A Festive Home for the Holidays

Unique and inspiring decorating tips

By Sue Baldani

When Jessica Merryweather Pollard opened her home, gift and design store in the summer of 2021 in the Box Factory in Bend, Oregon, she focused on making it a place where people could find something that expressed their unique tastes. She also likes to encourage customers to think outside the box. With the holidays coming, she especially wants to promote decorating in a style that incorporates the traditional with the unexpected.

In order to keep a sense of continuity in the décor, Jessica advises choosing a color palette and carrying that theme throughout the house. This way, from the time you and your guests walk up to the front door, then walk into the living room, the dining room and possibly the powder room, everything feels connected.

Here, she gives us some ideas on how to make your home as festive and fun as can be this holiday season.

Front of home/porch

If you have a pot that you keep flowers in during the summer, transition that into a holiday theme using white or natural colored sticks with a mix of evergreens and even feathers. I usually do evergreen and juniper, and then I’ve used these red sticks that come off my crab apple tree.

One the front door, you could do a swag or a wreath, but I like to do greens around the border of my door and then add some fun color using ornaments and lightweight outdoor bulbs.

Living room

Most Christmas trees go in the living room, so the tree is going to be the focal point. The tree is also going to set the tone for how you’re going to decorate the rest of the room. You can go the traditional route of reds, greens, creams, golds and silvers, or follow the trend of super neutral. People have been doing white trees with lots of cream, taupe and gray ornaments. If you’re going to really kick it up and go kind of modern, it’s really fun to do navy blues, hot pinks and citrus. So, first decide how you want to decorate your tree.

If there’s a fireplace with a mantle, your next step would be to connect the mantle to the tree using the same colors. If you’re going traditional, you could use evergreens on the mantle, but if you’re going more neutral, you could use a pinecone swag or a feather garland – something that’s more browns and creams. Add candles in whatever colors you have going on with the tree.

On the sofa, you can add holiday pillows such as the Cross Country Skiers pillows we carry from Coral & Tusk, which uses a linen foundation with embroidery on it.

On your coffee table, try using a tray that has a winter arrangement with candles or you can do a bowl full of these really pretty wooden acorns we carry. There’s a really nice gold on the cap part.

Whatever color palette you do choose, you want to repeat the color at least three times in the room. I call it a three-point connection.

Dining room

It’s pretty to dress up the dining room table with a table runner, and you can find them in all different colors and textures. One of my favorites, Christmas Cheer, is also from Coral & Tusk and has bears on it. It’s absolutely gorgeous and whimsical. There are reds, greens, oranges and browns, which are really pretty and not the typical green and red plaid. You can then have your plates and napkins bring out some of the colors that are in that runner. Be creative.

You can also take sofa pillows and put them on dining room chairs to dress them up. It’s sometimes fun to find things that don’t scream Christmas, but are instead more about winter. The skier pillows, for example, are decorations you can keep out after the holiday. So don’t box yourself into Santa Claus or Christmas trees.

We sell a pretty candle holder you can put on a sideboard that you could fill with pinecones or evergreens instead of candles. Again, think outside the box.

We also have these African Zulu baskets that are all very neutral and you can mix in things you already have in your house with say marble Christmas trees and make it very organic.

Powder room

We have these beautiful tea towels, again from Coral & Tusk. One has a Christmas tree and all these critters hiding in the tree looking out at you. Another is a tinsel tree with bears, ice skating bears and, of course, the ski buddies bears.

There are many fun things to do. It doesn’t always have to be classic greens and reds. Hopefully, this gives you some new and fresh ideas.

To find out more, go to https://www.merryweather.shop/.

Written for Bend Lifestyle magazine in Oregon.

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