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Publication Date: 2014-12-13

Design Insights

5 Unique Ways to Decorate for Christmas

From silk flowers as ornaments to feathers in a garland, these decorating ideas are creative, unexpected, and sure to wow.

Photography: Francesco Lagnese

Create a Vignette

A wintry art piece can set the tone for a cozy holiday house such as this one in this Adirondacks house designed by Mimi McMakin of Kemble Interiors. For their first party, Mimi and Leigh McMakin painted the dining room in blackboard paint and asked friends to draw on the walls. They've since redecorated but couldn't part with this wintry pastel chalk piece by Kimberly Cutter and Naj Wikoff. The birch-bark animals are from the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake, New York.

Photography: Jose Picayo

Forget the Pinecones and Berries

Instead of lining the banister of this Greenwich Village apartment with garlands of pinecones and berries, Robert Rufino used paper to decorate. "These paper wedding bells take it to another level," he says. They're light, airy, and joyous and completely uplifting in an almost childlike way. Green would have been too heavy, so I went with red and white." Rufino attached the bells to fishing line and kept adding to create a garland.

Add Unexpected Ornaments

Try skipping basic ornaments such as glass balls or lights, and instead, add your own personal touches. For this tree in a New York apartment designed by Todd Klein, floral designer Katsuya Nishimori interwove silk flowers with the homeowner's collection of silk pincushions.

Photography: Ellen McDermott

Try an Unexpected Hue

Holiday hues don't have to be red, green, or gold. Amethyst vases, decanters, and two hefty hurricanes from William Yeoward Crystal set up a striking color scheme and complement a garland made of two kinds of arborvitae. Spheres from Areo and white bronze Robert andirons from Lyle and Umbach create a shimmering still life in the nonworking fireplace. Mirror from Carvers' Guild.

Photography: Christopher Baker

Hang a Wreath in a Window

Wreaths aren't just for front doors. Designer Libby Moulton hung one in a window with pretty ribbon for a simple and elegant look for a Manhattan apartment. Curtains are lined with Chelsea Editions sage check. The chair is covered in a Rogers & Goffigon brown-and-cream stripe.

Text by Sarah Yang


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