Contemporary vs. traditional holiday decorating.


Mod Christmas
How to pull off a contemporary holiday at home.  Photos by Robin May

Christmas done modern is all in the details, or lack thereof. Keeping it contemporary this holiday season is quite easily done with some planning and most beautifully done when kept simple.

“Keep repeating,” says Brooks Dufrene of Gerilyn Lytal Roth Interiors as he explains how repetitive shapes keep his own décor modern.

RMay_121116_9343In Dufrene’s home sits a tall slim white tree with large balls of green and blue. You see those same ornaments throughout the space as well as the nontraditional Christmas colors.RMay_121116_9354

“When it comes to color palette try something not so traditional, something unexpected. It will give it that modern touch as well,” he says. “And try a white tree. You don’t have to have a standard green tree.”

RMay_121116_9351Dufrene says keeping the color palette consistent with the ornaments and the look clean (no feathers or flower picks or garland or strings of beads, please) is a simple way to give any tree a modern vibe.

His place settings are totally festive without any traditional hallmarks of holiday china, thanks to the combination of colors and continuation of the green and blue ornaments.







Traditional Touches
Bring out the best in Christmas décor with a nod to locally found details.

traditional-homeIn the home of Gerilyn Roth there is a crackling fire below a mantle strewn with fresh-looking greenery and rustic pine cones. In the dining area just feet away the long stately table is appointed with gold-rimmed china that winks in the afternoon sun. Along the length of the table are green and gold leaves and festive little berries in a garland that is both traditional and fresh. The feel of this holiday décor makes sense in her home, and while it’s traditional, there’s nothing boring about the choices.

There is the magnolia leaf wreath on the front door with swags of more greenery. (Check out our DIY in this section for the how-to on this simple, sophisticated wreath.) And on the coffee table sit bold gold pine cones — a reflection of the more rustic pine cones throughout the holiday theme.

RMay_121115_9203For a look that’s traditional, yet subtle, try a metallic and add fresh greenery and rare splashes of red. And to keep things local, look for details like magnolia leaves that go totally holiday when paired with the right choices. In Roth’s home, gold painted magnolia leaves are inserted among the lush green magnolia garland for a look that pays homage to what is truly natural.

Another simple tip for transforming the holiday space: Move the art around. In Roth’s home, a painting above the mantle was swapped for the aged mirror.

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