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Holiday Decorating Tips from Designer Barclay Butera

From designer Barclay Butera

Christmas is such a special time of year; a time of gathering with loved ones near and far, possibly making delicious baked goods or playing your favorite Christmas movies.  A time when you splurge on gifts for under the tree and maybe even one or two for yourself. And of course, a time when you get to show off your design skills decking the halls, whether you’re a designer or not, through your Christmas decorations. 

I live in Southern California where it never snows and you might find yourself outside on Christmas Day. Because of our beautiful beaches and palm tree lined streets, it can sometimes be challenging to incorporate Christmas décor with a coastal inspired home. So today I’m so happy to be showing you how I do Christmas in my home in sunny Newport Beach, California.

Make a First Impression with your front entrance


Photo: Ryan Garvin

I always like to make a great first impression and believe decorating your front door is a must!  It is not only inviting but also sets the tone for what’s yet to be seen inside. To compliment my blue-ish gray front door and custom Barclay Butera mat, I used boxwoods for the garland to frame the doorway and wreath for the front door.


Photo: Ryan Garvin

Choose your color story


Photo: Ryan Garvin

Choose your color scheme early on in the process so you don’t add items that won’t make the look cohesive. Do you want an all-white color story? If not, think about what colors compliment your current furniture or artwork, keeping in mind that you can change out pillows and textiles easily to go with your design.


Photo: Ryan Garvin

 I am very inspired by the coast and my love for everything blue and white. I recently returned from a trip to Mexico and also wanted to translate the blues I saw from the ocean during my trip. It’s a slightly different hue than I normally use but very reminiscent to sea glass.

Add fresh flowers


Photo: Ryan Garvin

Adding fresh flowers to your home is an easy and inexpensive way to introduce color to your Christmas décor. I used Brazilian pepper berries and festival bush to add pops of red that perfectly compliment existing home accessories, such as my Hermes change tray.  


Photo: Ryan Garvin

Set the table


Photo: Ryan Garvin

One of my favorite parts of decorating for Christmas is taking out my favorite Ralph Lauren china and setting the table. The tablescape is blue and white, of course, to play off the blues from the Christmas tree with classic and sophisticated elements.  I added a touch of coastal with these fun seashell placemats and bamboo tableware. 

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