Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Deck the Halls, Tables, Doors. . . Part III
























And the fete continues. . .

Simply writing the introductions to this week's magnificently creative holiday decorating posts, by some of the most talented interior decorators I have ever met, has been an absolute joy. Their generosity in sharing their ideas is a precious cadeau for all of us. 

Not only do they glorify the season in exquisite, personal detail -- as seen here by Patricia Tapp the author of, in my opinion, one of the best blogs out there, Little Augury, but also they pause in their rituals to give thought to the essence of the celebration. 

You will see what I mean below, as Patricia shows and tells how she approaches her Christmas decorating in gentle spirit and grand style.

In her own words. . .

One of the most difficult tasks is to find myself looking over a sea of Christmas decorations and ornaments collected by my mother, grandmothers, and myself, and thinking, "It's time to choose a few things, a special few." 
























How does one do it, when everything seems so special? It is impossible. But this year is the year I did it. A small Victorian table tree -- that as of this post remains undecorated -- perhaps I will warm up to the idea of it.

When Tish asked me to share some of my decorating ideas with you, I agreed, thinking I would learn something myself. The lesson: Christmas is a beloved tradition going back generations and though it will not be the grand affair it has been in the past, it is lovingly celebrated. And, this year it will be celebrated in detail.
























An ikat bow awaits its wreath.









































An alabaster footed compote holds antique ornaments and a small Jansen console displays mercury glass cups with more antique ornaments and an old tree topper.



















What happens when you have a dozen boxes of tree ornaments and a small tree? You 
select some of your favorites -- those for me are the oldest. Find any sort of container for a single special one, or a nest full.
























A clove wreath and topiary dressed in olive taffeta and velvet in the center hall with Saint Nick, painted by my mother, standing by.









































The library is dressed in natural wreaths and an abundance of green taffeta.



















And finally, one of my favorite traditions is bringing out the creche. This year I have chosen an old Italian one, a bit worse for wear, and I supposed that is one reason I love it so. I have several others and they have all been used at times and then alternated from year to year.

This year I've placed the creche on the table in the library. I made it very personal with small trinkets or remembrances that have meaning to me. Some of these include: several old miniature books; my grandfather's spectacles; my grandmother's photograph; a tiny china doll; a few turtles I've collected; a paper mache octagonal box; bits of amethyst and some ivory.
























These are my gifts, along with those of the traveling Kings in the story. If you have small children, I think this is a very special way to have them begin to understand the story of the Nativity and of giving something of themselves.

It does seem tradition matters most. I do hope some of you will try these simple ideas and make them your own. 

16 comments:

Deja Pseu said...

I love the ornaments in containers. The mercury glasses are a lovely and unique way to display them!

Jennifer-Adventuresome Kitchen said...

What lovely and thoughtful ideas. In a time when most people are crazy busy, it's so nice to stop and be intentional about what's important. We have a small space, and I love and will use your idea of placing special ornaments in a decorative container. My girls will love participating in that. Best to you this holiday season!

Tish Jett said...

Jennifer, It's snowing again!!!!

LPC said...

These are very beautiful, very idiosyncratic photos. Completely in like with your aesthetic, Patricia. Wonderful. Thank you.

Northmoon said...

Delightful ideas. Love the bowls of treasured ornaments. I don't do a tree myself, but this would be an easy way to do a little Christmas decorating.

Jennifer-Adventuresome Kitchen said...

Sounds like I need to bring a pair of fashionable snow boots!!

little augury said...

thanks to Tish for the invitation to share some of my Christmas ideas with you-

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Such a wonderful post Trish and I agree with you, Patricia's blog is one of the best of the best. I adore her Christmas decorating; done with love and adoration for all those treasures collected throughout the years by her family. So great to see her beautiful creche. My parents use to have a lovely one but not sure what happened to it?

Trish sending you much holiday cheer xo

cigalechanta said...

thanks Trish. I've down-sized my collection, keeping my favorites.
The rest I donate to Big Brother Big Sister

Hill House Ramblings said...

Wonderful post! Patricia's home is enchanting and full of so many unique touches. I love the antique ornaments on display, the ikat bow...and such a beautiful creche too. Gorgeous!

H.H.

My Dog-Eared Pages said...

I LOVE the idea of personal touches added to the creche. I think my sister has our creche in CT. I so wish I did. Lovely ideas from Little Augury.

Millie said...

I still get a catch in my throat when I up-end our box of Chrissie decorations & the stuff all kids made by hand comes tumbling out. My personal favourite is a cardboard toilet-tissue roll covered in glued-on dry macaroni shapes & then sprayed with silver glitter paint. It was done by my baby as a 4 year old & he is now 28. It sits beautifully with all the more glamorous pieces!
Millie ^_^

Ulla said...

OMG!!! I have not even started on my decorations....
This is very inspiring, keep up the good work, fab post!

BigLittleWolf said...

We pare down to less and less each year - j'avoue que c'est entièrement ma faute - je suis de plus en plus nase...

I will say - we have one small wooden santa that sits on the mantel, and some old jewel-toned ornaments that I put in a 19th century porcelain bowl.

Those - and a pointsettia - and our Hannoukiah (English, an antique from 19th century as well) - and we're ready to rock and roll! I do love seeing all these beautiful interiors. Maybe that will get me in the mood to spruce up the place? Or maybe I need a Xmas-time trip back to Paris...

Christina @ Fashion's Most Wanted said...

Absolutely beautiful! I love the baubles in the silver cups and your sofa and library are stunning xx

Anonymous said...

I love the intimate nature of these ideas... thank you.

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