Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Jolene's Holiday Inspiration 2013

My dear friend Jolene and her new husband Miguel are not only about to celebrate their first married Christmas together, but their first holiday season in their newly purchased home in the Greater Boston area!  Since this is her first year decorating in a new space, I wanted to give her a bit of inspiration based on the colors I know that she likes and/or has already purchased items for in the past.

Their home is a lovely blank slate for modern holiday decorating, and serves as a neutral base for any number of aesthetic options.  But I know that Jolene gravitates toward cool colors, and based on the decor she has year round, I wanted to encourage her to get a bit more inspired with color and expand upon what she is already doing!  (You know me: bold always.)  Jolene, I hope you like what I came up with.  But first, here is a board with a few snapshots of her space when they first moved in to give you an idea of what she is working with before I present my visuals. Those rich chocolate browns really anchor the space (the granite, the espresso colored dining set and china cabinet, the sectional, the dark wood furniture.)

Based on her space, I came up with the following non-traditional color scheme for holiday decorating: any mixture of silver, ivory, chocolate brown, sage green, mint green, lime green, turquoise, and tiffany blue.  I chose this for several reasons: first and foremost, because I know she likes these tones and because it does go with the decorations that she and Miguel have already purchased, and two, because it lends itself well to "winter" decorating, not just holiday decorating.  Much of what I have chosen could remain up for New Year's and quite frankly, the entire winter season.  This is why I am especially partial to snowflake and tree motifs: because they are not just for "Christmas" at all.

Let's get started with the Living Room and Entry-way Vision Board. 

Jolene and Miguel have a very traditional home, and any traditional home entry needs a proper wreath for the front door.  I particularly like the idea of a greenery wreath with pearl and ornament accents, as it lends an elegant, glamorous touch to an otherwise simple, classic green wreath choice.  And what about stockings?  It's a great opportunity to pull some color into a room.  Jolene doesn't have a mantel, and neither do I.  But stockings can be hung from doorframes, or the top of bookcases, or directly on the wall with a silver command hook, or even hung from the center of windows on top of the draperies.  Really, there are so many possibilities.  Purchasing inexpensive white frames, and lining them with the pages of old books or scrapbook paper, with dollar store glitter and white snowflakes is a quick and easy DIY way to bring a little sparkle to a bookcase, mantel, or tabletop display.   Another example might be purchasing a wooden frame to bring in a rustic, brown element and print out a picture in a font you love with any text that inspires you at Christmas: the example above says "Oh Holy Night."  And while you are decorating for the holidays, consider inexpensive purchases that can stay year-round, such as these great Target turquoise lamp bases and shades.  I am also a fan of "tree" decorations, and these conical arrangements have become very prevalent and popular the past few years: they come in any number of textures and colors: glitter tinsel varieties, knit varieties, glass varieties, metal and mercury glass are all possibilities and they allow you to play with various heights in your arrangements.  Never under-estimate the versatility of a good mirror during the holidays!  It will reflect twinkling lights and candle flames back at you, and contribute to the glam factor of a space.  Mirrors aren't just for hanging on walls!  You can use them as coasters or centerpiece platforms too, on coffee tables and sofa tables, buffets, or dining spaces.  I think there is nothing more simple than an oversized glass vase filled with ornaments that coordinate with a particular color scheme, and a grouping of branches (birch is a favorite of mine) extending out like a tree.  Use every available table-top: even a minimalist environment can benefit from groupings and accessories as Christmas is supposed to evoke a feeling of coziness and warmth.

 Photo and Pin Links for Throw Pillow Board:  Bright Blue Patchwork Snowflake Pillow 
Jade Happy Holidays Pillow 

What is a living room without textiles?  Throw pillows in particular are an excellent opportunity to decorate any space.  Why?  Because they require no commitment: if your furniture and walls are neutral, you can fill the room with color using accessories such as pillows that are relatively inexpensive and disposable: you can change your mind or completely change the soul of a room just by switching out the pillows.  Here are a few that I picked out for her and Miguel.  Any of these could go with any of the others.  Don't get matchy matchy.  Don't be afraid to mix pillows, especially when the tones are analogous or in the same color family (such as a variety of shades of green and blue.)  It won't clash, I promise.  Don't be afraid to mix patterns if they are in the same color family either.  And do choose pillows that would work all winter, not just for Christmas.  

Here's the board I made for Jolene's Dining and Kitchen space:  Let me tell you, that light fixture she has above the table is an excellent opportunity to hang ornaments or other paper lantern-like balls to bring in more color and shimmer.  A dining table that beautiful shouldn't be covered by a table-cloth, but a winter or holiday themed runner will really pop and add to the theme.  I've pinned a few examples here with a country quilt style (Etsy, my friend) or you can go in a more glam direction with a plain silver runner or a damask runner.  That china cabinet screams for this lovely ornament wreath to be hung right on the front of it, and that is for sure what I would do.  And a fun idea to bring a holiday touch to the kitchen is to incorporate hand or tea towels in your color choices with winter or holiday images (this example has a reindeer and a pine cone and you could also do this in your guest bath.)  I also thought that purchasing hand-painted or china plates would be an excellent opportunity to extend the theme in the kitchen: put them in a plate stand and you have instant art work that you can "change" out throughout the year depending on the plates you buy seasonally to display.  Jolene and her husband are huge wine buffs, and they even got married in California's wine country.  So, I would be remiss if I didn't suggest that she save some of these wine bottles, and spray paint them white or turquoise and fill with branches for a centerpiece on the kitchen counter!!!!!  And as I said in the living room section, consider mirrors.  A large mirror could sit on the dining room table as a centerpiece base that you top with bowls of ornaments, vases with branches, garlands, or pillar candles entwined with pearls.  And lastly, topiaries like the ones I discovered below in milk glass pots are gorgeous.

Dining and Kitchen Photo and Pin Links:  White Wine bottle decor     White and Silver Ornament Chandelier,   Ornament Chandelier, Black Light FixtureOrnament TopiariesGlam White and Blue Tablescape, Ornament Chandelier  Brown and Turquoise TablescapeWhite Pearl Candle Garden, White BowlQuilted Aqua table runner  Turquoise Snowflake Plate  White Vase and Branches Tablescape   White Buffet with Branches, Frames, blue/green ornaments  Turquoise Damask Table Runner  Ornament Wreath  Mult Dimensional Hanging Blue Snowflake BallsGreen/Blue Plaid Embroidered Snowflake runner  Silver Bowl with Ornaments and Bird   Silver Sequin Holiday Runner  Square Turquoise Decorative Plate r Sage and Brown Rustic hand towels

Okay, I saved the best for last.  Well, not exactly, but when we think of Christmas, what do we think of?  The tree of course: it's the centerpiece of the entire holiday home.  Now, I'm partial to live trees but as I may have mentioned already, I can't really have one in my current apartment for a number of reasons, but my first year with an artificial tree won't be ideal.  I know that Jolene and Miguel haven't decided yet if they are using a real tree, or the higher quality large green artificial tree with white lights they used last year, but I think either way it will look lovely.

Photos and Pin Links for Tree Board:  Turquoise Peacock clip    Turquoise Ornament Bucket  Turquoise Lights   Brown and Turquoise Swirl Ribbon    Mercury Glass Ornaments   Blue/Green Mini Tree    Green/Blue Ornaments on Silver Footed Platter   Aluminum Finial Blue/Green ornaments

Peacock is all the rage right now!  And while I think going with a peacock theme would be not quite right for Jolene and Miguel, I do like the idea of turquoise bird ornament clips which can be found everywhere this year.  Birds are a very traditional, even Victorian Christmas concept and I have always thought it a very sophisticated motif.  Also, I would suggest to Jolene that they add 200 or so turquoise or maybe green lights to their artificial tree over the white lights, just to be a little more daring!  Or if that is too much, ribbon is my go-to way to add color to a tree.  This brown and turquoise scroll ribbon really inspired me.  Use it as a garland around the tree: you don't have to be a perfectionist about it, just walk around the tree in circles draping it loosely.  Don't be afraid to fill in the tree with many ornaments.  The more, the better.  No empty tips!  That has always been my motto.  Mercury glass or aluminum ornaments, in long, finial shapes is very classic, ultra glamorous and a throwback to a vintage time.

I hope you enjoyed this little fantasy tour of my friend's virtual home at Christmas!  And Jolene and Miguel, I wish you so much happiness and holiday cheer this first year in your home.  Holiday decorating is about expressing yourself and creating memories.  Have fun with it! Get Pinning!


  1. OMG!! I am grinning ear to ear! I freaking love this!!! you are the nicest, and your words just made me smile! one - because you called me a dear friend, and I agree, you are a dear friend too :) and because you SOUND like this is your calling and you had so much fun doing this!!! I need to pour through all of this and go with it!! I think this is what we should do when we get together, shop, locally, even, target, michael's etc, tj maxx, and find some goodies! I just do NOT have an eye for something that could work, I have trouble picking through and having a vision! but you SO DO!! this is amazing. YOU are amazing :)

    1. I'm so glad that you liked it! I know I wrote a long message to you back on fb, but I will reiterate here that you don't have to ask me twice to shop with you: I am there! :)