Imitation, mitation it has been said, is the sincerest form of flattery, and in the case of this month’s cover, it also is a rich source of inspiration. Our staff was quite energized by all the wonderful ideas and styles in this issue’s featured homes, but we were especially taken with the beautiful decor in Maryann and Michael Roche’s dining room (see the first photo in “Colonial Traditions,” pages 60–69). We were so much in the holiday decorating frame of mind that we decided to reinterpret and recreate the Roches’ country Christmas scene for our cover. Indiana residents Robin and David Fullenkamp graciously “loaned” their lovely home to Country Sampler stylists René Haines and Carolynn Geesaman, photographer Scott Campbell and me to use as our canvas. Here are six takeaway ideas from our photo shoot that are easily adaptable to any decorating style:
➊ Down to basics.
René and Carolynn set the stage for a woodland display with a length of burlap topped off with two red runners. A painted door panel base can be moved with ease at dinnertime.
➋ Bird’s-eye view.
Carolynn and René created a focal point using distressed tin candleholders dressed up with burlap bird ornaments nesting in a layer of faux greens.
➌ Pail in comparison.
Carolynn copied the candleholders’ finish by painting and sandpapering a bucket, which is topped by a tree form covered in imitation cranberries.
➍ A very berry Christmas.
Berries are bountiful throughout the room—on ornaments, in the vase and mixed among greens.
➎ Getting flaky.
Small snowflake ornaments on the tree and in the centerpiece complement the large flakes on the mantel.
➏ Ties that bind.
To pull the whole look together, René adorned a wreath with a third bird ornament. As it turns out, Robin’s wreath was a perfect companion to the tabletop vignette, as it came equipped with a string of jingle bells that match those on the garland in Santa’s hands and the one on his hat. We hope that the homes and ideas inside fill you with the spirit of holiday decorating. We wish you and your family a joyous and festive Christmas season! Donna Marcel Editor firstname.lastname@example.org