from the archives: a country house at Christmas


Sometimes there is nothing better than to dig into my stash of old magazine clippings (I know you have them too). Why? Why do we have them? Why dig into them? For inspiration and escape, I suppose (and because aren’t we all a bit frazzled this time of year?).

In the 2015 issue of Veranda Magazine, floral designers Darroch and Michael Putnam of Putnam & Putnam worked their magic on an 18th century country house in Upstate New York. The house is colonial, and colonial homes were dim and utilitarian. What I like is how this styling adds some glamour and warmth, while still staying close enough to the roots of the house. And here’s what revisiting it got me thinking about…


Why not use a piece of gorgeous fabric as a tree skirt? (you might have one stashed away that you forgot about that would add the perfect finishing touch).


Using or adding non-traditional greens (like eucalyptus, thyme, olive, and bay leaves) softens the tone, and decorating around what is always there gives it a special dressed-up feel.


Two or three re-occuring elements (like citrus, white flowers, and soft, grayish foliage) can really pull rooms together beautifully.-


Old-fashioned holiday motifs (like pomanders and topiaries) never go out of style.


A focal point, like a fireplace, is the perfect place to strike a dramatic note (with extra full and drapey greens and unexpected flowers, like hydrangea and sweet peas).

And best of all, the dried orange slices (I had forgotten all about them).  So very easy (slice, spray cookie sheet, bake at 200 degrees for a few hours).  They make the house smell wonderful and they look very pretty on everything.

Happy Friday!


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