Home Is Where the Heart Is
Partners Jeff and Jeffery use small vignettes to dress their Wisconsin home with holiday cheer.
For more on Jeff and Jeffery, visit them on Instagram @twocavaliergentlemen.
WHEN IT COMES TO FINDING FLEA-MARKET DÉCOR,
partners and homeowners
Jeff Cunningham and Jeffery Fredendall look for the uncommon. “It’s all about what catches our eye. If something looks interesting or unique, we’ll buy it and accessorize around it,” says Jeff.
Jeffery agrees, “Even during the holiday season, we like to use a lot of the everyday. We tend to leave everything out and add to it.” Rather than redecorating the whole house, the homeowners prefer to mix the old with the new. And the pair aims to bring about cheer and glee through the use of vignettes or groupings, sprinkling pieces with stories and meaning throughout their home.
Jeff and Jeffery make it look like a breeze, but when it comes to styling vignettes, creating visual depth is key. It goes beyond varying the height and size of items, although that is a great first step.
“It’s about scale,” Jeffery explains. “We tend to buy
smaller items because we have a lot of windows, and we don’t have room for bigger pieces. Instead we incorporate little items.” For example, the pair decorated a small tinsel tree with even smaller red baskets, ribbons and beads to add layers of visual interest.
Consider the impression you want to make too. The duo’s cozy abode benefits when items are grouped together asymmetrically, creating a sense of casual ease. On the other hand, if you prefer a modern design scheme, establish order and symmetry by assembling objects in a straight line, and don’t place them too close to one another.
“We don’t shy away from mixing different colors, patterns and textures,” Jeffery says. “We use more burlap and a lot of plaid during the holiday season.” Burlap and plaid add a homey quality, and they soften the wood, metal and glass materials around the house.
While the mix of materials creates a pleasing aesthetic, color is just as important. “Lucky for us, we’re drawn to the color red, so it’s really about adding green,” Jeffery says. Indeed, hints of green—a wreath and a few trees—are scattered throughout. Using fresh, living plants will infuse the house with a wintry scent too.
Jeffery adds, “We live in upper Wisconsin, where the climate is cold and dark, so the more color the better, especially for the holidays.”
opposite: USING GREENERY—PINE
and holly, among other kinds—is an essential part of holiday decorating. The wreath with light-blue berries acts as the focal point of this vignette, bringing freshness to the scene.
WHEN THE PRESENTS ARE WRAPPED
and placed beneath the tree, the homeowners accessorize smaller spaces with leftover ribbon. Jeff says, “We have an extensive collection of ribbon, and it’s a great way to add plaid to the home.”
left: SELTZER BOTTLES with brass tops pair well with the banquet lamp behind them, which Jeff unearthed from his great uncle’s attic. The bronze shades complement one another, and when the lamp is turned on, it sets the bottles aglow.opposite: BRASS BELLS and old keys dangle from metal hooks, rings and twine against an old cabinet. The cabinet itself belonged to a former traveling salesman before the pair picked it up. Meanwhile, bright red berries pop out of an old-fashioned Lucky Strike tin, adding a burst of color to the otherwise neutral tones.