Crisp, clean and inviting, this West Coast showcase showers a touch of the coast into its holiday decorating.
Sandra Linderman has a lot of reasons to love December 6. That day marks not only her birthday but also the beginning of her annual holiday decorating. “We have a birthday dinner party and then go out to pick out our tree,” she says. “The decorating of the tree and the house for the holidays usually goes on for a few days.”
Their “traditional farmhouse,” built in 1966, is located in Thousand Oaks, California, named for the protected oak trees in the area. Sandra had her eye on the two-story home with its large yard and porch swing for years before it went up for sale in 1988. “The minute it went on the market we bought it,” she says.
Once it was theirs, the antiques dealer and stylist (she has a booth in The Mart Collective in nearby Venice) immediately went to work. Her husband, Jeff, is a general contractor, and “30 years later, we always have a project going,” she explains. Among the renovations they’ve tackled is the kitchen, designed with entertaining in mind. “It’s definitely the heart of our home,” she says.
Simply furnished rooms serve as backdrops for Sandra’s enviable and carefully curated collections, which she describes as “a mix of French and Swedish antiques with a touch of modern.” “Vintage objects are a source of inspiration for my home and my business,” she explains.
That’s especially true during the holidays, when she livens up her year-round palette of white, gray and “a little robin’s egg blue” with fresh greens and other natural elements. (For more on achieving her style, see “Natural Noel” on page 97.) “I love fragrant greenery and flowers,” she explains. “Once those beautiful basics are there, you don’t need much more.”
Christmas or year-round, Sandra’s top tips know no season. “Don’t be a slave to trends,” she advises, and “Always buy what you love.” For her, that includes old ironstone, miniature French horses, and things with a chippy or aged patina. The daughter of artists, she also gravitates toward old painter’s palettes, empty frames, old linens and salvaged architectural elements.
Keeping things simple and integrating carefully chosen seasonal items leaves her plenty of time to enjoy family and friends. “I love the holidays, spending time with our three grown children, decorating our tree, cooking and playing games,” she says. “We enjoy every minute.” ABOVE A vintage dough box is pressed into service for paperwhites in the master bedroom, where Sandra adds cedar roping to architectural elements and year-round artwork.
“I love fragrant greenery and flowers. Once those BEAUTIFUL BASICS are there, you don’t need much more.”
“Don’t be a slave to trends; ALWAYS BUY WHAT YOU LOVE.”
“I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS, spending time with our three grown children, decorating our tree, cooking and playing games. We enjoy every minute.”
The Lindermans’ serene living room is open to the kitchen, where the family frequently entertains family and friends.
LEFT Sandra and her 27-year-old daughter, Emily, prep for the holidays. Sandra’s favorite ornaments are the ones her three grown children made when they were small, she says.
RIGHT A sweet bust and stack of books on the bedside table in the master bedroom get the holiday treatment with strategically placed greenery.
The master bedroom features high ceilings and the same pleasing palette found throughout the rest of the house.
LEFT The daughter of artists, Sandra collects vintage painter’s palettes, among other things. She rotates items frequently, selling accents in her booth when she tires of them to keep her collections fresh.
ABOVE The Lindermans expanded the kitchen years ago to make it more conducive to their frequent entertaining.
RIGHT Sandra is drawn to old raw wood and vintage linens. This antique horse gets dressed in blue ribbon for Christmas.
LEFT Pieces from Sandra’s sizable ironstone pottery collection fill an antique bookcase in the kitchen dining area. Sandra tucks pinecones and ornaments in for a festive touch without a lot of work or extra expense.
BELOW Sandra mixes ornaments with driftwood, petrified shells, rocks and coral, or “basically anything with patina,” she says.
ABOVE An antique apothecary cabinet serves as stylish storage. Sandra adds sparkle with vintage and new ornaments in a patina- rich wooden trough. LEFT A vintage teddy bear from Sandra’s collection of worn and weathered furry friends waits for Santa on the staircase to the second floor.