Tina Yaraghi doesn’t consider herself an influencer, despite having more than 150,000 followers on Instagram. The housewife, business owner, and hostess-turned-blogger gained a loyal following in 2011 when she documented the ups, downs, and aha moments of home building during the four-year construction of her house, a château-inspired manse in the idyllic town of Mill Neck on Long Island’s north shore.
“It all started with a journal,” Tina says of her ever-popular blog and brand, The Enchanted Home. “The journal then evolved into a blog with an audience of two—my mother and me. I wasn’t trying to influence anyone or promote anything. I just wanted to connect and exchange ideas with others going through the process of designing a home from the ground up. Writing and sharing my thoughts and experiences became cathartic for me, so I’ve kept going even though our home is complete.”
The architecture of the house, a hybrid of English Tudor and French Norman styles, was inspired by a visit to Tina’s aunt’s home in the Loire Valley of France. Upon returning, Tina and husband Michael tasked architect Michael Jay Wallin with the tall order of converting a folder full of travel photos, book pages, and magazine clippings into a design plan that places authenticity and aesthetics on equal footing. Reclaimed wood and stone were sourced for the flooring, mantels, and millwork, while skilled craftsmen replicated centuries-old plasterwork and ironwork.
The interiors also convey a sense of timelessness thanks to well-appointed rooms stocked with family heirlooms, antique furnishings, and a myriad of vintage, antique, and reproduction Chinese export porcelain. Acquired by Tina over decades, the exotic vessels were the starting point for the classic blue-and-white palette that prevails in the textiles, upholstery, and decorative accents in every room—and in every season.
“Once a favorite, always a favorite,” says Tina of the iconic color combo. “I don’t break away from it just because it’s Christmastime. Some years I may add in a little red or a bit of green, but this year I stuck with shades of white to play up the blue. It’s pure and simple.”
Around every corner, a mélange of ginger jars, bowls, tea caddies, and footbaths overflows with paperwhites, amaryllis, and garden roses, as well as poinsettias and fresh seasonal greens. Giant sugar pine cones are also thrown into the mix, along with red holly berries and kumquats freshly clipped from the yard.
Aside from her precious porcelain, Tina has another self-described obsession: tableware. Whether it’s silver passed down through generations of family or crystal carefully packed and shipped from abroad, these pieces are not just for show. On Christmas night, the Yaraghis host close family members for an elegant seated dinner. But unlike most hosts who live for the party, Tina lives for the prep work as well and takes time to relish the art of entertaining.
“I am passionate about setting a pretty table. I inherited that from my mother,” she says. “I can say with certainty that we are among the few who actually enjoy the entire entertaining process, from polishing the silver and pressing the linens to lighting the candles just minutes before the guests arrive. It can be tiring, but it can also be a labor of love and an opportunity to share your gifts with special people during the most wonderful time of the year.”
Text and Styling by Margaret Zainey Roux | Photography by Brittany Ambridge