Decorating For Christmas – REPOST!


I posted this last year with only 10 days until Christmas. Here it is again this year with a little more time to think about your holiday decor for 2017.  Are you doing anything different with your decorations this year?

Let the Countdown Begin

Well, here we are with ten days left until Christmas and I’m just now blogging about holiday decorations. I had every intention to post this sooner, but if I’m being honest the finishing touches to my Christmas décor are happening today.

How did Christmas 2016 get so far away from us? I know I’m not alone because so many people I’ve spoken to are also feeling as frazzled as I am.

When normally my sunroom window sills would be full of festive Christmas cards, today I only have a few dozen. They are beginning to come in more steadily, but the delay seems to support my personal feeling that Christmas crept up on us more quickly than usual this year.

So, if you are like me and a little bit behind the eight ball, maybe you still have some decorating to do. When I’m decorating for Christmas I get a lot of inspiration from the homes and places I visit.  Here’s how I’m decorating this year.

Decoration Inspiration

I have always been a big fan of white lights on the Christmas tree. I just love the look of it. But recently I’ve also fallen in love with red and white lights together. Last year, when I first tried the red and white combo I decided to try a themed Christmas tree too. We went for a rustic red and white theme.  As much as I loved it and still do, I missed all the other ornaments that didn’t fit the theme. I couldn’t bear keeping them in a box, so last year I tacked all of them onto a bulletin board.  This year, time was limited so I took the easy way out and placed all of my sweet and sentimental ornaments in a big bowl – so easy, so fun and so full of memories.

Here is my fun bowl of ornaments and a couple of other Christmas decorations that always make a statement.

Bowl of Christmas ornaments, musical snow globe, candy cane hurricane filler
Top: The ornament bowl. Bottom left: One of my ultimate favorites – musical snow globe. Sits center stage on the mantel. Bottom right: Candy cane hurricane filler – Yes, I had to unwrap each of those individually – Worth it!


When it Comes to Decorating for Christmas, Less is More

Something that I learned when photographing homes for publication is that certain, special things can and should stand alone. Often when decorating for Christmas, we have a tendency to go with the more is more philosophy. A minimalist at heart; I have come to truly appreciate the less is more approach, especially at the holidays.

If I have a home accent or holiday decoration that is sentimental or special in some way, I make it the focus. This is the case with this beautiful Simon Pearce glass Christmas tree that Tony fell in love with on a trip up to Vermont last year. This exquisite example of craftsmanship sits simply in our entry way atop a platform that illuminates taking the tree’s beauty to another level. It makes me happy every time I walk by it.

Simon Pearce glass Christmas tree
I love the way this Simon Pearce glass Christmas tree lights up the hall.


Winter Whites

Another trend I like and have incorporated into our traditional holiday trimmings is winter whites. With all of the wonderful colors Christmas decorations bring to our homes, it’s nice to find a place where neutral, but festive, décor can allow the eyes to rest a bit before moving on to the next bold and beautiful thing.

Joy Snowbird table decoration, gingerbread house, white nativity
Winter white!


My joyful snowbird display has become one of my new favorite Christmas decorations along with the white nativity that has been in my family for generations. Originally my Noni’s, the wooden manger was hand built by my grandfather. I even decorated an all-white gingerbread house this year to add to the theme.

Old Meets New

When it comes to decorating for Christmas I love holding up all of my family’s traditions as well as introducing some new looks and styles that may become traditions for my children in the future.

Have you tried anything new when decorating for Christmas this year? What are your favorite ways to dress up your home for the holidays?

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Tabletop and Bar Cart Decor at The Boston Design Center

masquerade inspired bar cart decor
Michelle Cortizo of Cortizo Interiors.

A few of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of joining my design friends for a first of its kind event at the Boston Design Center. Before I get event specific, allow me to mention that the Boston Design Center is an event destination not to be missed. I first fell in love with BDC for its floors of fabulous design showrooms and now it’s becoming a go-to spot for cool events too. Honestly, I get so excited for my field trips to BDC, I should just pop a tent in there and call it my home away from home. Keep an eye out for future BDC events.

The Event

OK, now onto the event. It was called Heading Home to Dinner and featured tabletop and bar cart decor by our area’s top designers. The barren fifth floor space of the Boston Design Center was transformed for a sold-out evening of music, schmoozing and decorative inspiration. Proceeds went to the non-profit Heading Home.

With the holidays upon us, enjoy these exquisite photos by my friend Emily O’Brien of Emily O’Brien Photography. Let them spark ideas for your own festive tabletop or bar cart decor. Follow Emily on Instagram: EmilyOBrienPhoto or EmilyOBrienPhoto_Design. Keep an eye out on Emily’s blog for more great photos from this event.


Tabletop Decor

This tabletop was named Compass Rose-Putting Boston on the Map and was a wonderful nod to the Boston Seaport. It was designed by Renee Rucci Design and Julie Wood of The Leading Edge Drapery.
A tabletop by Pamela Copeman Design pays homage to Claude Monet. I love the centerpiece of paintbrushes and the use of framed art.
I’m mad for Duffy Design Group’s,  Alice’s Acid Tea Party table. So fun and colorful!

Bar Cart Decor

Looking down! New Year’s Champagne, a masquerade inspired bar cart by Michelle Cortizo of Cortizo Interiors.
Nantucket inspired bar cart decor by Linda Holt Creative
Linda Holt of Linda Holt Interiors brought Nantucket to Boston with this pretty bar cart.
Summer inspired bar cart decor
Kim Macumber of Kim Macumber Interiors created The Summer Cart complete with plantlife, artwork and, of course, cocktails!

Bonus Photo Courtesy of Yours Truly

I couldn’t resist adding this photo that I snapped of Wendy Ditcham Interiors’ Springtime in Paris. So lovely!


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Junior League of Boston 2017 Designer Show House

Oh, how I love this event! I recently attended the 2017 Boston Designer Show House press day. Last year, I blogged about Boston Show House 2016, so couldn’t wait to indulge my every interior design fantasy yet again.

Emily O’Brien Photography

Accompanying me again was friend, photographer and fellow blogger, Emily O’Brien, of Emily O’Brien Photography. Check out her blog for even more fantastic photos from the 2017 show house and follow her on Instagram. Enjoy all of today’s photos courtesy of Emily O’Brien Photography.

The 2017 Designer Show House

This year, the Junior League of Boston partnered with the Belmont Women’s Club to transform their headquarters located at 661 Pleasant St. Belmont, MA. The historic building, the 1853 William Flagg Homer House, is set picturesquely on a hill overlooking the Boston skyline.

Boston-area interior designers and landscapers from as far as New Hampshire and Maine came together to transform over 20 rooms/spaces. Their elegant, eclectic and even edgy results are now on display through November 5, 2017 -Wednesdays to Sundays.

If you admire fine design, this is a trip worth making. It is a full experience of color, texture, style, innovation and pure decorative pleasure.

Tickets are $40 at Proceeds support the mission of the Junior League of Boston.

While each and every room of the Designer Show House is unique, one trend I noticed was the presence of highly stylized bookcases. The featured photo and two below are perfect examples.

Kim Macumber Interiors

Kim Macumber of Kim Macumber Interiors did an incredible job turning a tiny pantry into a Parisian garden-inspired environment. From the hand-painted floral ceiling to the copper, flower petal sink, I’d be happy to prep dinner in “Le Petite Pantry” any time.

Designer Show House Pantry
Le Petite Pantry by Kim Macumber. Photo by Emily O’Brien
Designer Show House Pantry
Le Petite Pantry by Kim Macumber. Look at that ceiling! Photo by Emily O’Brien.

Boehm Graham Interior Design

To my friends in Bedford, NH you’ll be interested to know that mother-daughter design team Kacey Graham and Micheale Boehm of Boehm Graham Interior Design took on the transformation of “The Toasting Room.” This bright and beautifully styled room was one of my favorites featuring white and gray tones with pops of orange.

The Toasting Room by Boehm Graham Interior Design. Photo by Emily O’Brien.
The Toasting Room by Boehm Graham Interior Design. Photo by Emily O’Brien.

Bonus Photos

Two more of my favorites.

This living wall of gorgeous greenery is part of Paige Lewin’s:Tess & Ted’s Interiors and Ana Bonilla’s: AnaVera Design “A Room of One’s Own.” Love!


Designer Show House Living greenery
I adore this! Living greenery wall by Paige Lewin of Tess and Ted Interiors. Photo by Emily O’Brien


The Grand Foyer blew me away! The pink stairs, the stained glass, the flock of birds…spectacular. Cutting Edge Homes, Inc.

Designer Show House Foyer
Now that’s a staircase!


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Original Art For Your Home – What’s on Your Walls?

Black and White Design by Angela Nannini


I have long been a fan of original artwork. I like a pretty picture, but I also like the story behind a painting or photo that has been selected with purpose and feeling. Maybe the art features a place close to your heart, maybe the artist is someone you admire or maybe the art just speaks to you in a special way.

Whatever the reason behind choosing original art for your home, you’ll likely find it an invaluable conversation piece.

On Sunday, I was happy to attend a pop up art show highlighting original art for your home.

The event was held at Painting with a Twist, North Andover’s newest BYOB painting studio. What a great space!

Darlene Allen of D. Allen Design hosted several talented artists whose work was on display.  Darlene is an interior architectural designer and when I first met her she told me she was working on a project creating tissue box designs. I thought that was incredibly cool since I happen to be a bit fussy about my tissue box choices.


Darlene Allen, Art 2 Inspire artists and owner of Painting with A Twist
Darlene Allen’s message – Let Art Inspire the Design


Elizabeth Pogor, whose art I posted about not long ago (see it here), was showing her work and I was happy to be reminded of her solo art show  coming up soon at the Colo Colo Gallery in New Bedford, MA.


Art by Elizabeth Pogor


I was also happy to meet and speak with:


Rina Naik

Rina is a multi-disciplinary visual artist.


Art by Rina Naik 


Angela Nannini

Angela specializes in graphic and print design. I learned that she, too, was part of the tissue box design project – fun!


Designs by Angela Nannini


DJ O’Connor

A resident artist at Painting with a Twist, DJ was busy at work during the event creating colorfully impressive cartoons and comics.


Art by DJ O’Connor


Each artist brought their unique perspective and talent to the event and made me realize more than ever that, when possible, original art for your home is an investment worth making.

About the Venue

Painting with a Twist’s bright and open mill space was quaint and welcoming. Chatting with owner Dee Dellovo was a pleasure – I can’t wait to take part in a painting party. Count me in for a “Paint your Pet” night when my Oscar will be my muse.


Paint Your Pet at Painting with a Twist


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My Article in the July/August Issue of Design New England

My article in Design New England


I recently had the pleasure of writing an article for Design New England – The Magazine of Splendid Homes and Gardens. Design New England has been one of my favorite shelter publications for years. In fact, I like it so much, I keep every copy I receive and now have an inventory dating back to 2009.

When I was asked to take a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard to write about a home addition and renovation in Edgartown, I jumped at the chance. Despite a rainy day, it was a pleasure meeting with the architect and interior designers who transformed this traditional Cape-style home.  The professionals at Hutker Architects and Martha’s Vineyard Interior Design did an amazing job infusing contemporary structure and design into a 1950s home that was comfy and cozy, but not modern. My enjoyment continued when I had the opportunity to talk with the London-based homeowners by phone. The wife was an absolute treat to speak with and she was extremely helpful in working with me to get all of the details of this unique project straight.


If you happen by a copy of Design New England at the newsstands, I hope you’ll pick up a copy. Otherwise take a peak at my article, Expansion Plan, at the Design New England website.


So excited to see my name on the Contributors page.








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