When it comes to Christmas, this fashionable, former Manhattan-dwelling couple doesn’t skimp in any regard. Adam Sansiveri and Stephanie Cain are gearing up for their first holiday season in Nashville and I sat down with them in their elegantly festive home to talk traditions (old and new), décor and holiday plans.
Upon walking into their home in the Craftsman Residential development, I was greeted with warmth, smiles, and the smell of struffoli— one of the couple’s many traditions; Don’t worry, you’ll find out what this Italian word is soon enough. The stunning staircase caught my eye first; It was perfectly trimmed with garland and wreaths, which then led my eyes to the formal dining area. Adam talked of their love of having family and friends over around the holidays, as that’s truly the reason for the season.
A DESIGNER’S TOUCH
Stephanie, being the interior designer that she is, has really enjoyed the transition from a New York City condo to a Nashville home. She used many of her connections in Manhattan to decorate the space, but also utilized many of Nashville’s vendors and galleries for finishing touches once they arrived. The pieces of art on the walls are quite impressive, including multiple works from Tinney Contemporary. Some of the most remarkable paintings from Tinney are by talents such as Tyler Shields, Jane Braddock, David Yarrow, and Mildred Jarret.
When it comes to Christmas décor, Stephanie was excited about the new “opportunities, square footage, and corners to take advantage of,” and you can see just how they’ve utilized this newfound space in the gallery below. The home was built by Sabia Construction and is quite a jump in size from what they were used to in New York.
When we got to talking about traditions, Stephanie began to hint at Christmas music starting to fill their home around October, but Adam countered this, clarifying that for him, “Christmas music starts typically in July, but [he doesn’t] hide it after Halloween.” I can at least speak to the music being present before Thanksgiving, as the gentle chords of “White Christmas” accompanied our conversation. Like most families, with Christmas music comes cookies and gingerbread houses, but this couple’s cookies are unlike any I’ve ever seen (or tasted) before: Struffoli. These little bites of deliciousness are what I’d describe as dessert gnocchi covered in sprinkles and the taste slightly resembles a funnel cake (all very good things). The recipe for this Italian Christmas cookie dates back generations for this family, originating from who Adam believes to be his great-great-grandmother on his father’s side. While I can’t share this recipe with you, what I can give you is a link to a cookie that at least looks similar to the tiered display on their kitchen counter.
Photos by Alaina Mullin
Along with these traditions, the couple also has several Christmas Eve rituals, including more Italian staples and classic movies. Every Christmas Eve, Adam and Stephanie make fresh pasta from scratch and enjoy it with wine from their custom wine room. Stephanie designed this incredibly chic and equally unique space out of what was originally a closet and made it truly their own with a festive “cheers” neon sign illuminating the collection. While they enjoy these Italian dishes and libations, you’ll find them watching “It’s A Wonderful Life” by the fire and enjoying the quieter moments before Christmas day.
A new and exciting tradition for Adam and Stephanie, though, involves Nashville, Alliance Bernstein and 200 guests in Belle Meade: Merry & Bright—A Holiday Celebration from Broadway to Nashville with the Broadway Dreams Foundation. There will be Broadway stars performing the songs from White Christmas in a delightfully intimate setting paired with a cocktail reception. Want in? Tickets are available for purchase here if you don’t want to miss this musical evening benefiting such a worthwhile cause.
Cheers to a festive holiday season!