A Festive Home in New Mexico's "Christmas Town"

Matt and Heather French Design and Build Their Own Charming Family Home

A Fresh and Festive Family Home in New Mexico's "Christmas Town" | Interior Design by French and French Interiors | Photography by Amadeus Leitner | Modern Sanctuary | Living Space | Scandinavian Living Space | Holiday | Seating
Photo by:
Amadeus Leitner
12/12/2016

For Heather and Matt French of French and French Interiors, a labor of love led to the realization that interior design was in their bones. The young couple’s vision of a fun and comfortable home for their family came to life over an 18-month period, during which they lived in a 400 square foot space while other rooms were built by their own hands. The final footprint includes a great room, open kitchen, a couple of bedrooms and baths plus a large deck.

Luckily, Matt was a skilled electrical contractor with experience in cabinet making and construction. Both he and Heather have a sense of adventure and mad thrift shopping skills that helped them create a home that blends old and new, minimalism and comfort and is a strong representation of their unique style. Family and friends encouraged the French’s to turn their passion into a business and in 2014, their interior design firm was born.

A Fresh and Festive Family Home in New Mexico's "Christmas Town" | Interior Design by French and French Interiors | Photography by Amadeus Leitner | Modern Sanctuary | Living Space | Scandinavian Living Space | Dining Area | Lighting | Shelving
Photo by:
Amadeus Leitner

Rustic wood ceilings, soft textures and bold prints are standouts against the neutral background.

A Fresh and Festive Family Home in New Mexico's "Christmas Town" | Interior Design by French and French Interiors | Photography by Amadeus Leitner | Modern Sanctuary | Kitchen | Modern Kitchen | Scandinavian Kitchen | Dining Area | Lighting | Shelving
Photo by:
Amadeus Leitner
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Photo by:
Amadeus Leitner

Beautiful throughout the year, during the holidays a few meaningful decorations make the home a festive gathering place and family refuge. The saw-blade on the bookshelf (to the right of the wreath over the wood stove) is a treasured family item and the “official” tool that Matt and daughter Isla use to cut down their Christmas tree each year.

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Photo by:
Amadeus Leitner
A Fresh and Festive Family Home in New Mexico's "Christmas Town" | Interior Design by French and French Interiors | Photography by Amadeus Leitner | Modern Sanctuary | Seating | Living Space | Scandinavian Living Space | Dining Space | Lighting
Photo by:
Amadeus Leitner

Going bright and light allows you to saturate or pull back through the years.  It’s timeless and classic, and it’s a look that can be easily updated without a hammer and saw.  Matt French

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Photo by:
Amadeus Leitner
A Fresh and Festive Family Home in New Mexico's "Christmas Town" | Interior Design by French and French Interiors | Photography by Amadeus Leitner | Modern Sanctuary | Dining Space | Scandinavian Dining Space | Seating | Lighting
Photo by:
Amadeus Leitner
A Fresh and Festive Family Home in New Mexico's "Christmas Town" | Interior Design by French and French Interiors | Photography by Amadeus Leitner | Modern Sanctuary | Seating | Styled Console Table | Colorful Artwork | Living Space | Scandinavian Living Space
Photo by:
Amadeus Leitner
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Photo by:
Amadeus Leitner

 The kitchen is a favorite gathering space, so the large  island was a must-have. Display shelving keeps the kitchen feeling organized and airy. “We’re about ‘pretty”, but we’re into making functional pretty”, says Heather.

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Photo by:
Amadeus Leitner
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Photo by:
Amadeus Leitner

The powder room, though small, has a big impact with its skirted vanity and modern sconces.

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Photo by:
Amadeus Leitner

Isla’s room is a child’s haven with its colorful hues and whimsical touches.

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Photo by:
Amadeus Leitner

 What little girl wouldn’t love to have an indoor swing? 

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Photo by:
Amadeus Leitner

Matt designed and built the chandelier in the master bedroom. The lighting offsets the weathered vintage desk and colorful bench at the foot of the upholstered bed, providing an unexpected modern element.  

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Photo by:
Amadeus Leitner
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Photo by:
Amadeus Leitner

Vintage thrift store prints and a milking stool paired with a Carrara marble double sink create a warm and comforting bathroom.  

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Photo by:
Amadeus Leitner

 Madrid, New Mexico, the French’s hometown has been well known for its Christmas spirit since the 1920’s when 100,000 visitors would visit its festival of lights each year. Although the festival is no longer an annual event, the town still knows how to celebrate in style.

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Photo by:
Amadeus Leitner
A Fresh and Festive Family Home in New Mexico's "Christmas Town" | Interior Design by French and French Interiors | Photography by Amadeus Leitner | Modern Sanctuary | Living Space | Scandinavian Living Space | Holiday | Seating
Photo by:
Amadeus Leitner

Heather and Matt have found creative ways to make the holidays fun and meaningful. Sanctuary Seekers, what are some of your holiday traditions?

Meet the designer French and French Interiors
Bio:

We are a husband and wife team known for our family-friendly design and hands-on approach. We design for the way you live, and feel a space should be a personal reflection of its occupants.

Our focus is on design that is ecologically sound, family-friendly and affordably high-end. Inspired by our travels throughout Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and South America, our aesthetic marries antiques, art, and modern pieces with an international flourish.

We work with you to create a uniquely personal home.

Heather French

Heather studied Anthropology at Auburn University, immersing herself in world culture and antiquities. Her keen eye and sense of style allowed her to work her way up at top interior design firms.

After years of transforming homes, Heather decided to open a design firm of her own.

Together with Matt, they began their design journey by remodeling and flipping houses in 2002. They have experience building homes from concept to completion and can build, remodel, design and inspire.  What sets them apart is the combination of skills they bring separately and together.  Matt French is the master of materials and processes, simplicity, heft, those things that ground a project.  Heather French is the space and feel, the orchestrator, the mix of the soft and the hard, the flare.   With a modern foundation, but a  respect for history, they seek an authenticity of materials and experience, bringing meaning to the quiet moments of life.

Matt French

Raised in an artistic family in the Southern U.S., Matt spent a large part of his childhood sailing. After studying the Art of Film at Auburn University, he became a highly skilled woodworker and carpenter. Always drawn towards the world of renewable energy and sustainable living, Matt opened a successful electrical contracting business in 2007.

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Cynthia Baxter
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