Design Hints

Making Merry

Deck your halls for the season while honoring a spirit of simplicity with these helpful hints.

Vintage American

Madison, Indiana, homeowner Martha Hopwood (featured in our November 2014 issue) finds holiday joy in the sweet simplicity of family traditions and uncomplicated decorating. To infuse your space with no-fuss festive cheer, follow her tried-and-true tips.

Dream theme: Whether you like Santas, snowmen, nutcrackers or Christmas village collectibles, decorating your spaces in a unified theme -- as opposed to disparate bric-a-brac -- creates cohesiveness that draws attention to your special collections. Too many competing elements can be overwhelming to the eye, especially in smaller areas.

Fresh and simple: Nothing says “Christmas” quite like fresh greenery. Arrange large bunches of fresh pine in baskets; layer grasses atop cupboards and along mantels; or weave garland and branches around decorative Christmas figurines. Add berries or ribbon to greens for color, or leave them natural for a rustic look.

Trees, please: “I think trees have the coziest effect at Christmas,” says Martha, who decorates with tannenbaums in a variety of sizes, both bedecked with ornaments and kept unadorned. “I like to leave a lot of the trees plain, with just white or old amber lights on them,” she adds. In addition to a few full-size trees, small versions on tabletops and cabinets further the home’s festive feel. Martha also relies on uniquely shaped trees, such as the one near the stairs (above) to enhance her unfussy look.

Timeless traditions: Reserve prominent spots in your home for your most treasured Christmas heirlooms. This will ensure they don’t get lost in a sea of other decorations and that they get the special attention and admiration they deserve. “The older the decoration, the better it applies meaning to Christmas,” Martha notes. Some of her most cherished yuletide accents are the pecan-resin Santas in her dining room cabinet, set aglow by a small light and adorned with simple greens.

Written by Rebecca Razo
Photographed and Styled by Franklin & Esther Schmidt

This home was featured in the November 2014 issue of Country Sampler.