The Secret to Taking the Bah Humbug Out of Your Christmas Decorating
Want the secret to taking the Bah Humbug out of your Christmas decorating? Keep it simple. Based on your past experience, it sounds easier said than done, right?
In this post, Sally and I will share our Christmas decorating secrets, as we take you through how we decorated one of our favorite client’s home.
We were so busy last year, we never got around to writing a post about our efforts. As good fortune would have it, our client’s home was published in the Fall issue of North Shore Home magazine, giving us the perfect excuse to share our Christmas decorating secrets with you this year!
our christmas DECORATING premise
Our client is pretty laid back and traditional. Over a glass or two of egg nog, we learned they wanted to keep things simple. Not over the top. As we talked, it became clear they were not wed to decorating the house in all red and green. Rather, we agreed to let the color scheme of each room dictate the look and feel of the Christmas decorating in each room.
Their architect, Juan Darrius, did a fabulous job designing the quintessential New England shingle style home for them.
Between his great design work and our client’s direction, we felt the holiday decor should be simple and clean, supporting and enhancing the home’s architecture.
Having just spoken so highly about the home’s architecture, I’m going to talk out of the other side of my mouth, about a home’s interior decor and artwork. Sometimes, it’s so good you don’t want to mess with it. Such was the case with the 3 dimensional artwork in the foyer. It has such presence, we felt that our Christmas decorating should be minimal – simply suggest. A few snowflake pillows, a present on the bench and a few Holiday items on the floor was all that was needed.
Kitchen, informal dining and family room
The kitchen, informal dining area and family room are essentially one large continuous space across the back of the house, with columns, coffered ceiling and a large fireplace giving the family room charm, and it’s own sense of place within the larger expanse of rooms.
This is the room where the family gathers most frequently, so it made sense for the tree to be here. Drawing from the earth tones of the room’s fabrics and drapery, we added lotus seed pods, large pine cones and dried orange slices to the simple roping which we draped over the fireplace mantel.
With four growing children, the kitchen and informal dining area are always a beehive of activity. Translation? Be careful where you do your Christmas decorating. Up high out of harms way, in the large window behind the sink and on the “mantel shelf” of the exhaust hood over the stove seemed to be the best decision.
The formal dining room
With its earth tone wallpaper, framed architectural prints and sculpture, the dining room’s decor and colors needed careful consideration. Neutral with a bit of sparkle. Hints of snow and winter wonderland.
Silver and clear glass.
Reindeer and a “snow laden” tree. (Setting up the eggnog station was a lot of fun. Drinking the eggnog after the photo shoot was even more fun…)
Instead of red accents – orange to harmonize with the wallpaper. And white cyclamen make a beautiful centerpiece.
The living room
The living room, with its blue, gold and silver accents begins to feel like a quiet winter landscape.
By mixing up the materials in the roping over the mantle – spruce, cedar and magnolia leaves – we create a perfect textural background for gold ribbon and blue Christmas balls.
On the wall opposite the fireplace hangs a beachy summer landscape with a sideboard below. We pulled silver, white and green from the painting into the decorations, extending it’s composition.
The glass topped coffee table begged for attention. We placed two arrangements on it to satisfy its hunger, one with a twist by adding fresh cinnamon sticks to the arrangement, filling the room with a subtle spice aroma, reminiscent of a spice punch.
The cinnamon sticks in the living room remind us that sometimes, Christmas decorating isn’t about what something looks like, but its smell. The master bath is the perfect place to use this trick. Hanging a spruce wreath in the window brings a touch of green to the room. But more importantly, it is the refreshing smell of the forest greeting you each day. Refreshing in the morning. Soothing and calming at day’s end.
Christmas Decorating Secrets recap
So what are our take aways?
- KISS – Keep It Simple, Silly! Or more politely, Less is More.
- Don’t be wed to the classic red and green theme.
- Look for decorating clues in your home’s unique architecture.
- Build your decorations around artwork.
- A room’s color scheme can lead you to Christmas decorations you had never thought of before.
- Sometimes it’s not about what a decoration looks like, but its smell that will fill a room with Christmas cheer.
- Decorating always goes more smoothly with a glass of wine or cup of egg nog… 🙂
Sally and I hope you’ve enjoyed our post and that this year’s Christmas decorating will be more enjoyable.
If Sally and I can help you with any aspect of the design of your home, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the contact form on our website, here:
Or, if you’re not sure if you need to hire an interior designer, please give us a call. We’d be happy to chat.
We also invite you to connect with us on:
Thank you for reading our blog, Design Cognoscenti. We appreciate you!
Get in touch! We'd love to hear from you.CONTACT US
Join our mailing list to keep up to date with our latest posts.