Holiday Decor

In Their Stockings

This holiday season I am so very grateful for the hard working team I have at my office. It's amazing the amount of time you spend with the people you work with- and I'm just lucky to have these bright women in my life. I haven't introduced them on the blog yet so I thought I'd include fun facts about each of them as well as things they would like to find in their stocking this year. 

And it just so happens you can tell alot about someone by looking in their stockings...

1. the book 2. the clarisonic-i'd like to clarify to anyone that may be stuffing her stocking:  she only needs replacement brushes. 3.the socks 4.the candle 5. random glitter owl 6. iphone charger 

1. the book 2. the coffee mug 3. hair ties 4.  the candle 5. the nano 6. the calendarthe ornament

We also have Leslie, my fabulous accountant who spends a couple days/month with us and Katherine who just started interning some afternoons. Needless to say it's a full house. And I don't know where I'd be without their hard work and support. 

Thanks to Sarah, Mary and Marguerite for helping me with this post.... and with everything else.

Oh,  and one more thing girls-

Screen Shot 2012-12-12 at 9.36.47 PM

Cousin Eddie called..... he wants his christmas ornaments back.

Southern Flourish & a holiday mantel

Need some festive mantel ideas??

Southern Flourish (one of my new favorite online magazines!) asked me to contribute to their first holiday issue!

Southern Flourish holiday cover
They had me put together a storyboard for a holiday mantel- my category being "Traditional with a Twist." 



Check out the latest issue to see the rest of the article (which includes several other mantels designed by talented ladies!) and all sorts of other holiday goodies.


Southern Flourish moved to a subscription based format of only $10/year BUT they are giving you readers a GIFT- If you use the code RACHELHALVORSON at checkout you will receive all issues for only $8!! (Cool huh.? Do a little nestegg name dropping and get a discount! :)

Thanks to Southern Flourish for including me in this festive issue- I am thrilled to be a part of it!


A Christmas Cottage

Is there anything about that title that isn't enticing? A home is much cozier during the christmas season... but a cottage?? Even better.

This has always been one of my favorite articles out of Cottage Living's December issue back in 2007. 

Kitty white CL053 

And it just so happens that the owner,Kitty White, lives in Birmingham in my (old) neck of the woods! Kitty decorated this adorable cottage with the help of the fabulous architect Bill Ingram and designer Betsy Brown. 

Kitty white CL056

I love her use of natural elements such as berries and birch wood for decoration. For more ideas on how to use branches to decorate click here

*The wall paint throughout is  cloud white  by Benjamin Moore.

Kitty white CL057s
I love this idea: Instead of the traditional sofa/chair combo in front of a fireplace, she put four comfortable chairs around a coffee table.  

Picture 7
Beautiful living room... and tree! Dang. 

Kitty white
 The window panels are the opaque linen window panels from west elm! In white. 

AND the seagrass rugs are the color-bound ones from Pottery Barn

<insider tips from Cottage Living>

Kitty white CL054 

TTN: the mix of materials here is genius. The rustic ceilings mixed with the classic marble countertops, the industrial light fixture mixed with the polished nickel (double**) sinks, the traditional barstools mixed with the metal backsplash behind the cooktop... the mix goes on. 

And notice what appears to be a wood cutting board in between the sinks-?? See it above? Now look at the picture below...
Kitty white CL060ss 

Yet another clever detail that allows for mobile counterspace and easy cleaning.

*The floors were designed by Ingram: diamond-patterned bluestone outlined with strips of hardwood.

Kitty white CL060s
A high-backed banquette and table create a small dining nook in the kitchen.   

 Picture 10 

I love the dark trim and doors in this house. Notice the dark painted shutters in the dining room- if they were white it wouldn't be the same... Agree?

As for the walls: Kitty painted this design herself- with the help of maskingtape! (and patience, I'm sure:) And the ceiling: glossy?! Great, unexpected addition.
 Picture 9
 once again... a good mix.

Kitty white CL059 

Picture 12  

Kitty, the homeowner, now sells her own fabulous creations- from hand painted fabrics to jewelry to children's clothing! Click here to visit her designs online.

Picture 5 Picture 6
 Lastly, in the article Kitty states: "I'd rather have a small space with beautiful finishes than a big space that compromises the details."  With the current state of the economy I think we'll see a lot of this in the upcoming years- and in my opinion it will be a pleasant change. 


all photos from Cottage Living and Southern Living


Vintage Christmas

One of my favorite boutique stores in Nashville is one called Gilchrist-Gilchrist. I recently went in the store and felt like I walked into a winter wonderland. No joke. But it's always like that- The whimsical cottage feel, beautiful vintage finds, the laid-back vibe, good company, soothing music, ALL result in one charming store. 

The owner, Genia Gilchrist, takes shabby chic to a new level. I knew she had style but THEN I saw her house in Southern Living... MAJOR style. Good thing she shared some of her Christmas decorating tips!!.. Here are a few:


Welcome guests with festive porch planters. {These are filled with small spruce trees and filled with magnolia leaves.} Keep it simple, keep it green. (that's my input. Ok, now my input is in green)

That's Genia! She's sweet as pie. And check out her boots! :) 


Indulge your senses- and put a jar in the family room full of Christmas cookies. {Yup. Ours cookies would be gone within a day.}

When it comes to decorating your Christmas tree- MORE is better.


Sneak in Sentimental pieces. Her tree skirt is made out of an old petticoat- a gift from her friend. She took the skirt apart at the seam and laid it around the tree base. ....{ I want one!!}

Set the mood with mercury glass.


Genia is a big fan of mercury glass- and how can you argue with her looking at these gorgeous pictures?? Click here for her very helpful tips on buying mercury glass.

Tie it together with One Color. 

Each year Genia picks a color and buys different types and textures of ribbon in those colors. She ties them to all of her wreaths and even wraps her Christmas presents in them that year! (see picture above of the gift under the tree- Such a good idea! )


Use clear glass to serve as a subtle back drop when displaying Christmas decor.

Hang garlands in unexpected spaces. Don't limit them to front doors and banisters... For fresh garland she recommends The Garland Farm. (Love this image)


Wreaths of three unify a space.

Another one of her style secrets: Stack a few wrapped presents in unconventional spaces to add pops of color in any room!


Group heirlooms or collectibles together to make an impact. (Looks a lot better than having them scattered throughout the house, doesn't it?)

Dress up great finds like this vintage window frame! And mix metallics with fresh evergreens. 

Embellish what you already have. 

Genia incorporates vintage bottlebrush trees and reindeer into her year-round mercury glass collection. She then adds sprigs of greenery and seeded eucalyptus for accents.(this pretty picture reminds me a lot of her store)

To read Southern Accent's full article click here.

And if you are ever in Nashville you must stop by Gilchrist-Gilchrist. Genia's home is just a glimpse into the unique pieces you'll find in her store. Not to mention the friendly little butler that greets you at the door. (Click here to see him)

 And the bedding!!  Oh, the bedding. Which reminds me- I ordered a gorgeous pillow and have been meaning to pick it up from her for weeks. Genia, if you're reading- I promise I haven't forgotten! But I think it'd be best if we met at your house. OKOk, cool.   :)


All photos through Southern Accents by Laurey W. Glenn


Wreath Shopping

Hey friends,

Have you started decorating for Christmas? Are you finished decorating for Christmas? Well... I haven't started. So if you are on the same boat as me you probably could use some spiked egg-nog inspiration. One of my favorite things to decorate with is....

the wreath

Cottage living
via cottage living.... What a great picture!!! Want to eat it up. 

Domino mag
via domino mag

The traditional wreath's circular shape represents everlasting life because it has no beginning and no end...

via martha stewart

Country living wreath
via country living

source unknown

via martha stewart.... for a similar look see 'moss wreath' below. 

Where to hang?

Sure, you can put it over the mantel or on the front door. But consider stepping outside the box this year and place your wreath in a different location. Here are some ideas...

< all images below are from country living unless otherwise noted >

Greenery wreath
Hang a simple wreath in a room you spend a lot of time in. 

I love the picture above because the greenery is all you need to add the perfect pop to your white kitchen. 

Framed wreath country living
hang a wreath inside an empty vintage frame

or on your cupboard... or buffet...

Cockscomb red wreath cl
dried crimson cockscomb glued on a grapevine leaf... for a similar look see 'crimson blossom' below

Wreaths on shelves country living
little wreaths made out of boxwood clippings and wreath wire! Great way to add life to your shelves!! I think I may do this... anyone have a boxwood I could borrow? :)

Country living door wreath
Wreaths don't have to be traditional- you can stick things you like on them.. like in this case- gilded starfish and sand dollars.

I love the image above... The color combination is so subtle and peaceful. Hang a small wreath on the end of your bed like the one above made out of paperwhites.

Or like the ones in this beautiful room...

 Wreaths in bedroom SA
image via southern accents 

Grid of wreaths
A grid of smaller wreaths makes a statement on this blue wall...

Where to buy?
Here are some wreaths I have seen around town, in magazines, and online that I really like (and hope to get one this year!)...

Beautiful holiday wreath of fraser fir, boxwood and arborituvae

If you are in the Nashville you should check out Santa's Trees- they have the most gorgeous garlands and wreaths you'll find in the area- read more about this local company over at Style Blueprint. I trust these girls... you should too. 

I have to admit. I prefer my tree and wreaths to be fresh (it's the smell) but some of these artificial wreaths have been singing to me lately. And you can't beat the fact that you can enjoy them year after year...

Berry wreath target 

Green Berry wreath from Target... $22 

RH pomegranate wreath 

Pomegranate Wreath- Restoration Hardware... $35-$65

WS fall wreath
Williams Sonoma's Fall Wreath... pretty, $149 

Moss wreath timeless elements
Moss wreath from Timeless Elements, $89

GH square wreath
Simple, classic square wreath from Garnet Hill, $86

Crimson blossom wreath 
Crimson blossom wreath from Crate & Barrel, $59.95 

Succulent wreath vivaterra
Succulent wreath!  from VivaTerra.... it's ALIIIIVE!!

I'm loving this one this year.  (From Roost Co.- to the trade) $30. If you are interested in getting one of these leave a comment or email me... I'll hook a sista/brotha up!

Z gallerie wreath Z gallerie wreath silver
Ornament Wreaths from Z Gallerie, $20 

Last but Least $

Berry wreath pier one
Berry Wreath, Pier One, only $19

Which wreath do you prefer? 

The living, the berry, the ornamental, the leafy fall, the natural, or the square?