Interiors
Nov 26, 2014

House tour: Elegant holiday farmhouse

By: Sara Cation

House tour: Elegant holiday farmhouse Author: Style At Home

Interiors
Nov 26, 2014

House tour: Elegant holiday farmhouse

By: Sara Cation

"Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” Coco Chanel’s famous style advice about paring back, both timeless and true, can be applied to more than just fashion. And this season, we look no further than Michelle Morgan Harrison’s 1885 colonial farmohouse in New Canaan, Connecticut, for proof.

A fashion editor at influential magazines like Elle and (now out-of-print) Mirabella, and editorial director of Saks Fifth Avenue before she set her sights on interior design and started Morgan Harrison Home, Michelle decorates with the quiet elegance synonymous with Chanel, even during the (decoratively) loudest holidays…like Christmas. Her sophisticated silver, ivory and sage green scheme, elevated with simple natural accents and delicate handmade details, makes this clean and classic celebratory style worthy of any best-dressed list.

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House tour: Elegant holiday farmhouse

Outdoor Christmas decor

Evergreen wreaths are suspended by sage green ribbon in every window of homeowner and designer Michelle Morgan Harrison’s 19th-century Connecticut farmhouse, while swaths of garland grace the porch railing and door frame. Natural and uniform, the look blends into the house’s countryside setting and strikes the tone for the festive scheme indoors.

By: Sara Cation Source: Laura Moss Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Elegant holiday farmhouse

Everyday seasonal

Whether it’s Christmas or not, Michelle’s signature style is a sophisticated uncluttered mix of modern and traditional, often in a muted palette that’s big on texture. So it’s no surprise that her approach to decorating for the holiday season is the same. While many err on the side of “more, more, more,” Michelle keeps it simple with natural elements, a subtle sparkle and colours she knows she can happily live with.

By: Sara Cation Source: Laura Moss Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Elegant holiday farmhouse

Carol of the bells

Repetition is key to a cohesive Christmas look. In the entrance hall, Michelle hung silver bell Christmas ornaments from sage green ribbon, which is echoed throughout the rest of her home on wreaths, gifts and stacks of books.

By: Sara Cation Source: Laura Moss Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Elegant holiday farmhouse

The real McCoy

It may not be true of Santa, but these vintage McCoy and Haeger vases are the real deal. When filled with loose bouquets of fresh paperwhites, the casual floral arrangements match Michelle’s colour palette and add a festive touch without stealing the show.

By: Sara Cation Source: Laura Moss Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Elegant holiday farmhouse

DIY Advent calendar

Simple, subtle and stunning, Michelle’s Advent calendar proves that they don’t all have to be bright and kitschy (not that we’re opposed to kitsch). The fashionista made hers with card stock tied to lengths of white ribbon. By the 25th, the date cards will have been flipped over to reveal a perfectly timed message: Santa Claus is comin’ to town.

By: Sara Cation Source: Laura Moss Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Elegant holiday farmhouse

Christmas tree

A could-be-tacky artificial tinsel tree gets elevated to glamorous effect with dozens upon dozens of silver, green and mercury-glass mini balls. A green bow tops the tree, mirroring the presents tucked underneath. And let’s face it: When gifts are this beautifully wrapped, you don’t want to hide them under a big tree. It’s nice to have a secondary place to display your packaging efforts!

By: Sara Cation Source: Laura Moss Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Elegant holiday farmhouse

Restyled bookshelves

When restyling her bookshelves for the holidays, Michelle covered every volume with putty-coloured kraft paper that matches the walls and blends into the background, letting the Christmas decor (like the simple poinsettia display here) truly shine. Stacked in groups of three or four and tied together with sage green ribbon (of course), the books look like presents subtly tucked into an everyday vignette.

By: Sara Cation Source: Laura Moss Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Elegant holiday farmhouse

Reindeer games

She may decorate minimally, but Michelle doesn’t shy away from sparkle. A few strategically placed glitter-covered reindeer shine on the bookshelf.

By: Sara Cation Source: Laura Moss Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Elegant holiday farmhouse

Eat, drink and be meringue

As committed to the colour palette as you’d expect a former stylist and fashion editor to be, Michelle serves sweets in a scheme that matches her decor. Homemade ivory and mint green meringues in shiny glass apothecary jars look both decorative and delicious. Best of all? They don’t have to be tossed after the party (if there are even any left!) – meringues can last up to a week when stored in an airtight container.

By: Sara Cation Source: Laura Moss Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Elegant holiday farmhouse

By the banister with care

There’s no reason the Christmas stockings have to be banished to the fireplace – Santa will still find them on the banister, too. Michelle made these ones and hand-stitched white leaves around their tops for a delicate designer’s touch that echoes the poinsettias placed elsewhere in the house.

By: Sara Cation Source: Laura Moss Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Elegant holiday farmhouse

Jack frosting

Old-fashioned desserts, from mini cupcakes to pecan tassies to poinsettia cake, are Michelle’s specialty. So it’s no surprise that she’ll happily throw a party sans any savoury food and serve only sweets and cocktails. How do we get on the guest list?

By: Sara Cation Source: Laura Moss Credits: Style at Home

House tour: Elegant holiday farmhouse

Toast masters

A classic Christmas look calls for a classic Christmas cocktail. Michelle serves guests retro sidecars in martini glasses with their rims dipped in red sugar – a festive version of the original.

By: Sara Cation Source: Laura Moss Credits: Style at Home
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House tour: Elegant holiday farmhouse