Seasonal Decorating

Each year, Sally and I savor memories of the weeks and days leading up to Christmas and Christmas morning with our son when he was very young – the excitement, the anticipation, the sitting with him explaining and discussing the larger meaning and far more important message of Christmas and the Holidays. There is one such memory that is near and dear to my heart that I’d like to share with you because it happened to me. (Thanks for the memory Mom and Dad!) Sally and I have passed the experience and memory along to our son, Drew. Some day we hope he will have the opportunity to pass the tradition along to his children.

 It has to do with the day when, as a child, you begin to realize and question and you walk up to your Mom or Dad and ask/declare with fear and trepidation – masked behind false bravado, “Mom, Dad – there isn’t really a Santa Claus is there?!?!” It is a question that each generation struggles with and asks. Mom and Dad have to answer this difficult question as best they can.

And so it was…  Drew was about 9 when he came to us asking about Santa Claus – declaring there was no such person. On Christmas Eve after he went to bed, I grabbed a pair of boots, sloshed them about in the ashes in the living room fireplace…

and then walked them to the Christmas tree

and back to the fireplace.

I put the boots away and Sally and I went to bed. Christmas morning (the usual 5 AM…) we were awakened by Drew loudly exclaiming Santa had really come! Get up! You’ve got to come down stairs to see his foot prints!!!! It is a morning we will never forget.

Happy Holidays,

When John and I decorate houses for Christmas, our clients often want the entire downstairs done. That’s from the front door (and the outside, too, of course) to the back door near the kitchen. So what ideas do we have for decorating a kitchen for Christmas?

Kitchen Christmas Decoration

I loved this square wreath, which is a different shape, and was very fluffy with pert little, fine greens. To it I added vegetables, and rested it above a large stove top with a mantel shelf. I wired in a garlic, finger potatoes, carrots with their green tops, a red pepper and a natural looking green and brown ribbon- and tied a bow.

decorating for christmas a kitchen

Here’s another, very simple idea. To this over the stove hood, I added clipped boxwood, and a pomegranate, oranges, grapefruit, and lemons. Just line them up and intersperse with clippings of greenery. Note: If you keep your house really warm (the greens aren’t happy then), check every week to see if things are rotting, and replace as necessary. I also put down a layer of waxed paper on the shelf to protect it from any weeping of the fruits.

Now on to other rooms: I wish I had gotten a better photo of this wreath I made for someone last year. I took a fluffy square wreath, added a square of mixed twigs (found at floral supply center), added a Christmas ornament of a bird (Cardinal) found at the local department store, and then did the bow in a plaid, for that rustic look. You might be able to tell that the backdrop to this mantel is rustic stone. I loved this wreath. Wish I had it now!

Last year I let my imagination roam, and I came up with this idea for decorating a mantel. The centerpiece of the mantel was this oval shaped vase, layered like a dessert trifle, with clipped greens and tiny glass ornaments. Try it!

WRAPPING PACKAGES: You don’t have to wrap your packages the same every year!  You can take some wonderful wallpaper leftovers and create a great package! I asked for a few yards from a client of this wonderful shagreen silver wallpaper. She was nice enough to give it to me. To this I added great, double sided satin ribbon and a sliver of natural pine. Now WHO wouldn’t want to open that package first??

different ways to wrap packages

One year I decided to do a table top decoration for a hallway on our second floor.

boston area interior design

In a brass compote I arranged some greens and berries. That year I had found some adorable acorn shaped candles. I put them around the centerpiece and added 2 Rosenthal star candle holders, which my brother had brought to me from Germany. I love the way the candle light glimmers on the cherry wood of the table. Add a present or two, and it makes a festive presentation.

To a very formal house, John and I added very simple decorations. The architecture of the house did not want to be upstaged by seasonal decorating, but rather gently augmented. In all the front windows we hung a red glass ornament on a beautiful, shimmery green organdy ribbon, tied simply with a loop.

Christmas decoration

Look at how beautifully it reflects in the clients’ mirror nearby. Think of yourself walking through this room: If you take your time every morning, and drink in your surroundings, just think what lovely thoughts YOU will think!

different ideas for christmas decorating holiday

Happy Decorating for the Holidays!

ASID member Sally Wilson

December 1st  has just come and gone, and people are beginning to ask me about how far along am I on my Christmas Decorations!  Although I have been known to be so busy that a wreath goes on the door on December 24th, here I will share with you some of my ways of decorating for the holidays.

Holiday centerpieces

Magnolia leaves and lotus seed pods added a lot!

Last year I made up a big basket of greens and flowers for a client’s casual dining room. I’ll show you how I did it. The basket was especially pretty, too, which helps.

First, line up your basket and your tools, and put a clear liner inside the basket with oasis saturated in water.

Holiday decorating
Start with a pretty basket and floral foam
I wanted to use white cyclamens as a pretty counter point to a large assortment of greens, so first I planted them at each end.
decorating for the holidays
Plant the cyclamen along with much of their dirt
I collect a lot of variety of greens, such as juniper, balsam, fraser fir, arborvitae, holly, white pine – just an assortment of whatever I can find. I look for different colors of green, and different scale. Some with very fine texture, and others with corse texture. And of course interesting berries, both blue and red. Juniper, for instance, has a blue berry. Before the front of the arrangement gets too full, I make sure to tie the ribbon to the basket handle. I’ll tie the bow later.
Holiday centerpiece
Voila! The finished piece, with bow tied and lots of color, texture and Christmas Cheer.
Rustic Holiday Centerpiece Basket
Here’s another detail shot. Time to go select some wonderful winter greenery!
holiday decorating
Detail of greens, berries and cyclaman