Flower Magazine

NOV-DEC 2018

Browse "flower" to learn techniques from established and up-and-coming designers, be inspired by the floral decor of weddings, galas, and flower and garden shows, and infuse your lifestyle with chic floral fashion and home decor.

Issue link: http://digital.flowermag.com/i/1039823

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Page 51 of 91

a 50 | N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8 AS A LITTLE GIRL, sitting down for a candlelit Christmas Eve dinner with her extended family in Birmingham, Alabama, Mila Hirsch dreamed of hosting the gathering herself one day. She imagined herself in the starring role of ultimate hostess, taking the reins from her mother when the time was right. Since it was the biggest night of the season, Mila assumed her siblings and cousins shared her sentiments, but fortunately for her, they did not. "No one wanted that chore," she says with a laugh. "And it was funny, because I thought we were going to fight over who got to host Christmas Eve when we all became adults." After relocating back home from Manhattan in 2015, Mila's dream came true when she and husband Joe, her high school sweetheart, hosted their first Christmas Eve in their new house, designed by architect Mack McKinney, who had conceived the space with an eye toward how the young family (including son Rex, 6, and daughter Ida, 3) lives and entertains. Put to the ultimate test, the home proved the ideal setting to carry on the tradition. With soaring 11-foot ceilings and a sense of airiness that is hard to achieve in even the most open of floor plans, the Hirsch residence has become a regular celebration destination. The couple hosts three or four large parties a year, as well as many smaller gatherings. During the holidays, in addition to the Christmas Eve fete, they throw an annual black-tie seated dinner party for around 40 friends. Lingering into the early hours of the morning, it's often a raucous occasion, but that doesn't keep Mila from pulling out her impressive stash of fine china, crystal, and silver. Many of the pieces of her collection show up not just on her table but on her canvases as well. An artist by trade, Mila has dedicated much of her career to painting flowers carefully arranged in silver and crystal vessels. (Visit @the_painted_flower on Instagram for examples of her work.) She designs the arrangements herself and then photographs them with a Canon digital SLR. Her painting style, a lifelike interpretation influenced by the Old Masters, reflects her formal BELOW: The Hirsch home, designed by architect Mack McKinney, lights up as dusk approaches. On the exterior (painted Benjamin Moore's China White), an architectural remnant is rumored to have come from a schoolhouse attended by William Shakespeare. OPPOSITE, TOP LEFT: With their children, Rex and Ida, Mila and Joe Hirsch welcome guests through a modern iron-and-glass entry. OPPOSITE, TOP RIGHT: The study's high-gloss ceiling color is Spellbound by Benjamin Moore. Pomegra- nates and pears mingle at the base of a fiddleleaf fig tree tied with Midori ribbon. OPPOSITE, BOTTOM: With an artist's exacting eye, Mila decorated the interiors of the house herself. Here, the family's beloved Papillon, Ziggy, cozies up by the fire in the living room, which is decked with square wreaths, magnolia swags, and orchids in a Sheffield punch bowl.

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