This year, I’m approaching my Christmas decorating differently… I want to spend less time and enjoy the season more. Who doesn’t?!
I reached out to my dear friend Anne Marie Hauer, interior designer and founder of Choux Designs, for guidance. After seeing her charming farm house elegantly decorated for Christmas a few years ago, I knew I’d find inspiration from her.
A brief interview uncovered some fun ideas. This article includes part 1 of 2. Be sure and sign up for our weekly summary of posts, the Good News, to stay informed of our latest articles.
Celebrate Local: Describe farmhouse-style holiday decor with 5 adjectives.
Anne Marie Hauer: Simple, organic, textural, gathered, DIY
CL: What holiday decorative items are must-haves for decorating farmhouse style?
AMH: Anything that feels aged, natural, cozy, and rich in heritage.
- Twine wreaths
- Dried fruits (dried oranges are easy to make)
- Magnolia leaves
- Ribbons in rich colors
- Woven baskets
- Aged brass candle holders
- Nativity scenes passed down from many generations before
- Candles and more candles
CL: Do you recommend sticking to a few textures… for instance, is there a theme of color/texture, etc. (such as plaids, greens, tin, and natural wood color)?
AMH: Just like designing a home, holiday decorating should include a common thread. If you are designing for a country home, the common elements will likely be natural, earthy, rich textures and materials. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a little fun in each room of the home and differentiate the spaces. Maybe the living room is more formal with satins, velvets, magnolias, dried oranges. A kitchen might be more fun, decorated with handmade ornaments and gathered berries.
CL: What are some simple ways to bring holiday cheer into all the rooms of a house?
AMH: Kids like to make their bedrooms feel festive. They love faux trees with lights, felted wool garlands, and festive throw pillows. [Editor’s note: wdlwst in historic Leesburg, Virginia, carries handmade felted wood ornaments – view them here)
CL: Do you change out bed linens, throws, and decorative pillows for the holidays to coordinate with the holiday seasonal decor?
AMH: A few holiday picture frames with photos from Christmas’ past, chunky knits, or velvety throws are the extent of my seasonal decor. I feel strongly that the holiday season should be about celebrating with all things gathered and collected and inherited.
CL: Are fresh, real greens a must?
AMH: I love the smell and look of fresh greens but a beautiful and realistic faux can add similar textures without as much mess. I might suggest mixing faux and fresh greens. It may save you a bit of money each year and a little clean-up as well.
CL: Do you shop year-round for items to add to your holiday decor stash?
AMH: I may pick up items that I see on sale after the holidays have ended. But, decorating for the holidays is very “in the moment” for me and is frankly what makes the holiday season so special. Planning, preparing, collecting, and crafting those vignettes that make each year so special.
This interview continues here.
By Pam Owens
Editor’s tip: We recently discovered a pop-up holiday shop in historic downtown Leesburg where you’ll find fabulous holiday entertaining items. See our article for more info here.
Anne Marie Hauer of Choux Designs in The Plains, Virginia, works with clients in Northern Virginia. She designs spaces that have a distinct purpose, are crisp yet comfortable and tell a unique story. Reach out to Anne Marie through her website at chouxdesigns.com.
Photos courtesy of Anne Marie Hauer, Choux Designs