Holiday Decorating Ideas

Happy Holidays, everyone!  It’s been a while, but I wanted to wish all of you who have supported me through 2016 a happy and peace-filled holiday season.  Since so many of us are busy with gatherings, errands, entertaining, etc. I thought I’d share some simple ideas for decorating your home for the holidays and creating a festive mood for you and your family.  The following ideas were just featured in this month’s Durham Magazine, but I’m including some bonus photos that didn’t make the magazine.  These beautiful photos were taken by the amazing, Merritt Chesson.  (Thanks, Merritt!)

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Simple Ideas for Holiday Decorating


My holiday decorating shortcuts are based on a simple, pre-set color pallet and natural, seasonal elements.  I usually go with various shades of silver, gold and white (keep your colors to 2-3 selections).  Because the color pallet is simple, you can play with and add various objects that fall into the pallet and still have a unified look. I might take ornaments in shades of golds and silvers and sprinkle them along my table runner and then flank either end of the table with a few candles (of all sizes) in shades of white and silver.  The charges might be gold or silver with white linens laid neatly on top.  Then, I always add a natural element: magnolia leaves, pine cones, herbs, or something of this genre.  A little touch like this goes a long way in creating a festive table.
Decorating with a few colors means you can carry the pallet throughout your house (at the entry, with the fire place mantle, on your front porch, etc.) and everything feels collected and unified.  Use creative color combinations like fuchsia and green or gold and blue, to keep it interesting and unpredictable.  This approach is also an economical way to decorate because you can switch things around and collect over the years without feeling as if you need to start over every time. I add something to my collection every year, but don’t need much since it’s easy to integrate into the collection I’ve been evolving over the years.
With this approach, everything works together because the colors are the unifying factor.  And – adding natural elements such as flowers, wreathes, garland and berries warms things up and makes your home feel more cozy.  I usually just clip branches from the magnolia tree in our front yard!  How’s that for easy and economical?
Silver Trees, pine cones and some fresh Magnolia leaves from my front yard.

Silver Trees, pine cones and some fresh Magnolia leaves from my front yard.  We have white a Nutcracker because I’ve taken my girls to see the performance every year since my oldest was 3.

Natural elements warm this up.

Natural elements warm this up.

Even my butler’s tray get’s a little decor…


I use the same formula in every space: white, silver, clear glass, light, and some natural elements (here pine cones).


And the buffet shares peace…


Again, white, silver, light and some natural elements! This easy formula leave you with time to focus on what’s really important: sharing time with your loved ones.


I hope this has inspired you and helped provide you with some ideas for your home.  Questions?  Reach out and comment!

Happy Holidays, friends!  xo Maria

Bring Home Order Feature in Durham Magazine

Today I’m really excited to share a feature that will appear in this month’s Durham Magazine.  This article has been in the works since JULY!  I’ve been waiting for a while, but it’s definitely been worth it.  I am humbled by the article.  Jessie Ammons, the writer, and Briana Brough, the photographer, are so talented and were just lovely to work with.  They made the entire experience of having your home photographed and exposed to thousands of people a pleasant one — and I am not one that approaches things like this with calmness (just ask my husband!).  However, they both relaxed me the second they walked through my door.

Jessie and Bri, I’m sure I owe you both my first born – or at least dinner somewhere nice!  Thank you SO MUCH to the entire Durham Magazine editorial staff for a great piece.

The magazine is available around town TODAY!  Look for it at places like Foster’s, Guglhauf, etc. if you don’t normally receive it in the mail.  To view it electronically, link up to the magazine here:  Durham Magazine December / January 2015-16

Here is a copy….

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My husband is still trying to figure out how to solve a problem like Maria!  Neil, you were so supportive getting the house ready and putting up with my craziness in getting things just right.  Thank you.  And Sydney and Dylan – you bring our house to life. Our house would not be a home without you. I love you both.

And for all my readers out there, tune in tomorrow for another great Friday Find I’ve discovered here in Durham!  Can’t wait to share it with you!  xo Maria