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Seasonal Style

Behind the Scenes at a Holiday House Walk

You may have already hosted a seasonal gathering or are preparing to welcome family and friends for a Christmas or New Year's celebration -- but have you ever opened your doors to hundreds of strangers seeking festive inspiration from your decor? Across the country, scores of homeowners do just that, often for the benefit of a local cause or charity, as part of a holiday house walk or home tour.

Country Sampler stylist René Haines recently joined their ranks when her home was one of five featured on the Winterfest Holiday Home Tour sponsored by her local chamber of commerce.

She shared some of the clever touches she added to her rooms to convey Christmas cheer to the decorating fans that recently meandered through her home. It took her about a week to prepare for the event, and she says it was a lot of work but well worth it. Luckily, she had the help of fellow stylist Carolynn Geesaman. "It's so much more Christmas than I've ever done," René confides. "It was a big undertaking, but I was able to repurpose a lot of what I already had."

She was pleased with the finished product and relieved to have her decorating done well before she was set to host a Christmas party for 65 family members. We think you'll agree that it turned out beautifully -- you may even pick up a last-minute idea or two to add to this year's decor or file some away for next year.
Give a Christmas tree a lush, ample appeal by adding elements such as poinsettia, large pinecones, decorative birds' nests and sprigs of hydrangea in addition to the ornaments, lights and traditional trimmings. Click here for larger image
Play up a musical theme by crafting ornaments from old sheet music or pages from an old hymnal. Trace a tree-shaped cookie cutter onto the paper and cut out the shape. Stitch two rounds of craft paper together and glue the paper tree shape to the center. Trim the tree ornament with small neutral-colored buttons and add a loop of striped twine for a hanger. Click here for larger image
Use a mirror as a larger frame for a seasonal sign suspended from the frame edge on colorfully patterned ribbon. It will serve as a festive backdrop for a grouping of holiday goods dressed with battery-powered candles, faux snow and a bit of greenery. Click here for larger image
Take your cue for a fireside display from the everyday elements in the room, such as the white paneled walls and stone fireplace surround in René's home. Use a small trunk to leverage a petite tree and call attention to its snowy decorations, which are complemented by flocked faux trees, wreaths and eucalyptus, accented by natural greens and berries. Neutral basics, such as crocks, architectural salvage, barnwood and birch logs, enhance the vignette's rustic appeal. Click here for larger image
Assemble an assortment of eye-catching textures to balance out metallic elements in a buffet-top arrangement. Here, René has filled various jars with corks, wooden spools and rolled sheets of scrapbook paper with a musical motif. Along with a wooden lamp and tray, they counter the metal houses, gilded frame and shimmering wreath and tinsel tree on display. Click here for larger image
Employ old folding yardsticks as a stand-up display for Christmas cards, either newly received greetings or colorful vintage examples. Click here for larger image
Credit for All Photos: Photographed by Shane Pequignot and Styled by René Haines and Carolynn Geesaman

For seasonal inspiration all through the year, pick up your copy of the 2019 Country Sampler calendar, which features beautiful photos of country crafts and decor.
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