Real-Life Decor: A Bright Christmas Home

See how a holiday-loving family creates sophisticated Christmas decor that also feels casual and down-to-earth.

By Judy Prouty


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The Main Event
Miki Duisterhof
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The Main Event

    Anne and Jonathan Carr have three kids, ages 5 to 10. That's why Anne says her decorating strategy is rooted in modern design, not fussy details. "I used to do a lot more when the kids were younger," she says, "but I think you can get a festive look with a few easy touches and also save your sanity."

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A Sparkling Display

    Mirrored garlands and ornaments play off the contemporary cool of the living area's graphic fabrics. To take it further, fill a glass pedestal bowl with glass balls -- Anne likes aqua -- and add shimmer by cutting up mirror garlands and arranging them around the balls.

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Glitter Dear

    Anne attaches balls to an oversize boxwood wreath and places shimmering reindeer -- the kids glued glitter onto forms -- on the coffee table.

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Floral Flourish

    A swag of fuzzy pom-poms and vases of amaryllis on the mantel add to the jolly atmosphere.

    Take it further: For a simple, natural look, arrange greens and pomegranates on the mantel.

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Sweet Idea

    In another room, Anne sets the scene by filling apothecary jars with treats and making candy trees with her kids from foam forms and gumdrops.

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Small Pleasures

    "Every year my kids put a mishmash of balls and wood ornaments on these quirky little artificial trees," Anne says.

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Turn the Tables

    Anne gives the dining area a little bling by dangling snowflakes and a mirrored disco ball from the chandelier.

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Enlightened Dining

    You don't need much to create a brilliant holiday table -- colorful plates, gleaming glass, and candlelight.

    Take it further: Rosemary topiary trees never go out of style -- on a table or in the kitchen.

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Feather Your Nest

    An arrangement of feather, gold, and silver trees makes a fun tabletop vignette.

    Take it further: Spray white lacquer on pinecones for a snowy, shiny look.

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