The holidays are a great time to take a tour of a local historic home museum. Most are decorated for the holidays by either the gardening committee or the house committee and are done up beautifully. It’s a great place to get some decorating ideas for both inside and out.
While the scale of many older historic homes may be vastly different than yours, you can scale things down to a more livable size. Here, in the cozy hunt dining room at Ladew House and Gardens, just north of Baltimore, the committee has played off the teal walls of the room with different shades of blue, including turquoise accents on the mantel and in front of the fireplace as well as on the table and sideboard. It’s not traditional, but it livens up the space, which has a very low ceiling.
In the parlour, the mantel is accented by magnolia leaves and boughs of fir and holly, taken from the estate’s extensive gardens. On a visit to Ladew several years ago, I remember seeing copper trays filled with stones and balancing dozens of paper-white narcissus bulbs, just coming into bloom. Of course, since they’re one of my favourite winter blooms, I adapted this idea for my own home.
I am sure that there’s a historic home or two, or more, in your area that’s decorated in winter finery for the holidays. Check it out!