A pictorial print, such as Chinoiserie can be a décor commitment. And it is certainly one that I’m willing to make. Often with a large pattern repeat, Chinoiserie does so much more than saturate a wall with movement or embellish a club chair with design oompf. The pattern is a storyteller, much like a quilt or hieroglyphics. Chinoiserie is the European interpretation of Chinese culture and traditions. It’s commonly produced in just two colors (think toile), but the vibrancy of this fabric from Schumacher pulled me in with its daring use of turquoise, coral, green, white, and pale pink. With those color gems mingling together, something magical was on the horizon.
Regardless of the time of year when I’m decorating, I’m always searching for vignettes throughout a house that surprise with little moments of design flair. It just so happened that the intense coloration of this fabric supports classic Christmas colors in a subtle and timeless way. The ground of turquoise in this print takes my Christmas styling to a level of tradition but with a fashionable twist.
Because metallics sparkle aplenty at Christmastime, I picked a brass console table with leaf detailing on its edge as an ideal foundation to emphasize the season’s spirit. The pair of stately hurricanes stand proudly at attention, hoisting emerald-colored glass bowls on architectural, dark wood bases. Can you imagine the elegant glow once their candles are flickering? On the contrary, a pair of mismatched deer, both elegant in gold, pose to graceful perfection as they dance among the joyful fittings. A trio of stacked gifts wrapped to coordinate but not match, piques interest from young visitors who are anxious to know what lies within the boxes.
The star of my decorative Christmas moment expresses its beauty through flowers. A traditional centerpiece arrangement fills a brass pedestal-style container with ranunculus, dahlias, carnations, hydrangeas, and green filler that is anything but ho-hum. We routinely tap into other forms of creativity to avoid the cost of over-the-top flowers, but Christmas calls for a splurge, and this arrangement is versatile and can move from entry hall to dining room centerpiece.
The reality is, these same accessories could have happily lived against a white or beige wall. But that’s not in my DNA. The turquoise-based toile is declarative and doesn’t whisper “Merry Christmas,” but says it with authority. After all, it’s the mix of layering and interesting color combinations that makes design personal. And isn’t that what Christmas is all about? It’s time worn recipes of Mom’s splendidly erected gingerbread houses (anyone who grew up with me will remember those), the picture frame ornaments crafted in elementary school, and visions of joyful children sitting with Santa divulging their elaborate wishes for toys and games. The ubiquity of Christmas is minimized by its personal details. So this year, be sure to continue your traditions but also take a risk and make your Christmas statement yours.