Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pamela Pierce Decorates for Christmas, Veranda 2005

Since I'm sure that there are many other admirers, like myself, of Pamela Pierce's design skills, I thought I would share these images of a beautiful Houston home she decorated for Christmas back in 2006 which was featured in Veranda. As you will see in the images below, her holiday decorations are very simple, yet they look so beautiful and elegant.
18th c. Walnut Doors, French 19th c. Gas Lanterns

I love the natural greens on the railing trailing down to the floor along with the beautiful collection of antique French and Italian lanterns on the staircase.

The greens and pears displayed on the mantel accent the beautiful 18th c. limestone fireplace, while there is a wreath made of greens crowning the 17th c. wooden angel.

Six sepia engravings are beautifully displayed above an Italian console c. 1750.  This is a view of the right side of the room displayed in the above image with the angel and fireplace.

Since I have become more of a minimalist while decorating our tree, I appreciate the all silver ball ornaments and tree top crown.
Italian 17th c. door surround with mirrored panes.  French 18th c. fauteuil in linen.  Italian 
17th c. sconce.

I absolutely LOVE this 19th c. carving of a shepherd.  The table is Portuguese c. 1720.  

This over sized antique wood bowl on the dining room table is filled with an abundance of golden pears and evergreens, and a small topiary with greens is displayed on the buffet.  Since I am constantly burning candles throughout our home, I really love all this candlelight.  Even the chandelier has candles.
Louis XVI trumeaux over French buffet and a Swedish side chair. 

The evergreen wreath with a few pine cones is displayed in the center of the arched window.
Italian 18th c. lyre table made of old elements, 19th c, bibliotheque with Delft and French faience, Italian Painting, Italian 18th c. wood chandelier.

The Christmas tree in this family room is decorated with white candles and white lights.    Greens and pomegranates are set atop the fireplace mantel.
Pair of 18th c. terra-cotta baskets on French limestone mantel.  Oval 19th c. French wine tasting table, French 19th c. round garden table with marble top.

The evergreen roping is beautifully displayed on the railing.
A pair of antique doors on sliders with custom barn hardware.  Framed herbs on wall, Biot jars from France.  

Another simple display of evergreens, pomegranates and candles.
A 19th c. still life above, 18th c. French limestone mantel.  

The small burlap wrapped pots of evergreens add a very subtle holiday accent along with this pair of stunning 18th c. candelabras.
The custom cabinets in this butler's pantry are made of reclaimed Swedish pine.  The sconces are 19th c.  and the cherubs are 18th c.

There is a grouping of topiaries displayed in Italian confit pots on the island.
You cannot miss this 4-inch thick limestone counter with a butcher block inset atop the island.   A 
French 19th c. shop sign is displayed above the range.   Antique iron chandelier.

The white rose and evergreen arrangements add a nice touch to the bathroom.
Iron 19th c. garden table.  

17th c. panel over bed, French 19th c. chandelier.

Lastly, another beautiful mantel decorated with an abundance of evergreens in the master bedroom sitting area.   French limestone mantel and French mirror, both 19th c. 

I hope you enjoyed these images as I cannot tell you how many times I have looked back at these pages.  Pamela's homes are always beautiful, elegant, and comfortable - a look I admire most.

While I like to keep my holiday decorating simple like Pamela, I have been working on it for a few weeks and I'm still not done. Therefore, I have consistently had a mess in my house with evergreens, ribbons, and other accent pieces all over the place.   Am I ever going to have clean floors without pine needles and pieces of pine cones, and finally get to enjoy the finished product?  Maybe its because I have not been very consistent, and have dragged this out way.... too long.  What about you?  Are you the kind of person that is finished decorating your home for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving?  Or, are you still decorating in mid December like me?

Monday, December 12, 2011

"O Christmas Tree" by Mary Carol Garrity

While going thru my stacks of magazines, I remembered that I had purchased a book a few years ago by Mary Carol Garrity titled "O Christmas Tree".  Many of you are familiar with Mary Carol's many books on decorating as well as her two shops in the Kansas City area.   Since I like my decorating to be simple and prefer to decorate with mostly natural greens, I really enjoyed this book.  "O Christmas Tree" demonstrates that you don't have to go over the top with decorating for the holidays to have your house look festive and beautiful.  

Boxwood wreaths are my favorite because they dry beautifully, and I display mine until late spring.

This little stack of books with the plaid flask and covered cylinder add some color.  Did you notice the  the old edition of "Miracle on 34th Street"?

"On the guest room door, a swag of faux evergreens loops around the doorknob, with pinecone artwork signaling both the season and the invitation into this special guest room."
(The image framed on the right comes from a wonderful German book that I discuss at the end of this post).

This combination of chocolate brown, the evergreens and the gold satin bow is classic and beautiful.

The glass cylinders on both sides of the mantel are filled with nuts sprayed silver and gold and topped with pine cones and branches.  The antique mercury candleholder is so stunning as is this beautiful painting.
The table is set for two, and the centerpiece is a silver epergne filled with fresh fruits and greens.  The top flute holds a bouquet  of white roses, hydrangeas, and white looses-trife.  

Fruits make a wonderful holiday decoration.  I like to display antique wood bowls filled with pomegranates or pears with a few evergreens tucked in.  

These concrete busts have wreath of magnolia around their necks.  Mary Carol used these as hostess gifts at a ladies luncheon. 

 The flower arrangement is a combination of granny smith apples, white hydrangeas, ferns, seeded eucalyptus and amaryllis.   

The large bunches of red tulips and roses are displayed in silver plated trophies. These flowers along with the antler candelabra and plaid tablecloth creates a casual elegant table setting.  I love the upholstered monogrammed bench at the head of the table.  This room looks so cozy and inviting.


In the introduction of this book, Mary Carol mentions this small vintage edition book she discovered.  It was published in German and is filled with line art of trees, and details of pine cones.  
"The cover of the book was illustrated with a pattern of Christmas trees, reminiscent of the art nouveau movement where artists and designers found their inspiration in nature and brought to us simple decorative designs that reflected that graphic art form."

I thought this book was so charming, I called the Nells Hill store in Kansas City to get the name of it so I could purchase one for myself.  These images came from my new little book.

While I realize there are many people who prefer to decorate with lots of color and glitz, the simplicity of decorating with natural greens and limited color works for me.  Maybe it's my age, maybe it's because I find simple as more calming and maybe it's because of my love for nature.....  But for my home this style of decorating along with lots of candles is what works for me.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holiday Tabletop by B.D. Jeffries

Since I enjoy looking for creative ideas for holiday decorating, I always look forward to the December issues of my magazines.  This year, I was most impressed with this tabletop design by B.D. Jeffries featured in Atlanta Homes.  This rustic and elegant design is a perfect combination for  my holiday decorating.

This red ribbon on this beautiful mercury pedestal bowl adds just the right touch of color.

These twig trees are fabulous - I might have to find some of these.

The Faux Bois dinnerware  is by Kon-tent.

The glassware has a beautiful shape and the etching adds interest.

If I stacked all of my December magazine issues I have saved over the years for inspiration, it would probably be about three feet high.    While I receive the Veranda and House Beautiful issues online, I still get the hard copy so this pile continues to grow.   Do you have a pile of holiday issues of magazines that you find you can't part with?   

While I have about seven crates of holiday decorations, I now prefer a much more natural look and mostly decorate with fresh greens.  Since our girls are older now and I am not decorating with small children in mind, I prefer "less is more".   I look forward to picking up some greens at the local flower markets this weekend, and start my holiday decorating.