Rustic ceiling beams and white oak floors combine comfortably with refined furnishings in the living room. Armchairs next to the sofa swivel for easy conversation. “I love the mix of casual and elegant. It’s like wearing jeans and a silk shirt,” Cindy says. French doors flanking the sofa open to the kitchen and family room area.

The family Christmas tree sits in the opposite end of the living room near the fireplace and in front of French doors that look to a courtyard.

A sisal wall covering in the library adds texture when paired with the Federal-style mantel and pine cabinetry, designed by homeowner and designer Cindy Rinfret.

The houndstooth-patterned sisal wall covering creates a homey atmosphere in the library, which is echoed in the sprigs of evergreens and berries, pinecones and magnolias which cluster for the season around the seashell-studded mirror and over the mantel.

The pine-paneled library acts as a sitting room for the nearby master bedroom; it can be shut off from the home’s public spaces.

Two of the family’s three golden retrievers sit by French doors just outside the library. The narrow holiday trees are set in rustic pots from Thailand.

Stone was applied to the wall above the large fireplace, dramatizing the 20-foot-high peak of the vaulted family room ceiling. The glass door to the left of the fireplace leads to the dining room and porch. The powerful architecture needs only a simple swag for the holidays. A punch of color is added with three scarlet blooms of amaryllis, a bowl of apples on the ottoman, and the family's green-and-red Christmas-colored parrot who perches nearby.

A wood-topped island and a refrigerator armoire give the kitchen furniture styling that blends with the adjoining family room.

Heavy oak timbers and salvaged French terra-cotta pavers contribute to the rustic feel of the back porch, which the family uses as an outdoor living room.

An antique French cheese table with marble insets on the tabletop keeps the mood casual in the dining room. The walls are upholstered in a lighthearted botanical fabric that complements the framed arrangement of antique pressed flower specimens hanging above the sideboard. The Rinfrets eat most of their meals in the room, except in the summer, when they move outdoors to a dining terrace just outside the French doors.

The side entry functions as a mudroom so it has a durable and easy-to-maintain limestone floor. Oak beams and shutters on the inside of the windows add a casual touch. Cindy wanted to have a special tree for the dogs so a traditional limestone-topped entry table holds a miniature tree that displays some of the family’s dog-related ornaments.

If you owned golden retrievers, could you resist this ornament?

Another ornament from the dogs’ “special tree.”

Steep-pitched roofs, arched windows, and courtyards were inspired by French architecture.

An outdoor courtyard, decorated with a vintage mirror and a wire urn filled with greens and branches, offers an interesting vignette from the house.

The entrance gate to the Rinfrets’ house is bedecked with holiday greenery...

...that takes on a festive glow after dark.

Cindy Rinfret hangs a wreath with help from Coatue.

Peter, Spencer, Taylor, and Cindy with their golden retrievers, Sconset, Coatue, and Cisco, who are named after Nantucket beaches.

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Comfortable and Inviting Home for the Holidays

Comfortable, relaxed and inviting spaces create special holiday memories

Written by Amy Elbert
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Michael Partenio

Heavy oak timbers and salvaged French terra-cotta pavers contribute to the rustic feel of the back porch, which the family uses as an outdoor living room.

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