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By Laura McAlister
When Pat and William “Billy” Hiden purchased their Mountain Brook home 16 years ago, they wanted it to be a well-used house, one where family and friends would always feel welcome.
The Hiden home is one where people tend to gather. Whether it’s a small group of friends or a large charity dinner, the Hidens love to entertain, and this holiday season they will open their home to more than just family and friends.
The Hidens’ home is one of five featured on the 61st annual Independent Presbyterian Church Holiday House Tour set for Dec. 11-12.
The Dutch Colonial style home has undergone several renovations since the Hidens purchased it. And after years of tweaking their house, the now-empty nesters have a home tailor-made for their lifestyle.
Pat said the latest of those renovations should be complete in time for the tour and the holidays.
“We really wanted this to be a well-used home,” Pat said. “We don’t just set stuff around that you don’t want to touch. We want it to be a place for people to gather.
“We have people over a lot. We spend the holidays here.”
When it comes to her holiday decorations, Pat said she uses greenery and will have a live tree in the den. As for other parts of the house, she and Leah Hazzard, floral and event designer, are still plotting that out.
“We’re just finishing a renovation now,” Pat said. “Pretty much everything in my living room is new, too. All my colors used to be reds and greens, but I inherited this rug, and it’s more aqua, gold and lavender, so I guess those are my colors now.”
The rug Pat’s referring to is in the living room, the first room guests will enter for the holiday home tour. The Portuguese needlepoint area rug belonged to her mother-in-law.
Pat, an interior designer and member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), found a bright gold couch to work with the pastel colors of the rug. Now, Hazzard is testing new holiday looks for the room.
“The whole house is really natural tones, and then the rug comes in and it’s like an Easter egg,” she joked. “I’m going to match it with organics, though, probably some eucalyptus and magnolia leaves. It’s really more feminine. It’s a beautiful rug.”
The holiday tour also will take guests through the Hidens’ sunroom and dining room, where Pat said she’ll have her nativity scene decorated with greenery for the holidays.
The dining room leads into the kitchen, and although Pat admits she’s not much for cooking, any chef would love the space. In an earlier renovation, she added marble countertops with a stainless steel tile backsplash and stainless steel appliances.
The kitchen opens up to the den, where most of Pat’s entertaining and family time occurs. The den was added during the Hidens’ first renovation of the home.
“We actually worked on it for about a year before we moved in,” she said.
Since the den is where the family spends most of its time, Pat kept the decor comfortable yet elegant. A fabric with a Native American print covers the chairs and is also used for the draperies and throw pillows on two neutral-colored chairs.
“I just loved the colors and feel about this fabric,” Pat said. “It’s rich, and the taupe background is just different.”
The couch is light celery green that complements the richness of the draperies and chairs. The walls are a soft shade of beige, and the ceiling’s exposed wooden beams give the room a natural and open look.
Artwork is from local artists like Mark Singer, John Lonergan and Sally Legg. Particularly special to Pat is Legg’s painting of Pat standing on the beach with her children when they were little.
Pat said the den is where she’ll have her live Christmas tree. The mantle will be dressed with greenery, lady apples and pinecones.
“This is the kind of ‘homey’ room,” Hazzard said. “They always use this room. I like to use a lot of natural Christmas greenery and not so much of the glittery stuff.
“I like to use a lot of my clients’ things, so it looks like their home. And Pat’s a very talented designer.”
Hazzard used a rich red and gold heirloom cloth of Pat’s on the mantle to add to the Christmas decorations.
Although the den is where most of the Hidens’ holiday entertaining occurs, the tour doesn’t stop there. Other renovations to the home include the backyard and a garage apartment behind the house, the final stops on the tour of the Hiden home.
The large backyard has room for entertaining and plenty of space for their dog, Curly, and Snowball the cat to roam around.
Pat said the detached garage and apartment are probably as old as the house, which she estimates to be about 75 years old.
“The garage was just very old. We decided we had to redo or it would fall down,” Pat said. “Besides, it wouldn’t even fit my big car.”
Now the garage can accommodate her car, and the apartment has become a popular spot for her children, Taylor and Billy, when they return from college. The apartment has a den, full bath and bedroom.
“The kids really do love it,” Pat said.
The Hiden home will offer plenty to look at during the tour of homes, and participants won’t have to go far to see other IPC holiday homes. Two nearby tour stops, the Gorrie guest house and the Walker home, share an alley with the Hidens’ house.
IPC Tour Includes
Five Festive Homes
The 61st annual Independent Presbyterian Church Holiday House Tour is set for Sat., Dec. 11, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 12. from 1 to 5 p.m.
The self-guided tour begins at the church, 3100 Highland Ave., with the Holiday Tea in the Great Hall. Refreshments will include sweets, savories and spiced Christmas tea. The IPC Te Deum Choir will provide entertainment at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Open this year are the homes of:
Mr. and Mrs. Barry Evans, 3000 Dundee Circle (Redmont)
Mr. and Mrs. David Alan Ball, 33 Ridge Dr. (Mountain Brook)
Mr. and Mrs. William Hiden, 50 Randolph Rd. (Mountain Brook)
Mr. and Mrs. James Walker, 59 Matthews Rd. (Mountain Brook)
Mr. and Mrs. Miller Gorrie, 54 Country Club Blvd. (Mountain Brook)
Tickets are $20 and may be purchased in advance or at the featured homes during tour hours. Proceeds benefit ministries of the IPC Presbyterian Women.
For more information, call the church at 933-1830 or visit HYPERLINK “http://www.ipc-usa.org” www.ipc-usa.org