Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Details

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.


Renée Finberg said...

you have done such a beautiful job.
i don't really know where to start.

the turquoise is incredible in your setting.

i bet the baby-dog misses the chaise.

you have placed everything with such balance , both scale and color.

you are sooo talented.

hugs XX

niartist said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE the decor of your home! It's gorgeous, it's fresh, it's unique, it's perfection! I love it love it love it, and totally can relate to your 19th century home decorating delimmas! Beautiful, really - beautiful!

Fifi Flowers said...

Lovely home... ADORE all the Tiffany blue throughout... my favorite blue! ENJOY the Holiday Season! Fifi

Visual Vamp said...

Aw shucks!
The chaise lounge is in my office, and Cholo makes good use of it.
He really loves any chair, bed, sofa, or cushion - as long as one of us is near by.
The King Charles Spaniel is The King (or Queen)of Komfort!
xo xo

cotedetexas said...

Valorie - it looks super super! I love the settee in front of the clock - can I have the clock? I'm looking for one exactly like it - it's so beautiful. Renee is right - you are sooo talented, it just slays me what you come up with. My favorite? The gift wrapped pillows ! Divine!


annechovie said...

I love your color sheme and all the little, charming touches! Lovely! Your boxes under the tree are gorgeous! Merry Christmas!

Material Girls said...

You are such a good Christmas decorator! I especially love how you used non-traditional Christmas colors- that is exactly what I am going to do once I get a house! And I LOVE your idea of the pillows wrapped in ribbon!! You are too cute

simply seleta said...

You live in this glorious, stylish + clean abode? So jealous. I trip over match box cars and have three drying live wreaths waiting to be hung on the front porch. But my kids have no cavities and seem to be happy. Sigh. Someday I'll have a pretty house again.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying yours.


Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

I am not sure how your blog got lost in my shuffle. I used to visit all of the time, but somehow, I haven't been in awhile. I always enjoyed it, so I will definitely be back more often now that I have rediscovered you. So glad you visited mine, which got me back over here to see your gorgeous Christmas decor. What a treat this was. laurie

Anonymous said...

Your home is absolutely stunning. I love everything about it, especially the setee!

Visual Vamp said...

Darling Seleta - The house is clean for the photo shoot ha ha. We recently had the grandbaby here for a week, and it was great to have the cars and trucks and stuff laying about! Enjoy your "mess"! It's the stuff of a lovely life well lived.
And Sweet Laurie, yes please use anything you like.
xo xo

Erin Gates said...

Lovely job! I love the turquoise!

vicki archer said...

Your Christmas decorations are beautiful and festive - so many wonderful ideas Valorie. I might just have to copy that clock idea - pretty clever and absolutely gorgeous, xv.

Danielle said...

everything about this is fabulous! This is my first time visiting and will surely be back!!

Cholo in the snow with the antlers is just tooo much to handle. i want to take the pup home with me.

Visual Vamp said...

Welcome Sweet Nothings!
I do hope you'll visit and comment often.
The holiday card in the right hand margin is not Cholo.
Robin from Gypsy Tinker (she's on my blog roll), sent me the image.
Cholo only has the brown mask over one eye.
xo xo

Alkemie said...

You have really outdone yourself for the holidays. I absolutely ADORE your Tree and all of the decorations you created. The illustration from Patricia is beautiful as is her handwriting!

Merry Christmas and have a wonderful holdiay :)


Unknown said...

Teal is the color I've decorated with for the past couple of years. I love love love it!
These pictures are simply beautiful!
I would love to come and sit for a spell and just take it all in.