Better Homes & Gardens: This California Home Is Filled with Glamour For the Holidays
Homeowners Kristy and Jeff Wicks, with rescue pup Maggie, welcome Christmas into their home for nearly a quarter of the calendar year. Kristy, the creative force behind kristywicks.com, admits that her husband allows her to do most of the holiday decorating, but he is always there to help or, more importantly, fill her wineglass or distract her with conversation.
These Californians spend most of their year living in tailored, organized surroundings. "Less is more," Kristy says with a laugh. "But I know you'd never believe it." That's because when it comes to Christmas, Kristy follows her heart, not her head. She owes her love for the holiday and its abundant trimmings to her childhood.
Kristy's mom and dad made Christmas a happy, stress-free time, where enjoying the process was key. That approach stuck. Kristy begins her extensive decorating in October, but she always keeps the mood light. Jeff and their daughter, Emma, are encouraged to join in the fun, with few rules. "The decorations make it look like I care where everything goes, but it's more about fun and family," Kristy says. "I just keep adding and adding. I forget the time and [by the end] I've added a million things." Kristy may be exaggerating, but only slightly. Her three full-size trees are loaded with ornaments new and old, large and small; myriad flocked, frosted, artificial, and real floral stems; and loads of sparkle. The surfaces in her home are layered with an array of various garlands, Christmas villages, overflowing florals, and miniature trees in a variety of sizes. Each year, the festive look changes. "All the ornaments I love come out," Kristy says. "For me, it's always fun. And always different. We reuse the same ornaments but in different ways and different rooms."
Warm lights twinkle from every angle of the family room, including special curtain lights that create a cascading glow over the windows. The tiny lights trimming the room's grand mirror match the lights decorating both the tree and the mantel, but these delicate copper strands remain year-round. Berry stems and small trimmings on the coffee table tray introduce small pops of red to the otherwise golden-hue tree and room decor.
A photo frame ornament featuring the Wicks' daughter, Emma, and Kristy's father, peeks from the living room tree's flocked limbs and beaded stems. "My whole life, Christmas was always about my dad. He loved when my mom would decorate. He was like a kid. His eyes would light up," says Kristy, who tries to create the same environment for her family.
On the mantel, an artificial garland embellished with a mix of stems is wrapped in Stargazer Cascade Falls Twinkling Lights ($98, Terrain). "I'm very particular when it comes to lights," Kristy says. "Never underestimate good twinkle lights." Identical lights create a backlit effect on the tailored wreath (Accidental Farmgirl), while inexpensive bottle-brush trees, candlesticks, and glittery snowflakes complete the mantel display.
Transforming the staircase requires precise measuring, draping, and layering. Delicate wired lights hang beneath evergreen garlands topped with faux-boxwood strands. Ribbon ties and ornaments gather the garlands at the banister.
Rather than tuck all of her daily favorites into a cupboard at holiday time, Kristy integrates each piece into the holiday scheme. Cutting boards and kitchen trays don miniature trees, serving bowls collect ornaments, and stools feature mini wreaths and golden bells.
Two sparse trees in the dining room, belie the grand, bursting trees in the living room and family room. Beaded garlands and petite metallic ornaments join a few small nests and birds to keep the look delicate while still complementing the rest of the home's holiday decor.
The dining table is dressed to impress with fresh florals and assorted golden accents, but it is hardly untouchable. "I try to use everything I have and not call it off-limits. If it breaks, it breaks," Kristy says.
Cozy and catered to visiting kids, the guest bedroom, is layered in color and subtle Christmas accents. Artwork dedicated to the winter months fills the wall above the bed but still leaves room for a lighted garland. Kristy recommends hanging garland on stick-on hooks that easily can be removed without damaging walls or furniture.
More whimsical than the other trees in the house, the guest bedroom's flocked tree is packed with colorful ornaments rather than earthy stems. Childhood ornaments and nostalgic favorites that don't otherwise fit the holiday decor of the house always have a home here. A woven basket base hides the tree stand while complementing the casual look.
Trays that gather goodies in every room receive special treatment during the holidays. A round, gold-hue tray teams glittery ornaments with an ever-present vase filled with artificial winter greens and berries. A pine-scented candle introduces a soft glow and holiday aura.