When one has an old fashion living room, one lives in it. The 20th century addition of the den morphing into the family room does not exist in homes built in the 19th century. By homes, I mean modest family homes, made for the middle working class.
So when Christmas rolls around, finding a place for the tree among all the living that goes on in this one particular room of our 100 + year old home, is a fun challenge.
I have already shown you this year's Christmas decorations HERE
In this post I'd love to show you some of the details. I enjoy intimate vignettes. It's the layering of things that make a room a delightful exploration.
In this corner, I brought in the Ghost Chair. I love how it sparkles with the little Saarinen table. and the antique French settee.
I "gift wrapped" silk pillows by tying polka dot gross grain ribbon around them.
I try to include the things that are always in the room in the the holiday scheme. Here I simply added a mini turquoise tinsel tree in a silver mint julep cup to the objects already displayed: an old wood bracket, a tray of shells, white candlesticks (with mini silver julep cups for the holidays), and the caged glass lamp.
The opposite end of the nine foot long Baker credenza has the Holly Goes Lightly tree nestled into the corner. The Fornasetti print remains in its usual place.
The Tiffany boxes are festooned with the same ribbon I used on the silk pillows. The ornaments are a mix of vintage and new. The pearls are are Carnival trinkets thrown from Mardi Gras floats in New Orleans. We like to say they're "caught not bought."
Of course the furniture gets rearranged, and the white leather couch was moved from under the shutters. I never wanted to place the couch in front of the windows, because I love the old floor to ceiling glass, and never wanted to obstruct it. But I think it looks fine, and I can still enjoy looking out the window whilst lounging.
I placed a table from another room behind the sofa, as I like to float furniture even in a small room. This provided a console table effect where I could display a vintage wreath trimmed with wide wired ribbon, a silver penguin, and a silver candle holder with the word "peace" on it. The brown transferware plate is antique.
The new arrangement eliminated the chaise lounge which was replaced with a velvet French style chair. The etagere completed this corner (and Cholo is the perfect finishing touch!).
The etagere holds books and white objects, and the shell is a perfect vessel for a few more ornaments, bringing a little holiday color to this side of the room.
The big clock hanging on the shutters provided a perfect opportunity for some gold leaf garland. Some of you have asked me about this garland. I purchased it last year online from Wal Mart. A square wreath and one garland came together for around $17. (on sale). I purchased two sets. I love the way the burnished gold leaves look against the distressed finish on the shutters.
The French settee was moved to the spot where the couch was. I think it looks grand under the clock!
I changed out the two small tables for the super glam Hollywood Regency gilded wheat sheaf (with a large square glass top) coffee table. The two small tables are now revamped in the guest room HERE.
I used the same wide ribbon on the wreaths on the door, as I used on the wreath on the console table behind the couch.
A large Lucite shell holds mini ornaments, and a black reindeer with silver antlers adds whimsy.
These wedding favors were the perfect thing for the Nativity vignette.
I used vintage Brayton Laguna Blackamoors as the three wisemen. Mary, Joseph, and Baby are also vintage. The old art school painting is always displayed on this table.
Later I added a little black glittery fawn to the scene. It's hard to find black ornaments, and last year I spray painted ornaments and used old black bead necklaces as garland. This year the new Borders (yes the book store) on St. Charles Avenue (here in New Orleans) had black ornaments, garland, and the little deer. I was very happy to find them and add a few to the mix.
This little vignette is a close up of the things displayed on the table at the entry near the front door. This table used to live between the windows in the living room. I have two of the transferware plates (they were a hostess gift from my great friend, the interior designer Michael Pelkey). I nestled some mini ornaments among the shells, and added a second mini tree, this time contained in an aqua Blenko glass vase.
More gold leaf garland festoons the old mirror on the rusty cart. The Della Robbia plaster base lamp came from Ballard Designs over 15 years ago. The black shade is lined with silver, and adds a spiffy accent.
So there you have the little details. Keep in mind is that all the colors don't have to be an exact match. All the aquas, turquoises, and teals work together. Mixing metals is fine too, silvers and gold (bronzes and coppers). The green ornaments play off the green drapes, and the green on the front of the credenza doors, and the tattered green paint on the cart by the front door. The black and white stripe rug is the perfect foil for the accents of black ornaments and ribbons.
I spy a little drawing of Cholo hanging over the etagere.
It came beautifully wrapped from Patricia van Essche of PVE Designs, and it's one of my most cherished possessions.
I hope you all are having fun decorating for the holidays.
For me, it's the best gift to give and to get.