You are here

Virginia Home with a Pretty Holiday Palette

A Virginia family readies for Santa Claus with a yummy candy-color palette. Maybe Santa should rethink his red suit.

Written and produced by Eleanor Lynn Nesmith
  • Kip Dawkins

    The stockings are always hung by the chimney with care at the home of Jim and Mollie Reinhart—an important ritual that dates to the birth of their first child. “When our son was born, we got an embroidered stocking for his first Christmas,” Mollie recalls. Then along came two more children—and two more special socks. “No matter where we lived, we had a place for those three stockings.” 

    Family time and traditions are important all year long for Mollie and Jim, whose Georgian-style brick home sits high atop a hill overlooking the Kanawha Canal and James River in Virginia. Ten years ago, they purchased the prime lot and turned to Richmond architect Charles Aquino to design a house that would suit their active young family but still be in keeping with the established neighborhood and Virginia’s rich architectural heritage.

    When it came to decorating her new home, Mollie had some definite goals. “I wanted beautiful and unforgettable but, more important, it had to be comfortable, livable, and practical.” She found her muse in Janie Molster, a Richmond interior designer. “I admired Janie’s work, but when she told me she had five children, I knew she would understand what I wanted in a family home.”

    A simple wreath and garland enliven the classical portico and balustrade of the red brick home.

    Photography: Kip Dawkins

    Architect: Charles A. Aquino, Charles Aquino Architect, 417 North Blvd., Richmond, VA 23220; 804/354-0614,
    Interior designer: Janie Molster, Janie Molster Designs, 3600 Douglasdale Rd., Richmond, VA 23221; 804/282-0938,
    Landscape architect: Preston C. Dalrymple & Assoc., 12201 Gayton Rd., Henrico, VA 23238; 804/740-9308.
    Landscape design: Terry Tosh, Abbie Wharton, and Sue Thompson, Garden Graces, LLC, 9800 Mayland Drive, Richmond, VA 23233; 804/387-1849 and 804/389-3631.
    Builder: Mako Builders Inc., 7677 Hill Drive, Richmond, VA 23225; 804/272-8549,

    Fountain: Elegant Earth, through Janie Molster Designs,  

  • Kip Dawkins

    Welcoming Entry

    The house exudes an aura of openness and warmth, beginning with the entry, where Molster made the most of a classic center hall with a welcoming sitting area. “A round table is predictable,” the designer says. “I prefer comfortable seating in a foyer. It ensures the space will be more than just a place to drop your keys.” In the Reinharts’ entryway, she added a special touch by painting and upholstering an Empire sofa that had belonged to Mollie’s great-grandmother.

    The rooms flow from one to another, united by a clean and contemporary decorating scheme that creates an air of vitality and a sense of measured calm. “Everything should look beautiful and be accessible,” says Molster.

    Wide ribbon weaves through the garland’s greenery along the stairway banister. The Duncan Phyfe sofa is a family heirloom that was refreshed with new upholstery and paint. 

    Wall paint (custom): created on site.
    Sofa: family heirloom.
    Sofa fabric: discontinued.
    Cocktail table (“Benton Accent Table”): Port 68, Available from Candelabra,
    Side table (“Gloria” #SCH-240310): Gabby Home,
    Lamp on table (“Cannes Table Lamp #ARN3100, by Aerin for Visual Comfort): Circa Lighting,
    Art (by Alison Cooley): Page Bond Gallery,
    Gold embroidery pillows: Ankasa,
    Green ombre pillows: Kevin O’Brien Studio,
    Chairs (antique): Kim Faison Antiques,
    Rug (antique Kaisery): Janie Molster Designs,

  • Kip Dawkins

    Sunny Study

    A vintage white Barcelona chair pairs with playful yellow stools in the sunny study tucked just off the foyer.

    Paint: custom mixed on site.
    Sisal area rug (“Natura”/Natural): Stark,
    Drapery and trim: Fabricut,
    Chandelier: owner’s collection.
    Chair (“Barcelona Chair”): Knoll,
    Sofa (#3794-01): Lee Industries,
    Sofa fabric: discontinued.
    Yellow stools (“Taboret Stool/Side Table”/Yellow #TAB-500-02): Bungalow 5,
    Art; pillow
    on sofa: owner’s collection.

  • Kip Dawkins

    Pretty in Pink

    A sunroom just off the front entryway where deep bay windows allow natural light to flood the room is a prime example of the house's cheerful and bright style. Molster made the space even livelier with shots of pink that bring a casual flair and make it a perfect spot for the Christmas tree, an extravaganza of ornaments ranging from blush to deep rose. 

    A patterned rug in shades of pink was the starting point for the room, Mollie says. “The rug was the first item Janie and I purchased together.” A rattan chair introduces a rustic yet sophisticated touch, while pink-and-chocolate fabric adds a modern vibe. The whole color scheme inspired the Reinharts’ holiday decor. 

    Molster’s visual vocabulary for the holidays is expressive yet tranquil. Delicate paper snowflakes and old-fashioned ribbon candies counter oversize contemporary pink balls on the sunroom Christmas tree, which pops against cloud-soft draperies made with “Cordelia Sheer” fabric in Bone from Schumacher. 

    Wall paint: custom, mixed on site.
    Upholstered sofa: Lee Industries,
    Block-print pillows (vintage): Janie Molster Designs,
    Rattan chair (for similar, “Campaign Arm Chair” #7418): Palecek,
    Chair fabric (“Waterlily”/Espresso, Pink #GWF-#2631.68, by Groundworks): Lee Jofa,
    Cocktail table (discontinued); chandelier (discontinued): Oly,
    Carpet (“Tresor”): Masland Carpets & Rugs,
    Area rug (antique); Gothic windows (antique): Janie Molster Designs,
    Tree: owner’s collection.
    Large ball ornaments: Christmas Central,
    Drapery (“Cordelia Sheer”/Bone #55971): Schumacher,
    Bench next to tree (“Athena”): Worlds Away,  

  • Kip Dawkins

    Pink Details

    In the sunroom, a trio of silver trees complements the abstract painting by Frankie Slaughter. 

    Paint: custom, mixed on site.
    Console table (“Reclaimed Lumber Spanish Console” #OW051): CFC, Available through Homespun Design,
    Art (by Frankie Slaughter): Glave Kocen Gallery,
    Silver trees: owner’s collection. 

  • Kip Dawkins

    Festive Family Room

    “I love experimenting with color and using color liberally in an open floor plan,” Molster says. “You can have a varied palette as long as the level of intensity is the same and there is some continuum of color.”

    Chairs and a nailhead stool are from Lee Industries. 

    Paint: custom, mixed on site.
    Lounge chairround stool (“Drum Ottoman” #9203-10): Lee Industries,
    Chair fabricstool fabric (“Timon”/Citron #1804): Pindler & Pindler,
    Pillow (by Etamine): Zimmer + Rohde,
    Art above mantel (by Henry Greenewalt): Dwelling & Design,
    Area rug (“Willoughby”/Bay Pearl): Stark,

  • Kip Dawkins

    Hung by the Chimney

    Embroidered stockings hang on the family room mantel, which is decked out with greens and fruit. 

  • Kip Dawkins

    Festive Family Room

    Molster follows the same approach for the holiday decorations, weaving colors and textures seamlessly from room to room. Garlands festooned with blue and green silk ribbons add a holiday touch to the pair of trumeau mirrors that flank the arched opening to the kitchen. Matching ribbon on the wreath above the kitchen sink creates a subtle connection.

    A large framed archway links the family room with the kitchen. The sofa and chair are from Lee Industries, the table lamps from Flambeau Lighting. 

    Mirrors (antique): Janie Molster Designs,
    Sofa (#C3106-11); sofa fabric (“Riva”/Dune): Lee Industries,
    Ottoman (“Louis Upholstered Ottoman,” discontinued”): Ballard Designs,
    Ottoman fabric: Pindler & Pindler,
    Lamps (“Bienville Table Lamp” #TA1126): Flambeau Lighting,
    Side tables: Accents Beyond Inc.,
    Rounded-back chair (#1213-01): Lee Industries,
    Chair fabric (“Soma”/Citrine, discontinued): Pindler & Pindler,
    Club chair (#3794-01): Lee Industries,
    Striped pillow fabric (by Etamine): Zimmer + Rohde,

  • Kip Dawkins

    Breakfast Room

    A large gold magnolia wreath brings seasonal flair to the sunny kitchen nook. “We love baking cookies and working on holiday projects around the breakfast table,” Mollie says. Festive ivy topiaries wrapped in burlap complement the large wreath and the “Serena” drum chandelier from Oly.

    Paint: custom, mixed on site.
    Table: Calligaris,
    Dining side and arm chairs (“Chloe”): Bungalow 5,
    Chair-seat fabric; stool and bar-stool fabric (“Micah” #1008, colorway discontinued): Pindler & Pindler,
    Stools (“Bongo Ottoman” #9045-00): Lee Industries,
    Chandelier (“Serena Drum Chandelier”): Oly,
    Bar stool at right (“Biedermeier Counter Stool”): O’Brien Ironworks,

  • Kip Dawkins

    Elegant Dining Room

    “Right from the start, Janie was a joy to work with,” Mollie recalls, noting that the two saw eye-to-eye on the big picture as well as the smallest detail. Molster concurs. “It’s great when you have an ongoing relationship with a client and you know just what she would like, the designer says. “Setting the stage for Christmas for the Reinharts was a piece of cake.” With pink frosting no less.

    The stone pedestal table from Artifacts International with chairs from Artistic Frame anchors the dining room, which opens to the entry hall. 

    Wallpaper (grasscloth): discontinued.
    Ceiling paint: custom, mixed on site. 
    Dining table: Artifacts International,
    Chairs (“Provence” #2864): Artistic Frame,
    Chair fabric: Schumacher,
    Chandelier (antique); sideboard (antique); mirror (antique); armoire (antique); area rug (antique): Janie Molster Designs,
    Dinnerware (“Queen Victoria”): Herend,
    Stemware; flatware; vase holding roses: owner’s collection.

  • Kip Dawkins

    Master Bedroom

    The rich jewel tones of the blues and greens in the family room and the verdant hue of the grass-cloth wallcovering in the dining room carry through into the master bedroom. 

    The “Nori Lizard Bench” from Interlude at the foot of the bed and Stark’s “Ellipse” carpet add modern elements that blend with the traditional “Versailles” chandelier from Arteriors. 

    Paint: custom, mixed on site.
    Bed (custom); bench in window (antique): Janie Molster Designs,
    Bed linens; pillows: owner’s collection.
    Bench fabric (discontinued): Lee Jofa,
    Bench at foot of bed (“Nori Lizard Bench” #175087): Interlude Home,
    Bedside table: Bungalow 5,
    Lamp (“Ananas”): Ro Sham Beaux,
    Art above bed (by Karen Blair): Page Bond Gallery,
    Chandelier (“Versailles Small Chandelier” #89252): Arteriors,
    Window shades (“Rainforest”/Birch): Horizons Natural Woven Shades,
    Carpet (“Ellipse”/Oatmeal, White): Stark,
    Mirror; throw: owner’s collection.  

  • Kip Dawkins

    Family Portrait

    Mollie and Jim Reinhart and their children, Porter, Caroline, and Hunter, sit on the sunny rear terrace with their pets, Bella the Welsh terrier and PJ the cat.

    Chairs (Catalina Collection): Restoration Hardware,
    Pillows (“NTB Estate Pillow in Black” #V750010, by Villa Home): Burke Decor,
    Rug (antique, Beni Ourain): Janie Molster Designs,
    Garden stools (“Cloud Scroll Stool” #1927CR): Emissary,

  • Gordon Beall