All I Want for Christmas
TRANSFORM YOUR DECORATING IDEAS INTO A COHESIVE CHRISTMAS PALETTE.
Transform your decorating ideas into a cohesive Christmas color palette.
Every Christmas, homeowners Sally and Dan Volney open their home to friends and family.
While stylishness is important, what’s even more important to the Volneys is creating a warm and inviting Christmas look for their guests.
For other homeowners, it may be overwhelming to try and fill the house with the right kind of cheerful décor. The Volneys had help—designer Dawn Hearn was there to take their great ideas and transform them into stunning décor. Dawn and the Volneys have easy-to-follow tips to make sure your home is ready for the holidays. Below are six simple steps to create a warm home with an inviting Christmas feel.
PRE-GAME PLAN: ASK FOR HELP
The Volneys had amazing ideas and were brave enough to step outside the home for decorating help. Not only did they enlist Dawn’s help, but even Dawn enlisted outside help. “We worked with Michele Christenson of Peacock’s Plumage in Austin, Texas,” Dawn says. “Michele helped us with the fabrication of the wreaths, mantel swags, garlands and bows.”
Don’t be afraid to ask friends, family members and even amateur décor lovers for help. Seeing your home through the eyes of others will open your Christmas look up to fresh ideas.
STEP ONE: INTEGRATE YOUR EVERYDAY PALETTE
While getting a fresh perspective on your Christmas décor is important, don’t feel like you’re obligated to gut your whole house for a makeover. If you adore your everyday color palette, try integrating it into your Christmas décor. It may be just one color, or it may be the color palette from a particularly cheerful and inviting room. Either way, you can create a unique Christmas theme that incorporates your home’s everyday look.
Look around and see what colors you’re already using. Whites and blues create bright, airy and inviting interiors, while reds and golds make any room feel warm. “The homeowners like reds and golds, and these colors were used throughout the home in the finishes and furnishings,” says Dawn. “We took direction from the rugs, fabrics, art and upholstery in each area.”
Even if you only like an accent color, try using it as a theme throughout your Christmas home. A single unifying color will tie everything together and create a more cohesive look.
STEP TWO: PERSONAL TOUCHES
After using your own color scheme as inspiration, make sure your holiday décor matches your own tastes. Showcase and maintain your unique personality in the wreaths, garlands and ornaments. Highlight your different sides by showcasing individual pieces and integrating those pieces with your Christmas décor.
Dawn made sure that all the different sides of the Volneys were present in the decorations. “We wanted each tree and room to be different and interesting in its own way,” Dawn says. “For example, the tree in the study features more masculine details, like antlers and pheasant feathers.”
Show off your own style in little ways—small touches in the Christmas tree and over the fireplace mantel, or go big with a Victorian Christmas doll or another interesting collectible.
STEP THREE: USE WHAT YOU HAVE
Besides relying on your color palette and your unique decorative items, bust out collections of Christmas pieces you already own. You can place ornaments in different areas besides your Christmas tree to create a warm, collected look. Dawn used the Volneys’ Christopher Radko ornament collection for the living room Christmas tree design to help keep the space personal and eye-catching. For a cheerful look throughout the entire house, spread your collections apart and add them to more than just the main Christmas tree.
STEP FOUR: WHIMSY FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Integrating your color scheme and unique décor pieces can create a cohesive look for your Christmas design, but don’t forget to try new and different styles of decoration. From the input of friends and family, see what kind of holiday whimsy you can create in more than just the living room and dining room. Dawn helped the Volneys open up different spaces in their house to the holiday spirit. “The trees in the secondary spaces like the back entrance hall and breakfast room are more whimsical in nature and let us play with some different materials,” Dawn says. For that whimsical look, try not only different materials, but colors, textures and lighting.
STEP FIVE: SUBTLE TOUCHES
While large flourishes in a house make the overall effect festive, don’t forget about the more subtle and smaller pieces. Dawn made sure every nook and cranny was bursting with warmth in the Volney home. “We addressed many areas in the home beyond just the trees,” Dawn says. “We made sure to decorate the chandeliers, some of the mirrors and the staircase with a wonderful, embellished garland.”
Don’t be afraid to ask friends, family members and even amateur décor lovers for help.
Look throughout your house and see if there are any areas that would benefit from a small collection of Christmas figurines or garlands, or layer your color-coordinated décor with ribbons and ornaments. These small changes create a unique look for your home during the holiday season. “This layering of beautiful elements gives your home a warm, collected look,” Dawn says.
STEP SIX: MIX IT UP
So, you’ve listened to the advice of friends and family, integrated your everyday color palette, created whimsy and worked on the little nooks and crannies, and now it’s time to decorate for next year. You look through your collections and colors and suddenly you think, what now?
Christmas comes every year, so don’t be afraid to mix things up from year to year. If you loved your palette one year, and weren’t so in love with it later, why not start fresh? “Each year, we do things a little differently,” Dawn says. “We might put all of the trees up or just select areas, depending on what their plans are for that particular holiday season.”
With your hints of whimsy and personality on display, take time to admire your Christmas handiwork, and then invite friends and family over to share your space.
Left, top. Ornamentation is not ostentation. Garlands and wreaths strategically placed along staircase bannisters create a bold and fun pop of color, while keeping a cohesive and traditional Christmas look. Left, bottom. Mix elements to create not only Christmas cheer, but fun party conversations. Keep your visitors interested by showcasing your traditional Christmas stockings in more eye-popping places, like a hat rack or near your entryway.
Offset the richness and warmth of your Christmas color palette with lighter pastels and accent whites. Christmas dishes are one of the best ways to showcase cooler colors and highlight a more neutral palette.
Mix and match in proportion to create depth. Large items like your Christmas tree present ample opportunity to showcase collections of brightly-colored ornaments, fancy fabric ribbons and other small pieces.