Home for the Holidays

Snowy weeks of celebration summon tradition and inspire new takes on everyday spaces.
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Gray Christmas
Grey, platinum, pewter and nickel are this season’s new neutrals, shares Gene Galley of Noble in Lexington. // Photography courtesy istockphoto.com/Nadya Lukic

Though red and green remain classic Christmas hues, this year “grey is the new neutral” according to Gene Galley, co-owner/manager of Noble Lexington in Lexington (noblelexington.com).

“Grey, platinum, pewter and nickel blend well with any décor and carry well into the winter season,” he said. “Consider an iced winter theme by spraying stems for a glittery, icy look and scattering vases filled with them.”

Or, he suggested, create “mini vignettes” by tying small bundles of evergreen stems together with festive ribbons and finishing each off with a small twig of berries. In his home, Galley winds grapevine with berries on his fireplace mantle and adds a few ornaments.  “It’s easy to remove the ornaments after the holidays,” he noted, “and leave the rest for winter.”

Renew Your View

Cheryl Sayfie, an interior designer at Right at Home in Rockford (rightathomeinrockford.com), likes reinventing year-round accessories as winter-themed décor. “You can put natural seasonal elements like greens in the bottom of hurricane candle holders for the holidays, then dried peas or coffee beans for the rest of the year,” she illustrated.

Bayberry Cottage Traditions
Artfully crafted by hand and using all recycled materials, Mariposa Tableware lends whimsical elegance at Bayberry Cottage // Photography courtesy of Bayberry Cottage/Mariposa

Safie encourages moving signature room items to other spaces: Enliven the hearth with the vase from the dining room table, or group the vase with others on the floor. Instead of switching out a favorite everyday bowl or tray, renew it for the holidays by adding greenery or berries.

“Pull together the pieces you want to work with and set them all in one place,” Safie advised. “Then start all over, one piece at a time. It gives you a clean slate for decorating.”

Infuse Some Whimsy

At Bayberry Cottage in South Haven, interior designer Amber Burger noted two elements — color and humor — are consistently used to set the mood.

“Colors say so much about the personality of the people living in a space, but nothing brings personality out more than an element of surprise,” she said. “For the holidays, decorate something that most people wouldn’t — put a wreath on the headboard in the guest room, or top the coat rack with Santa’s hat.”

No need to worry about what looks right or doesn’t work, Burger added: Home décor should be fun. “If it makes me smile, I’ll add it, and if it feels like too much, I just take it out.” During the holidays, the designer loves the interest sprays and picks add to garland, wreaths, vases and trees.

“I love that some are natural — evergreen and berries — while others are fantastical, all glitter and sparkle,” she said.

But to create the warm and festive feeling Burger loves most at home for the holidays, tradition remains the base of her décor. “I come from a family of six children, and one of our gifts every year is an ornament to place on the family tree that will mean something personally,” she shared. “Now when we decorate the tree we have wonderful conversations. It makes for a very happy party.”

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