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.  


  1. One of the other blogs I read (and there are zillions) mentioned that none of the shelter magazines had much in the way of christmas decorating, not even mentioning the actual word, christmas.

  2. I don’t know how should I give you thanks! I am totally stunned by your article. You saved my time. Thanks a million for sharing this article.

  3. Hi, Patti! I recently found an amazing antique WMF peppermill and I thought you might like it as much as I do. Can I send you some pictures? :-)

  4. You made an article that is interesting.You are so amazing.

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