Holiday Inspiration

My presentation at this years' Willows Lodge Girlfriends Weekend event was once again a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I just love this chance to provide inspiration, ideas, and resources to a wonderful group of women who are devoted to having a great time! It was a much smaller group than we normally have, and I have to say that I actually enjoyed it more, since I was able to stand right at the end of the conference table and chat with them personally all through the presentation. I had so much fun that I just kept on talking and talking....half an hour past my scheduled end time. Sheesh!!!

My goal at these kinds of seminars is always to get people to think in a new way about their decorating. No limits, no rules, no preconceived designer conceptions. The themes I create are just to illustrate, not to push some new 'hot look' for this year. (I was asked to write an article like that once...couldn't do it. I had to write it in a way that said stay true to your own style, express your own personality, don't be pushed into buying what's new if it's not YOU. It didn't get published because it didn't sell products!) I truly beleive that holidays are personal, so your style should come through.

This year my presentation was built around the theme 'Holiday BLING!' I featured three themed setups that served as neutral schemes that anyone could glean inspiration from...

'Whispering White' had a decidedly 'shabby chic' style. Varied tones of white & ivory, white metal accents, and antique linens & lace. For winter, this look is the equivalent of wrapping your home in a soft cashmere sweater.

'Glittering Gold' is a rich tapestry of golds, ambers, browns, and coppers. This traditional look speaks of Frankincense & Myrrh and is perfect for homes with Mediterranean colors.

The lamp above has a bare wire shade form decked out in gorgeous tapestry ribbons...

'Sparkling Silver' combines traditional silver and crystal for a shimmering update on traditional, Victorian, and even cottage decor. The lampshade above is a frame with crystals suspended from the bottom ring, and a crystal chandelier from IKEA sitting on top. It made the light dance across the walls!

And O I love tarnished silver! (With a slight tarnish not blackened!) I just think it has a gold shimmer that is so much warmer than perfectly polished silver is - but that's just me. So many people have family heirloom silver, that they don't use because of the upkeep. Well, let it tarnish a bit, and heap it full of ornaments to show it off for the holidays! No clean up!

Once I had talked about all three themes, I grabbed a few ornaments in bright colors and added them to each setup, to illustrate how color can change a neutral scheme. Really had fun with that - add hot pink to silver & crystal, and everyone says 'Sex and the City!' Add orange and blue to the gold, and it looks even more like a far Eastern bazaar. Add brown to the white, and it just looks even warmer. (One gal snapped photos to show her daughter for a winter wedding idea) It was fun to see them react to the changes. I popped the hot pink into the white, and then said it needed to be a softer pink - they were all shouting "Nooooo! It's pretty!" When I put soft sage green in with the white, they began raving about how you could go with the whole 'shabby garden' look and even add clay pots and moss balls. O how I love these gals!!!

Here's a not-so-great room shot. Ah well...

I told the gals that one year I'd love to be a GUEST at this weekend event, but I really don't want to give up my seminar. One of them said "Well, you could stand up there and talk for a minute, then come sit with us and say 'OOOh! WOW!' and take notes. Then get back up there...." Cracked me up! I was thinking more that I'd stay for the whole weekend, take part in all of the classes and receptions and winemaker dinners with them, and STILL do my Saturday morning seminar. We'll see...


  1. Sandra Feazel9:22 AM

    Oh thank you , thank you! I needed some inspiration to get started on my own tree and house! Those pics did the trick! I am a designer in the Dallas area and after doing my clients trees, sometimes find it hard to enjoy doing one more (sometimes more) trees in my own home. I promised myself that I would get to it today..so glad I stopped of at your site, it did the trick!!! Love checking out your displays I had a retail store before my kiddos came along, and the displays were my favorite part!!! Keep up the beautiful inspiring work Deb!!!-sandra

  2. Sooooo Elegant!! I am really into holiday bling!

  3. I heartily agree about tarnish on silver. Yum.