Wichita designer’s home featured in national book on decorating for Christmas

When it comes to decorating for Christmas, local interior designer Mitzi Beach doesn’t like to “go overboard”—her philosophy is all about welcome and comfort.

“I want to create the ambiance of Christmas, but also a space that’s welcoming and peaceful,” Beach said.

Beach was featured in this year’s “Christmas by Design” book by Patricia Hart McMillen and Katherine Kaye McMillen, which showcases a variety of leading designers’ homes decorated for the holiday season.

The 265-page book featured 29 homes from across the country. Beach’s is the only home from Kansas.

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“I’m a big believer in sharing homes and spaces… and I thought it was a good vehicle to showcase Wichita, Kansas,” she said.

Beach said McMillen reached out to her in summer of 2017 about being featured in the 2018 holiday book. Beach was tasked with taking photos of her home to send to the writers to see if her home was what they were looking for.

By Thanksgiving of 2017, Beach had her home ready to go for the photo shoot.

In the book, Beach describes herself as a “Christmas purist,” using a lot of green and red in her decorating.

The walls and furniture in Beach’s home are mostly white, which she says really allows for the red and green accents to pop, creating “the perfect backdrop for Christmas.”

The dining table is antique wood, working with the greenery to add natural elements to the space. The table is adorned with candles, red poinsettias and little statues. The plates are mix-matched to create a sense of comfort and fun.

“I love mixing antiques with the somewhat contemporary,” she said.

All the poinsettias and much of the greenery in Beach’s home are real.

Beach said her goal in decorating her dining space was to be fun and festive, but not to the point of seeming intimidating or too fancy. After all, she said, she wants her nine grandchildren to feel welcome for a family dinner together.

“I want people to get the sense that this is a place to just come relax, hang out and enjoy,” she said.

Relaxation, Beach said, is something she wants her home to evoke regardless of the time of year.

“All homes have a message. When you walk into any home, whether you’re conscious of it or not, that home is sending you a message,” she said. “When people come into my home, my favorite thing to hear is people go ‘Ahhh… this is so peaceful.’ That’s the message I want to send.”

Each home in “Christmas by Design” is labeled with an overarching theme for its holiday look. Themes include Merry, Nostalgic, Funfetti, and Retro.

Beach’s theme? Joy.

“Joy represents to me what Christmas is all about. Love and joy. It’s not about the presents and the decorations,” Beach said.

Beach said she poured a lot of love into her home, but after spending about 30 years in Wichita, she and her husband Bob plan on moving to northeastern Ohio next year. Their home in Forest Hills goes on the market in January.

While leaving the home she’s carefully put together for so many years is bittersweet, Beach said she is very excited for whoever gets to enjoy the house next.

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