a variety of textures and seasonally appropriate colors. Patterned pottery or ribbon can supply a splash of interest and are an easy way to emphasize a color scheme.
Tip 3. Group items wisely.

Rustic Fireplace in Log Cabin

Gather like objects in different colors, shapes or sizes for a striking visual effect. These could include a grouping of small presents, candles or tiny decorative pieces. Arrange objects symmetrically on the mantelpiece for a more traditional look, in an unbalanced fashion for a rustic feel or spaced widely for a sleek, modern vibe. Even if you’re aiming for symmetry, vary heights to add interest and group items in odd numbers. The “rule of threes” suggests that groupings of three (or five, seven, and so on) produce a more visually-appealing, memorable design.

Christmas room interior design

A bonus tip: Balance your mantelpiece design with some hearth decor. An attractive stack of firewood, a pile of wrapped gifts, a vintage sled leaning against one side, a big basket of cozy throw blankets, a gorgeous urn or even a small holiday tree can add another layer of holiday spirit to an often overlooked corner of your fireplace.


With a little artistry, you can create a mantelpiece that sets the tone for your home’s holiday season and serves as a central place to gather and celebrate. It will be ready for warm fires, cozy nights and all of your family’s treasured holiday traditions. If you’re looking to expand your collection of holiday decor, or want advice on how to arrange the objects you already own and love, stop by our Geneva showroom for inspiration to shop our curated selection of holiday home goods and to see these design tips in action.