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Article: Johnson Family Holiday Home Tour For 2023

Johnson Family Holiday Home Tour For 2023
Family On...

Johnson Family Holiday Home Tour For 2023

As you scroll through social media this time of year, you’re immediately hit with a plethora of inspiring scenes – many of which are home exteriors, interiors, or holiday OOTDs. 

Not only is holiday décor a form of self-expression for our family and many others, it’s a series of traditions with sentimental value. The action of decorating in and of itself holds much more than the enjoyment that the final product brings, in our opinion.  

Exploring and drawing inspiration from different holiday styles is so fun because there are so many different styles and mixes. It’s a way of expressing ourselves outside of our everyday home décor, and that’s evidenced by the variety of holiday décor styles within our own family.  

You’ll probably notice some similarities and repetitive products among our family households As we invite you inside our homes {virtually, anyway!}, you’ll probably notice some similarities and repetitive products among our family household. You may also get to know each of us as little more as you read about our approach to holiday decorating and as we each highlight a few decorated corners in our homes. 

Come on in... 

Laura, Founding Artist and CEO: 

Milton and I usually decorate the weekend after Thanksgiving, but construction {to refresh a couple of rooms within my home} has delayed my typical Christmas decorating timeline. Rather than say “forget it” for this year and skip decorating altogether, in the spirit of Mary Parker and Whit’s first married Christmas and Emma’s very first Christmas, I’ve found myself slowly but surely adding holiday touches to certain corners of my home as projects are beginning to wrap up.  

Even though the decorations may not end up the same as past holidays amidst my in-progress renovation and re-decoration efforts, it will definitely add a sense of festivity for our family.  

Our “Famous Johnson Christmas Tree” should be decked with years and years {a lifetime, really!} worth of ornaments within the next week or so. I’m truly looking forward to adding some incredibly special ornaments to it this year to commemorate Emma Hill’s birth and Mary Parker and Whit’s marriage. 

For now, here are some snapshots of Christmases past.   

Kyle, Creative Director: 

My décor theme this holiday season is “The Usual with a Little Extra... & Pink!”  

I typically tackle the interior of the home first, then the exterior, and then the Christmas tree very last. It’s usually an all-afternoon effort, and I like to make the whole “getting-up-into-the-attic" thing more enjoyable by starting with popping open a bottle of Mumm Napa Sparkling Brut Rosé. Warren’s and my decorating tradition has become to end the evening by getting take-out Indian food, putting on a Christmas movie, and decorating the Christmas tree. 

My favorite style for Christmas décor is mid-century, the design style that was popular in the 1940’s - 1960’s. Much like my home style, this style is characterized by a mix of both modern and traditional elements, and is typically known for its bright colors, tinsel textures, classic Christmas icons, and nod to nostalgia. 

I tend to go more maximalist in my holiday décor approach, layering lots and lots of colors and textures together within different corners of my home. Admittedly, each year, I have a hard time thinking outside of the typical spaces I decorate. For some reason, I find it hard to look at my own home with a fresh approach or a fresh set of eyes, and tend to decorate my home very similarly each year – both where inside it and with what.  

On one hand, I like to keep within tradition, and on the other, I find my creative side itching for something new and different each year. This year, while I ended up decorating most of the same spaces, I was able to pull off a few enhancements to make Emma’s first Christmas extra-special. Here are some of the spaces I decorated: 

Christmas tree:  

Our older home’s lower ceilings cap us at about a 7ft Christmas tree each year, and we love to decorate as many branches of it as possible with big, bright lights and with Warren’s and my curated collection of ornaments {plus a new one each and every year, of course, as tradition goes!} 

Our Red Stripe Tree Skirt is a nice, oversized base for all the wrapped gifts I vow to get under the tree earlier and earlier each year. A custom needlepoint tree topper handcrafted by my grandmother, Dee Dee, is the last addition and the finishing touch on our tree every year. 

This year, I added bright satin bows and silver tinsel for that extra special touch, and after enjoying the irresistible twinkling as the tinsel sways and reflects the lights, I’m going to have a hard time not recreating the look next year, too! {Ask me again after we have to take the tree down, though...}

Living Room Shelves: 

I have collected vintage Christmas homes for years and love lining them up and mixing them with my assorted bottle brush trees to create a whole village. Since this Christmas decoration was an inspiration source as I set out to design our Christmas in the Village Collection, I loved adding the Christmas in the Village Platter within the village on a plate stand once it launched. 

Fireplace Mantle: 

Ornament Garland + lights, + fresh fraser fir + stockings hung with care = a cozy scene from the view of the couch! 

Entryway:

A new addition to my holiday home décor this year is an Elaine Burge original hand painted nativity set that I placed in a prominent spot right inside our front door. I strung twinkle lights through it to make it glow at night! 

Dining Room Cabinets: 

My staple display of our collection of fine China {a mix of Herend Pink and Green Chinese Bouquet, as well as a gold and white set passed down generation after generation in my husband’s family}, gets a festive update for the month of December. A simple salad plate swap, additions of velvet Santa Claus figurines, and hand painted ornaments tied with satin ribbon transform this space into a festive front. This year, I extended my Christmas village to this space and displayed a few homes atop each cabinet fixture. 

Bar cart: 

A few simple additions like a Santa figurine, velvet “Ho Ho Ho” letters, and a holiday Big Attachment on my Happy Everything! Big Round Platter from our sister brand, Happy Everything!™ by Laura Johnson, make my bar cart a favorite corner in my home during the holiday season. 

Our home’s exterior: 

A few touches of pink were a “must” in our home throughout the autumn and holiday seasons this year following Emma’s birth, and the perfect spot for Christmas was on the wreaths to coordinate with the ornament garland swag around our front door.  

Sara Kate, Brand Photographer:  

I just bought my first house last year, so I am still getting into the groove of trying new things and seeing what I like for my holiday décor theme, though I usually just work holiday décor into my everyday décor. 

You might have noticed a common tradition among our family’s trees: we all use the same style star as a tree topper. Years ago, our grandmother Dee Dee needlepointed one for each of us, had it stuffed and mounted, and gifted them to us. We have all treasured them greatly every year. 

Each year, I make my own Advent wreath, using four brass candlesticks. I light one every Sunday during Advent season, and this year, I set the wreath up on an old burl wood cabinet in front of a childhood portrait of my dad. It looks a little spooky in a “Ghosts of Christmases Past” kind of way.  

I have collected lots of vintage and new décor over the years and bring it out each Christmas. I am the proud owner of a pretty impressive candlestick collection, from brass candlesticks, to wood candlesticks, to crystal candlesticks. I love mixing old and new pieces around the holidays to fit into my mood. But, I think my favorite new addition to my décor this year is my brand new Best Aunt Ever Glass Ornament hanging on my tree, given to me last year by my sister, Kyle.  

From my vintage collection, one of my favorite heirloom pieces is a Swedish Anglaspel that I picked up in Atlanta a few years back. When you light the candles, the heat makes the brass chimes rotate and they gently brush the brass bells to chime softly. It’s really lovely to have in the corner of the room. I also hang a wreath over some sconces or on the bathroom door. 

I’ve been very inspired by the trend of using ribbons as Christmas décor. I’ve seen lots of photos of ribbon tied into bows tied onto Christmas trees, around candlesticks, and on wine glass stems, so I’m definitely working that into my décor this year. My sisters and I are hosting a Christmas Eve “eve” tea for the ladies in the family, and I am pretty sure some of the trendy bows will make an appearance on the table. 

When decorating for Christmas, I lean into using lots of fresh greenery. I am on the “real tree, real garlands, and real wreaths” team because I love the smell so much. Living in Florida gives me a great chance to get creative to use local and foraged greenery during the holiday season.  

In past years, I’ve used palm fronds and driftwood mixed with poinsettias to make into a wreath for a fun and full look. This year, I was lucky to come across a huge bunch of wild mistletoe, and, after sharing with my friends and family, I hung a few sprigs in my own home too. I’ll never reveal where I discovered it! A sprig of mistletoe with a ribbon tied around it makes a lovely small addition to holiday decor. Just be sure to wash your hands after handling and keep it away from pets - it’s poisonous! 

Mary Parker, Merchandising Manager: 

My holiday home décor style has absolutely no theme, per say. Growing up, my mom always knew how to decorate for Christmas all throughout our home, though with no real theme. Her traditional décor included handcrafted decorations we made, passed-down decorations, and, of course, new favorite finds from our Coton Colors stores. Somehow, it worked in the very best way.    

I’ve picked up on this approach when decorating my home during all the holidays. I’ve had the opportunity to customize different rooms within my home to fit a specific color palette and decorated my main areas of my small {but mighty} Atlanta townhome.  

This being Whit’s and my first Christmas married, we are just starting our Christmas traditions. Growing up, a rule in my family was that we weren’t allowed to decorate for Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving, but now since Whit and I live in Atlanta and travel for the holidays, we have started to decorate the weekend before, and I must say, we love this.   

We get home after Thanksgiving break, and the house is completely decorated – this might be a new tradition to start! I am looking forward to starting our own traditions every year with my new family, and coming from a family that is big on traditions, it will be very special to start our own. 

This year, I’m decorating my: 

Bar cabinet installations:  

This is where my main Christmas décor is displayed. These cabinets are where I dedicate decorating for all the holidays throughout the year. Being able to add little things to the display makes it super easy and festive to decorate. Although, for Christmas, I do a major overhaul and redo the entire thing to be able to fit the start of my Christmas collection.  

I used the Christmas in the Village Collection as my main “theme” driver and then added in different complementary decorations to fit the vintage theme. One addition that is new this year is that I worked in my Coton Colors x Steinbach Nutcrackers, which brought in festive colors and height.   

I love being able to mix everyday and seasonal décor into these display cabinets, which is why I also added in Whit’s and my new wedding cake plates that we had custom done for our wedding to give out as favors. They brought in the perfect shade of festive teal.  

I love vintage Christopher Radko ornaments, and I nestled them into my bar glassware and different bowls to bring in all the colors and materials as well. What tied it all together was my Coton Colors Silver Tinsel Trees with a series of different ribbons on the top acting as the “star.” 

Lucky me that I get to work in this room every day and be surrounded by such festive décor!      

Living Room:   

This is where the shining star is: the Christmas tree! Another lesson from my mom is to pack your tree full of ornaments from head to toe - and no, there is never a theme {and never will be!}   

The Christmas tree must be my favorite part of all Christmas decorations. Pulling out every ornament from years past and remembering the reason and memories behind each one brings so much joy 

We joke and say 2023 was the busiest, craziest, but most amazing year so far and how it’s going to be hard to beat, but somehow it always gets better and better as time goes by. I added over a dozen new ornaments to the tree commemorating our engagement, my bachelorette party, our wedding, our first Christmas, becoming an aunt to my first niece, and many more celebrations to count. 

Another very special touch to this year’s tree is my childhood ornaments. My mom has started to officially pass down our childhood ornaments to me and my sisters. These are some of the first ever Coton Colors ornaments, so they’re very special and will be forever cherished. The tree is finished off by a needlepointed star that Dee Dee made, another cherished piece I will be passing down to my kids someday.  

This year, I decided to accent my “forest” of colored bottlebrush Christmas trees throughout my shelves and feature my holiday village houses at the bottom. This way, I didn’t have to redo all of my shelves, but could still add some festiveness.   

Growing up in a ranch style home, I have always dreamed of having garland hung along a staircase. I've never had the opportunity to do this due to having such a short handle, but you know what, she believed she could, so she did. This garland is the perfect festive fit for the townhouse.   

Back Porch: 

This was the simplest thing to execute, but a festive way to bring the décor to the porch. I planted rosemary and cypress trees in pretty pots and added a green ribbon to the top.     

Marcie, Fulfillment Center Director:  

The theme for my holiday home is traditional with a modern, personal twist. 

Fondue is part of our decorating week, and it’s become one of our favorite traditions.  Fondue is a very big part of Swiss Christmases – they will traditionally go to the Christmas Market in Lucerne and then go to a restaurant and enjoy fondue. It’s nice and warm after being out in the cold of winter. We make it one of the nights that we decorate the tree, though we usually decorate it very last. A little bite of fondue, another couple of ornaments!

Traditionally, we really love a big, full, crazy tree that is usually a native tree, meaning unshorned. This year's tree is a very pretty tree that’s really fresh and smells so good. It actually looks exactly like the one on the ornament we collected this year, the Trimmed Tree Glass Ornament one - so befitting!

Over the years, I have been a huge collector of unusual nativity sets. The very first one I bought {40+ years ago!} was a small terracotta set of 12 pieces. Today, it is still one of my very favorites. This year we are enjoying a beautiful set that was made in Peru. I love my vintage Coton Colors pieces from years past and always bring them out for Christmas.   

The day after Thanksgiving, I remove all of our everyday coffee mugs and bring out our Santa mugs. I love them! I also have hand-painted Santa, reindeer, and Christmas tree bowls that we use for everything. I also have the Birth of Christ Ornament Series hung on Ornament Stands on display in my cabinets.  

Laura, Mom, and I all enjoy doing needlepoint. Mom is really a professional, and some of her pieces are incredible. This year, she gifted me some crewel pieces that she made. I love them! They feature images of three unique Christmas trees. That gift is a beautiful act of love! Last year, she needlepointed and gifted me with pieces depicting the “12 Days of Christmas” song. Those pieces are ones that will be cherished by us now, and in the future by others!   

Not surprisingly, needlepoint and crewel work is a part of our everyday home décor, and we keep those front and center during the holidays too. I know it sounds old fashioned, but I tell you, they add a lot to the Christmas décor, and the things Mom makes are exquisite and up to date. I have vintage pieces that still look timely.   

Courtney, Finance Director:  

I am still trying to figure out my Christmas “feng shui” in this new house, but the theme for my Christmas décor is colorful and vintage. Even though this is technically not my first Christmas in my new home, it feels like it is. This is because last year, we had just moved in and had several projects that were being wrapped up. So, this is my first “settled” Christmas in my home. 

A few years ago, I started the tradition of adding a small Christmas tree to Parks’ room where he hangs all of his non-breakable ornaments and décor. This tree just makes me smile every time I see it because it reminds me of Parks. Ruby is also a huge fan of this tree; she sneaks in there every chance she gets and snags a felt ornament as her new chew toy.  

A great thing to add to any kid-friendly tree is the Pom Pom Garland. This tree also had a topper made by Dee Dee, and the Red Stripe Tree Skirt with Pom Poms. My favorite thing I added in Parks’ room this year was the vintage Coton Colors nativity. The second I pulled that out of the box this year, I knew exactly where it needed to go.   

For the tree, I focused more on the pops of color instead of trying to use a bunch of different ornament styles, with a majority of them just being plain balls of different sizes. I thought the multicolor tree topper and gold star tree skirt complemented the ornaments. I love the pops of color and lights against the dark walls.  

Each year, I light my tree starting at the bottom. Whoever lights from the top to bottom is weird {in my opinion}. I usually use white lights on my tree, and while this year, I got the urge to switch them out for colored lights, once I got that second tree, I decided to wait until next year instead. 

I kind of went a little extra and decided to {at the last minute}, add another Christmas tree in my front living room. I love driving by and seeing the lights in the front window and being able to enjoy the decorations and lights from all the different areas of my house. I feel like my decorations this year have been bright and colorful. I always love choosing trees with personality: the fatter and imperfect, the better! I chose blue spruce trees for the 2 main living/family rooms.  

I love this Christmas tree because it has all of my sentimental and storytelling ornaments, from handmade ones that Parks has made, to Coton Colors Glass Ornaments celebrating so many major milestones I’ve experienced over the years. I love pulling out these ornaments and revisiting those memories each year. This tree has the topper that Dee Dee needlepointed, and the Red Stripe Tree Skirt.   

In my display cabinet/bar, most of the things were already in there as my everyday décor, I simply just added some fun colorful Cody Foster houses and glass trees to transition to the holiday season. I also grabbed a Signature White Ruffle Bowl from my dish cabinet and planted a small lemon cypress tree in it. A Christmas cactus would also be great alternative; I have a few of those sprinkled in other areas of my house, too.  

On my coffee table, I added a bowl of colorful ornaments for an added pop of color and grabbed our Christmas in the Village Platter to use for holding my Christmas cards. I always use some sort of Christmas bowl or platter to hold these – they’re so multifunctional!   

My main family room is more casual and comfortable since this is the place that we spend the most time and will likely be where we will open presents on Christmas morning, unless Santa decides otherwise.   

One of my newest, most favorite Christmas additions this year is putting out a handmade nativity by Elaine Burge, an artist from North Georgia that I have admired for a few years now. I loved this nativity set from the minute I first saw it; the pops of color and different materials/textures that she incorporated really speak to me.   

In my kitchen, I love using holiday and Christmas dishes. That cup of coffee or plate of salad just tastes different when it comes from a dish with Santa or a Christmas tree on it! I’ve added several Christmas in the Village items this year along with the Gold Star Salad Plates as a holiday “basic.”  

I will be hosting a few Christmas gatherings this year, including our company Christmas party, which contributed to the desire to do a little more this year. I haven’t made the plunge yet and started adding lights/decor to the outside of my house, but that will be my goal next year! 

Taylor, Atlanta Flagship Store Owner: 

My Christmas decorating theme is simple and basic; I try to keep things decorated, but with simplicity. Having little kids that play in the house, I wanted to make sure it felt like the holiday season, but didn’t want to constantly worry about something breaking. For example: in my kids’ playroom, I put up big, colorful felt trees. They are kid-friendly and if one gets knocked over, it's no big deal. 

My vintage Coton Colors nativity is one of my all-time favorite Christmas décor items. I have loved setting this out every year. I have also caught my kids a few times playing with it, which makes me so happy to see.  

I am excited for more Christmas traditions to start with my kids, and this is really turning out to be a fun year for them during this season. This was the first year that they really wanted to be involved in the tree decorating, and they asked me for the story behind every single ornament.  

It was so sweet to see how excited they were to learn about each one and then have them hand it to me to put on the tree! I haven’t given in yet to the inflatable yard decorations, but I might have to soon!  

Gear up for the holidays this season with our seasonal décor. Whether you're hanging up stockings, designing your most festive Christmas tree yet, swapping out your old tree skirt for a new one, or shopping our 2023 Holiday Gift Guide for everyone on your "Nice" list, our seasonal décor will get your home ready for the Christmas season. Shop holiday decorating essentials now. 

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