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.
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.
franki saysNovember 21, 2016 at 3:20 pm
It is Holiday Wonderful!! Just fantastic displays!! franki
Jeanne Dick saysNovember 21, 2016 at 3:22 pm
Do ginger jars come in any other color besides blue?
Mary Carol Garrity saysNovember 21, 2016 at 5:30 pm
Yes, Jeanne, they do!
Nancy McHale saysNovember 21, 2016 at 4:18 pm
I love it all! Especially the blue and white!!
Ann Knott saysNovember 21, 2016 at 4:21 pm
We so enjoyed visiting your lovely shop on our way home to MI. I have enjoyed your books through the years and was thrilled to be there in person. We are enjoying our purchases and wish all a happy holiday season.
raguel vasquez saysNovember 22, 2016 at 3:27 pm
What color paint on your first picture with the mantle and all those beautiful?
Raguel vasquez saysNovember 22, 2016 at 3:42 pm
What colors did you use for your walls?
Mary Carol Garrity saysNovember 23, 2016 at 3:24 pm
Hi Raguel, we used Mary Carol Artisan Paints. Give us a call for more info: 816-746-4320.
Nancy saysNovember 25, 2016 at 10:13 am
Mary Carol, any plans to restock the red plaid table cloth?
Mary Carol Garrity saysNovember 28, 2016 at 3:19 pm
Nancy, give us a call at 816-746-4320.
Louise saysDecember 1, 2016 at 2:58 pm
I read an article in my local paper back in November with tips for trimming the tree and decorating the mantle. It was the “blue and white” photo above. The article states that after a mishap with the tree falling on the dining room table, Mary switched to an iron urn. I would love to do the same with a live tree but am unsure as to what type of urn (shape etc) would hold the tree’s weight. I’ve searched your site in hopes to catch a glimpse of one of the urns but no luck. Can you please post a photo or email me one? Thank you and Merry Christmas!
Mary Carol Garrity saysDecember 5, 2016 at 12:26 pm
Hi Louise, we use large, iron garden urns in our store, and in my home, which have a bell shaped top, a stable base and plenty of room to hold the bottom portion of the tree.