For Mary-Martin France and her mom, Kendra, the love of festive tabletop and at-home entertaining is a time-honored family affair. Mary-Martin's great-grandmother owned a fine gift and furniture store and Kendra grew up collecting crystal ornaments, sterling silver, and beautiful decorations. In turn, Mary-Martin owns Hilltop Shoppe, the popular boutique on Magazine Street that's filled with the fabulous design elements you need to deck your halls with all things merry and bright. Here, we take a look at Mary-Martin's childhood home and some of this mother-daughter duo's favorite holiday traditions.
Two freshly cut trees — one in the den and one in the formal dining room — are mainstays each year in the Northshore home that Kendra shares with her husband, Kyle, and their two labradors, Marshall and Moss. "The den is where we watch Christmas movies, work on puzzles, and open our gifts on Christmas morning," Mary-Martin explains. "So this tree is covered in all of the ornaments that hold special meanings for us — places we've traveled, our high school and colleges, and our ornaments as kids. Mom also hangs Christopher Radko Santas on this tree."
In the dining room, Kendra creates an elegant tablescape for Christmas dinner using creamy white poinsettia, mixed garland, and sentimental treasures like sterling bud vases, napkin rings, and candle holders that she's gathered over time. I love the mix of classic Lenox holiday china paired with new accents from Mary-Martin's shop such as the red Estelle Colored Glass goblets, Cereria Graziani gold-dipped tapers, and Vietri Rufolo glass chargers. "After we clear the table, we play Train, a dominoes game, and drink Milk Punch." Needlepoint stockings lovingly made by Kendra's mom, a Wallace silver bell collection Kendra started for her two daughters, and an antique silver service handed down from Kyle's father are all part of the family history.
"Mom and I love being in the kitchen cooking together during the holidays. This is where we have Christmas breakfast, and we always decorate with the traditional colors of the season." The abundance of red poinsettia and fresh greenery is so festive and crisp in this bright, sun-drenched space. Mary-Martin sets the table with so many great goodies from her shop — Le Jacquard Français linens, Vietri dinnerware, and fabulous dessert coupes from Estelle Colored Glass that I'm adding to my own wish list. Stylish touches include custom cakes from Mandeville Bake Shop, adorable cookies by Elise Williams, and paperwhites in coordinating containers. In closing, Mary-Martin gives her mom the greatest of compliments. "I love how each room is decorated in unique ways; she's done this my whole life. It is so elegant, but so warm and cozy at the same time."
This article appeared in the 2022 Holiday Issue