Dressed for Christmas...the Night Before

Last month I was invited to participate in a designer show case for the Christmas season at the Palace of the South - the Hay House in Macon, Georgia.  Each of the designers was given two lines from the poem, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, as a starting point and inspiration for the design of our rooms.  

One of the rooms I chose was the Nanny's Room, which at one time was also a sewing room and a nursery.  Below is my inspiration, story, and design...

 “He spoke not a word, but when straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk…”

A handmade Christmas for the children is the inspiration behind the design of the Nanny’s room.  It is her gift to the children she cares for and loves to create her very own Christmas for them ~ her room, like Santa’s workshop, becomes a happy place in which they can visit, wrap gifts for their parents, and play before all the festivities with the adults begin.

Paper bunting banners with images of Santa Claus and icons of Christmas hang from wall to wall and create a canopy of wonderment for the children.

With items that she has collected, she sews muslin Christmas stockings for each child.  Using old pillow cases, cheese cloth, sheet music, and discarded champagne cages, she creates a pair ethereal angel dolls which lay upon vintage linens on her sleigh bed.  

Some of the other gifts she will present to her children are stuffed animals, books, and sugared fruit.

Old terracotta flower pots no longer used in the garden filled with roses, pine cones, and candles sit atop the mantle to hold the Christmas stockings.  Rustic wrought iron candelabras illuminate the room in candle light and twinkle lights sparkle around the windows.  

Tiny toys are abundant.

Throughout the month, she will celebrate each day with the children and has tiny gifts hidden in envelopes, which the children may open on each day of the month until Christmas.

Decorations are simple and symbolic of the season representing those used during Victorian times and around the time of the Civil War.  Pomegranates, apples, bundles of cinnamon sticks, vintage doll ornaments, gifts wrapped in natural Kraft paper and delicate paper doilies, tied with baker’s twine, are some of the traditional decorations you will see throughout this room. 

{Photo courtesy of the Telegraph, Macon, GA}

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I also had to opportunity to design a second room, the adjacent Children's Bathroom.  This story is below...

“To the top of the porch!  To the top of the wall! 
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

 The view through the window in the bathroom down to the ball room festivities below revealed that it was time to get Dressed for Christmas.  Using some of the stunning glass ornaments from the Hay House collection as my starting point for the colors of this room, I dressed this bathroom in a palette of turquoise, red, gold, pearls, and mink.

Showers of crystals, painted glass ornaments, and a vintage inspired candle chandelier sparkle as they hang beside a sumptuous crimson velvet curtain tied with a gold rope.  Standing by is a lovely lady dress form adorned in a winter white mink stole, pearls, a ruby rose, and an evergreen skirt embellished with twinkle lights and baubles in turquoise and red.

 High above on top of the cabinets in the corner is the gentleman’s black woolen and velvet top hat, courtesy of the Hay House, tied with an aqua sash and festooned with some sparkle.  The perfect accessory for the evening’s soiree.

Garlands of boxwood, gilded pine cones, ruby roses, and gilt branches frame the windows while a golden grapevine wreath hangs on the top of the wall and the soft glow of candle light illuminates the room.

{Photo courtesy of the Telegraph, Macon, GA}

This was a wonderful experience and was so much fun, working in this historical mansion and being able to use some of their vintage decor and ornaments.  I will share some photos of our "Dressed for Christmas" home next time I pop in, and certainly before the New Year.

My wish for you is that you all may have a blessed Christmas.  Be safe, love the ones you are with and those who are not with you.  Be kind, patient, and remember what Christmas is really all about.

Buon Natale Amici!
Merry Christmas Friends!