Cottages & Bungalows
DECORATE LIKE A PRO
Did you ever wish a stylist could help you deck your halls for Christmas? Wish granted! Veteran stylist, photographer and art director Sunday Hendrickson reveals how to create magazine-worthy holiday décor that reflects your personality.
Learn from veteran stylist, art director and photographer Sunday Hendrickson how to create magazine-worthy holiday décor reflecting your uniqueness.
Imagine if you were styling and directing content for magazines and brands, and then could apply your skills to decorating your own home. For Sunday Hendrickson, that is her reality. The stylist, photographer and art director has over 30 years of experience working for publications like Ladies’ Home Journal and brands like Gucci. However, it can be a double-edged sword: “I can’t go into a restaurant without envisioning how I would rearrange it!” she says. But when it comes to styling her Venice, California, home for Christmas, Sunday channels her expertise into spirited décor that changes each year.
“My garden shed has tons of boxes,” she says. “If you ask what’s in them, the answer is ‘Christmas’! They are labeled with different themes, like ‘Blue Christmas,’‘Flower Power Christmas,’ or ‘Rock ’n’ Roll Christmas.’” For this year’s theme, Sunday chose “A Walk in the Country.”
ADD COLOR AND TEXTURE
Colors evoke different moods, so be sure to pick the right combination and think outside the traditional red and green or blue and white box for your Christmas décor. Sunday selected a surprising palette of brown, gray, black and green. “I’ve become a neutral girl, she says. “I used to add color to the homes I photographed to give the images punch, but now I believe that soft neutral colors let the personality of both the home and its occupants shine through.”
Her color scheme feels especially rustic, and she heightens it with texture because “textures add the interest to a neutral color scheme,” she says. Since moving from New York to Los Angeles, Sunday has taken to hiking and gardening, and her newfound appreciation for nature inspired her textural elements with greenery and feathers. Wild turkey feathers gathered from her niece’s property in Connecticut and her friend’s farm in Michigan highlight the browns and grays, while fir branches foraged from her neighborhood add the perfect wintry green. The natural elements engage additional senses: The feathers are soft to the touch, and the greenery adds fragrance. Create your own custom color palette this year!
“I think holiday magic should appear in every room.”
Kale, kiwis, grape leaves and socks. Sunday includes all these and more in her holiday décor. “It’s important to always plan a surprise and use items in different ways,” she says. One of her unusual masterpieces is a head of kale on the top of her Christmas tree. “I wanted something unique and beautiful as a topper,” she says. “I thought about the space and what would be the right shape—and it came to me.” Plan your décor according to the areas you need to style and the right inspiration will find you.
“It’s important to always plan a surprise and use items in different ways.”
“I’ve become a neutral girl. I used to add color to the homes I photographed to give the images punch, but
now I believe that soft neutral colors let the personality of both the home and its occupants
Other unexpected accessories from Sunday’s styling bag of tricks include using insulated socks in place of traditional stockings and grape leaves wrapped around pillar candles. She also uses faux snow as a tablecloth and adorns her Christmas cake with kiwis. In Sunday’s hands, all these items are repurposed and add a sense of wonder to her Christmas décor. Surprising details offer a new point of view and make the holiday experience memorable, both for guests and homeowners.
Think beyond just the visible areas of your home for your holiday décor. When Sunday photographs homes for magazines, she often notices that the décor is limited to the exterior and living room. “I think holiday magic should appear in every room,” she says. You should enjoy your home as much as your guests—if not more—and you can do that by styling your bedrooms and master bathroom. That way, Christmas cheer will surround you in every area of your home. For her master bedroom, Sunday worked within the small confines of the space. There was no room for a dimensional tree in the bedroom, and there was a big blank white wall over the bed—so Sunday knew what to do. “The blank space was staring at me,” she says. “So I collected branches and stalks of varying sizes on my hikes, threw in sprigs of sage and, with the help of my daughter, pulled it together with silver wire and fishing line.” The quirky tree takes up zero space yet brings loads of holiday cheer.
With Sunday’s tips as your guide, you can create holiday décor that looks like it was pulled from the pages of a magazine!