Together for the Holidays at Nell Hill’s


I learned early in life that it’s pretty awesome to help others make their holidays merry and bright. My folks owned a clothing store in Atchison, and as a kid, I was thrilled when they let me help make the bows for the packages we giftwrapped. It was fun to imaging those gifts being slid under someone’s tree, and the face of the lucky person who got to open it at Christmas.


It’s been 35 years this month since I opened Nell Hill’s. And I still get a charge out of helping our customers make their holiday celebrations beautiful and memorable, full of joy, majesty, and lots of fun.


When it comes to Christmas spirit, we are filled to overflowing at Nell Hill’s. Our lavish displays are designed to wow and inspire everyone who visits. Through the years, many of you have made coming here during the holidays an annual tradition. This year, we will all be together again in one location, at our store in Kansas City’s Village at Briarcliff. And I could not be more thrilled!


In case you can’t make it to Nell Hill’s this season, I wanted to give you a quick tour of the store decorated for the holidays. Enjoy!


Merry & Bright


The first gallery off our entry is an ode to color. The pure joy of this magical season is almost palpable when you are enveloped in this cheerful room. When designing this effervescent holiday look, we took our color cues from the cheery pink ceiling and fresh white walls. Through furniture, artwork, accents, and, most importantly, the holiday décor, we splashed in orange, magenta, teal, greens, blues. This fun-loving holiday hug would look wonderful in homes that lean toward contemporary or modern stylings.


Dramatic Elegance


I’ve had a lifelong love of blue and white. So when we designed this room, and filled it full of blue and white, with a few pear green accents, I wanted to pack my overnight bag and just move in.  We set the stage for elegance with the moody Twilight walls, then added these sensational sapphire blue velvet settees. Love! I think this tree has been the most photographed of the season. I have already blogged about how we pulled off this tree, complete with mirrors used as shelves that are topped with urns, but I wanted you to see the whole room. Gasp! It leaves me speechless.


Since our mantel and tree are showstoppers, we pulled back a bit on the dining table that shares the space. We often use simple white dishes as the base of many of our tabletop displays. Just add a few accent plates and you have elevated the look of the table. Sophisticated, but simple.


A Cozy Cabin


A woodland look at Christmas is one of my favorites, and I have taken that theme in lots of different directions on my dining table through the years. This delightful setting at Nell Hill’s is a more casual take, like it’s set in a snug cabin in the woods, with the snow falling outside and a fire crackling in the hearth.

Check out this interesting twig light fixture, a conversation piece that adds to the room’s charm. We layered the table in throw blankets, turned on the diagonal over the tabletop.

When you add vertical height to a table, you add drama. So we lifted each place setting just a bit by using these faux wood circles as chargers. I think they are ideal with these pheasant-themed winter dishes we can’t get enough of.


Farm House Charm


This room, with its soft, inviting furniture and layers of touchable textures, feels like a welcoming old farm house. It promises a quiet, simple holiday, focused on family, friends, great food and conversation.

The denim sofas, wicker chairs, lovely vintage rug and a mix of wood furnishings make the space feel so approachable, a gathering place where the kids can really play or where you can watch the big game on TV.


A nostalgic Christmas look is really grabbing people’s hearts this year. This room has that in spades, with its birch wood accents, smatterings of red berries and a tree covered in ornaments you remember from your childhood. You can almost smell the apple pie baking and the turkey roasting.

In the 35 years I’ve had the pleasure of helping people make their homes beautiful for the holidays, I’ve learned that putting in a little time to dress your home makes you and your guests feel special, an ovation to the significance of this special time of year. But I’ve also learned that, as you fix and primp, you have to always remember that it’s not about the decorations or presents or food. It’s about the people you love.


Next Week … Come see some of my favorite looks for holiday decorating.