Decorate in Snow-White Style
White chocolate-covered almonds become instant decor in apothecary jars. Vintage letters written in French and a magnifying glass grouped on a tray make a pretty conversation starter.
The accents pair naturally with the home's already-white interior: creamy vanilla walls with crisp white trim, cushy white slipcovered chairs and sofas, and antique French country furnishings.
Snow at Christmas is never a sure thing in Kansas, so Deserae and her husband, Derek, create their own white scenes, outfitting their renovated 1870 schoolhouse in serene white, pearl and silver.
At left, the couple's first ornament, bought 20 years ago, glimmers gold on the tree.
A crafts-store bird's nest covered with spray snow makes a wintry gift "bow."
To coordinate arrangements, focus on nature-inspired elements: giant pinecones, sparkling reindeer, bird figurines and nests, and frosted evergreen branches. The following slides show details of three decorations in this dining room.
Touch of glass
For easy elegance, showcase oversize pinecones, bird figurines and ornaments under cloches. A dusting of faux snow adds wintry sparkle.
Bring garden urns or pots inside and fill with finds from the yard: evergreen branches, pinecones and twigs. Top with spray snow and ornaments for yuletide shimmer.
Faux trees arranged in a house fashioned from old windows create a centerpiece on the antique table. For a simple alternative, place single trees in tall clear-glass vases and add artificial snow.
White-slipcovered furniture is easy to clean. Silvery accents add sparkle next to the sofa and chair.
To hide imperfections, use faux finishes. Here, Deserae painted a faux finish on the antique reproduction armoire she snagged on Craigslist for $600. Simple swags give it holiday romance.
Use neutral tones in your kitchen for a bright, calm look. Let serving pieces serve double duty. Display tulips in ice buckets, corral candles or oversize ornaments on trays, and serve small gifts or favors on cake stands.
Even dessert can be color-coordinated!
Hung with care
No mantel needed; hang stockings from a stair railing.
A dove-bedecked wreath adds a peaceful touch above the four-poster.
Roses, a feathery tree and other elegant accessories on the white table cover contribute to the bedroom's serene vibe.
Let it glow
Pillar candles twinkle in the window.
A holiday message brightens a mirror in the guest bathroom.
The charming stone exterior attracted Deserae and Derek Crafts to this 1870 schoolhouse, which they bought in 2003. In addition to a school, it had served as a home and a bed-and-breakfast, so the structure had gone through multiple renovations. Seasoned do-it-yourselfers, the couple continued with the changes, tearing down a wall to connect the living room to the sitting room, replacing too-brittle wood floors with reclaimed maple from a gymnasium and remodeling the kitchen with $2,500 cabinets found on Craigslist.
Deserae records the renovations in her blog (peekingthruthesunflowers.blogspot.com).