Happy Wednesday, everyone!
Just last Wednesday, we had such a warm weather, and now it’s “Happy New Year!” – winter all over again. Something is up with ‘global warming’ these days 🙂
Let’s see what I’ve got for you today: Read the rest of this entry
Everyone has a notion of what the season’s palette should be. There are the traditionalists, who celebrate with jewel-toned baubles and stockings in red-and-green plaids; the sophisticates, who prefer an elegant, snow-evoking montage of ivory and beige with the occasional gold sparkle; and those in between, who opt for both color and subtlety with the cool palette of blue and silver.
Boston-based designer Anthony Catalfano and his partner, Steven Kapfhammer, enjoy variations of all three schemes at Christmastime, permitting each to dazzle with its own point of view. When they bought their Brookline, Massachusetts, home in 2004, they decided to mix palettes in a way that would not only be pleasing all year, but also especially conducive to their enthusiastic holiday decorating and entertaining.
“There’s no one color that we use in our home, just as I don’t decorate in one signature style,” explains Anthony. “This house has a little bit of everything, but every color accepts Christmas decoration beautifully. The variety of palettes makes the house look happy all year.”
Although the designer isn’t generally in favor of an “anything goes” approach to color, he believes that the architecture of his home, a 1902 Georgian Colonial, warrants a color change from room to room. Its layout boasts an expansive central stair hall with rooms independently radiating out in several directions.
Wallpapered in a geometric pattern to enhance the millwork, the neutral-toned entry plays the role of palette cleanser, much like a lemon sorbet served between courses of an elaborate meal. The hall has a rich flavor all its own, anchored with a grand piano on which Anthony plays spirited carols. During the holidays, the piano serves as a base for one of the home’s Christmas trees and a collection of English caroler figurines. This decorative pairing spreads cheer at the seasonal parties that Anthony and Steven throw, sometimes hosting more than 80 people.
“Everyone has a checklist when they purchase a home, and one of our requirements was a house that could accommodate lots of people,” says Anthony. “For our party, we hire a pianist, and a caterer to make goodies. Everyone has a great time.”
Window treatments, sofas, and chairs in unmatched fabrics mingle in the living room as congenially as the guests. The space is warm and welcoming with a yellow strié pattern covering the walls. Here, a smaller version of the main Christmas tree sits atop a side table draped with a festive red cloth. An Asian-style garden chair is painted green and cushioned in a silk chinoiserie print on a chocolate brown background.
A red room is one of the hallmarks of design Anthony takes with him from house to house. It’s also the perfect accompaniment to a profusion of Christmas accessories. In this house, Anthony assigned red to the den, where the classic mantel is bedecked with poinsettias and berry-studded topiaries.
Anthony’s signature “red room” is the den, where the crackled wallpaper pattern mimics the movement of flames. Holiday accessories find a home in this cheerful room, where the mantel is festooned with cheerful poinsettias and berries.
In the foyer, an antique Chippendale chair in a festive red cotton with ivory medallions serves as a piano bench, while figurines of carolers cluster around the Christmas tree. The ornaments on the home’s Christmas trees serve as an unconventional scrapbook of memories from years past.
The fireplace mantel in the living room is festooned with greenery, nutcrackers, and Christmas balls. Needlepoint stockings add handcrafted whimsy, while the tree’s colorful Christopher Radko glass ornaments provide more holiday charm.
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Touches of metal instantly give any mantel a festive touch. Shauna West used a variety of simple silver pieces and filled in the spaces with fresh rosemary and evergreen clippings from her backyard to create her holiday display. Since the mantel is often the focal point of the room, Shauna suggests using items on your mantel that mean something to you, such as a vase or picture, to bring a personal touch to holiday tradition.
Alysha Cauffman wanted to blend warmth and sophistication when she put together her mantel. Fresh greenery from her yard, oversize elf-toe stockings, and classic silver votives made her mantel look both simple and chic. She created her mini wreath by wrapping garland around a foam wreath and attached the ornaments with hot-glue. At the center of it all? Her black-and-white wedding photo.
Playful and color-packed at Christmas — you bet! Mindy Black‘s main focus was to keep her mantel fun and light, which included incorporating felt stockings. She created the cranberry wreath by sticking short toothpicks into real cranberries, securing them with hot glue to a foam wreath.
Let your imagination soar when it comes to your holiday mantel. Heidi Parson received a lot of compliments on her colorful, leopard-lined stockings and weeping cedar garland. Heidi used oversize ornaments to convey strength and cohesion. A glass doorknob adds height and provides a place to hang a pretty wreath.
Choosing your palette is incredibly important when it comes to creating a mantel that reflects your family. Linda MacDonald suggests using several larger pieces that make a statement. Her fabric sign, purchased from an online craft designer, fatures pretty white words on a soft blue background. Find similar cardboard deer heads, hurricane vases, and decorative white trees at your local crafts store.
Skip the traditional pine and fill your mantel with greenery from the yard. Susan Herin used magnolia branches from her Southern Magnolia tree and added berries from her Nandina bushes.
Create your own winter wonderland by rolling out thin snow batting onto a flat surface. Nita Stacy made scalloped edges by pressing a candleholder onto the material and cutting half circles. She used branches from a white Christmas tree and miniature vintage elves and houses to fill out the bulk of the mantel. For the final touch, she created faux snowflakes by draping fishing line with cotton balls strung on it.