Today we welcome the ladies of Marjorie Johnston & Co. Interiors and JoJo Home, Marjorie Johnston, Wendy Barze and Katherine Bramlett, who show us how a room can be transformed from Thanksgiving to Christmas by exchanging and recycling only a couple of items.
Gathering around the table with friends and families is one of our favorite things about the holidays. There is nothing more wonderful or meaningful than the stories and memories you share over food and drink. When we are preparing a room and a table for a gathering, we like to introduce elements that are simple, thoughtful, whimsical and seasonal.
To make the process of preparing for a gathering more enjoyable, we continually collect items for our homes that can be used for different parties and holidays. This way when it comes time to set up for a gathering, you have an entertaining “wardrobe” right at your fingertips.
When preparing a room for the holidays, we start with the same principles that we use for all our designs. We create simple, yet whimsical designs by mixing materials (glass, metal, ceramic), creating layers of design, combining natural items with man-made items, and pairing rustic things with “fine” things. Using these principles, we adapt a room for the given holiday.
For our Thanksgiving décor, we were inspired by natural and seasonal elements. We wanted to create a room that illustrated this theme, but was also practical for our large gathering. For functional purposes, we added more seating by pulling in 2 extra chairs from the living room. We love mismatched chairs around our table.
We also borrowed a Jonathan Adler bar cart from our shop, JoJo Homes, to create a bar that is easily accessible, but also adds flare to the room.
For the décor, we were inspired by one of our favorite discoveries this year, Coral and Tusk, a textiles and home accessories company. Coral and Tusk creates enchanting items such as tepees, table runners, napkins and pillows that are embroidered with whimsical creatures inspired by the creator’s imagination. We laid a Coral and Tusk runner embroidered with feathers—a wonderful motif for fall and especially Thanksgiving!
We paired the runner with five (odd numbers are the best) embroidered tepees. Then we set the table with Coral and Tusk napkins—each embroidered with a different enchanting character. We love these intricate and whimsical details on our table.
Next, we grabbed two wooden votive holders that had previously been on the mantel and placed them on the table. This is an example of introducing another material to the table to keep things interesting, but not too serious.
Lastly, we placed a pickle jar wrapped in wicker on the sideboard, and rather then filling it with flowers, we chose branches gathered from our yard in keeping with our rustic, fall theme.
In the corner, we set up a “thankful tree”–a tree that we ordered for Christmas that arrived a little early, which we loved so much, we decided to adapt it to this occasion. We invited our guests to tie on tags that described what they were thankful for on its branches. Above the sideboard, we hung a wreath over our mirror with coral ribbon.
And lastly, because no Thanksgiving room is complete without a pumpkin, we added a couple of pumpkins to the sideboard and bench (not pictured) in the room.
We wanted to show how elements used for our Thanksgiving décor could be recycled and exchanged to create a dining room ready for a Christmas gathering. For Christmas, we like crisp and clean elements with peaceful colors.
First, we removed the Coral and Tusk runner from the table and placed it on the sideboard. We removed the tepees, but left the napkins on the table.
We left the wooden votive holders on the table that had been used for our Thanksgiving table. We also brought in two glass hurricanes from the living room. We filled the hurricanes with some of our favorite Christmas florals—amaryllis (continues to bloom), lilies (lasts longer than most flowers), eucalyptus, and stars of Bethlehem. Between the glass hurricanes, we placed a glass compote from our shop. We filled the compote with ornaments of all shapes and materials. Last, we filled in the remaining area on the table with all the things that we need for our Christmas buffet.
Remember the “thankful tree” from the Thanksgiving room? We made it a Christmas tree by moving it to the sideboard and adding lights and greenery. Next to the tree, we placed holly leaves and feathers in a pitcher that stays on the sideboard all year. We finished off the sideboard with two Christmas trees – we love the splash of sparkle!
We left the wreath that was hanging on the mirror, but hung a reindeer head in the middle of the wreath (one of our favorite items from our shop!).
We hope that this demonstration helps you to see that decorating for a gathering can be both joyful and fun. Remember to use what you have and not to apologize—mixing and combing elements makes the room special because it makes it yours. Because at the end of the day, it isn’t the table that matters, but rather the people gathered around it. And if the soufflé falls, call it pudding.
Thanks for these great holiday décor tips! To learn more about Marjorie Johnston Interiors, visit their website at www.mhjinteriors.com or visit their shop, Jojo Homes in Mountain Brook Village.