Winter Eclectic Home Tour
It's the most wonderful tiiiiiiime of the yearrrrrrrr. Truly. Life with two littles is crazy and wonderful, but also means we don't get around to hosting people to quite the extent we used to in our pre-parent days. But then the holidays happen and I lose my mind, commit to hosting 19 things, and love absolutely every second of it. Nothing makes our home feel more complete than when it is filled with good friends.
If we've not met before, I'm Mallory, owner of KC based interior design + styling company, Kobel & Co. I'm thrilled to be part of this year's Winter Eclectic Home Tour, hosted by the fabulous Jessica Rey of Domicile 37. Each day this week will be filled with loads of inspiration from each of the amazing designers on the tour. I'm so glad you stopped by, and hope you enjoy!
When it comes to Christmas decor, my top piece of advice to clients is that it is (and should be) totally personal...there is no right or wrong way to go about it. As with everything in your home, I think it should be a reflection of you and the mood you want to set for any potential guests.
My personal approach is to generally stick with greenery and a very natural look versus anything thematic; I'm not a huge fan of the color red, so you'll see it used sparingly, and in very natural elements like berries. On the other hand, I loooove green, and could pretty much turn the house into a winter forest if left unsupervised [kidding. sort of]. We've had the pleasure of hosting my husband's company holiday party the last few years, and thus I've tended to steer towards a somewhat formal - but not stuffy - look. I want the house to feel festive, cheerful, welcoming, but also elegant.
Because I do have somewhat of an eclectic taste, I also prefer there be some element of cohesion among my Christmas decor to keep things feeling balanced. You'll notice a lot of repetition in the details between rooms - things like cotton, moss, and birch - which keep the look tied together.
I use a lot of garland in my house, and prefer to buy it plain (but lighted) so that I can switch up my fillers each year, changing the overall look of my decor with minimal cost and effort. You can attach pretty much anything (like pine cones! or ice skates!) to a garland or a wreath using floral wire, but of course anything already on a stick/wire is even easier. Don't limit yourself to items in the holiday section when looking for fillers. Much of what I have stuck in mine was actually just in the regular old floral section of a craft store with the exception of the flocked pine needles.
Remember, a little bit can go a long way! There are actually not a ton of things stuck in that garland, but the overall look is super full, and since the stairs are the first thing you see when you enter our house, I love that immediate holiday vibe the garland creates.
Another simple element I love to add around the house - particularly when hosting - is fresh florals. Typically I pick up hydrangeas, berries, and greens from Trader Joes, then split them up into a few different small vases and plop them around the house. The arrangements themselves are fairly simple, but create a substantial impact. Just that little pop of berry makes a big statement!
And of course, the tree. Real trees were part of my family’s tradition growing up, and one that I’m enjoying bringing to my own little family. Growing up, our tree was filled with eclectic, personal ornaments, each with a story, and I do so love that look, because it is so personal. I have great memories of pulling out all those crazy ornaments and talking through the history behind them and about the people that gave them to us. Someday, I hope to bring that tradition to life in our house, but at this stage, my girls aren’t quite old enough to be excited about it yet…so I’ve been holding off on that approach until decorating truly becomes a family affair.
In the meantime, I’ve really loved doing a super simplistic tree the past few years. It’s easy to set up (and take down!), doesn’t cost a lot, and when Teddy was smaller, I didn’t worry about anything being breakable. As for what I’ve put on the tree, it has changed the last three years, and I also love that because it keeps the look fresh and fun. This year was by far the most simple I've done yet; lights and a "peace" ribbon, because sometimes less is more, right? And maybe I found something comforting about that super simple message of peace at a time when the world feels a little crazy.
I love a good dinner party this time of year, so you'll find my dining room as decorated as the living room, using those same natural elements and lots of greenery. This year, I added a large wooden box (which I found at a garage sale) to the buffet and a big, low basket (also an estate sale) to the table, both filled with moss, pine cones, greenery, cotton and berries.
When hosting, I almost always use place cards. Not only is it an easy way to snazz up a table, but if you’re having a bigger party or a party where not everyone knows each other, place cards take the uncertainty out of where to sit and create an opportunity to mix up guests who don’t know each other well. Even when I host closer friends, I try to switch up people who I know don't see each other as often, which keeps the conversation more lively. These particular place card holders are little birch slices I found at Hobby Lobby, which my dad kindly sawed slits in for me. The paper I simply cut from (my daughter's) card stock stash.
In the kitchen, I went with a brighter look, more silver, gold and white, but for the centerpiece, still used something natural - a simple bowl of fresh apples for that pop of red. Under the plates I used a set of festive Kate Spade place mats, paired with simple cream napkins - both scored at HomeGoods.
And lastly, in our family room - where we spend most of our time as, well, a family (obviously!) - you'll see the most classic Christmas elements. I scored that big beautiful garland at Nutcracker Market in Houston a few years ago and just adore the scale of it. For our stockings, I went super traditional (and big!), as I see these lasting for many years and through many memories to come. This will be our first Christmas as a family of four, and I truly can't get enough of this view. I am overjoyed by the little family we've created.
I hope your holidays are as filled with JOY! Thank you for taking a look around our house, and be sure to check out the next stop on the Winter Home Tour. It should be an amazing week!
Happy holidays from our little family to yours. xoxo Mallory