Design Hints

Make Way for Traditional Trimmings

Stick with tradition this year as you deck your halls with holiday favorites, from classic colors to fresh seasonal fare.

Out with the new, in with the old! To keep an authentic country-Christmas feel at her Morris, Illinois, cabin, Judy Daggett steers clear of holiday accents that feel too new or novel -- no feather-trimmed stockings or purple reindeer figurines here. "I don't like the new, modern things," she says. "I like the log-cabin look. It's just a warm, fuzzy feeling." For fellow antiques lovers and fans of lodge style, Judy offers the following seasonal-style tips:

Color it classic: Judy opts for a traditional palette of rich reds and forest greens, highlighted here and there by country blues in quilts and rugs and on the jackets on several of her beloved wood Santas.

Spruce up, don't shell out: Rather than loading up on season-specific decor, Judy highlights her year-round accents with inexpensive yuletide fare. One perfect example: Her miniature log cabins get dressed up for the holidays by being paired with scaled-to-size Christmas trees and evergreen branches placed around the cabins' bases.

Never underestimate the value of nature:
There's no easier way to infuse fresh style and texture, as well as create fullness, in a display than to add natural elements. One poinsettia at the hearth is a classic holiday touch; staggering three or more around the fireplace makes a statement. And, pinecones, seasonal fruits and more are also great go-to accents.
Don't be afraid to go big: "When I get hooked on something, I get hooked bad," Judy jokes. Fifty quilts, 15 to 20 jugs, and uncounted numbers of wood Santas and blue-glazed saltware pieces are proof that Judy commits to her collections. She's not rigid about styles and sizes, preferring to keep her collections looking connected via their palette. And when she sees an item at a flea market or a garage sale that "speaks" to her, she's not afraid to buy it on the spot. If needed, a little paint can go a long way in turning an intriguing find into the perfect room addition.

Written by Christine LaFave Grace
Photographed by Maurice Victoria
Styled by Catherine Parker & Pamela Hamilton