“I wanted a Christmas tree that you could happen upon in the forest,” says homeowner and designer Barbara Milner. So she strayed from the glam and glitz and focused on fashioning a natural appeal that didn’t feel crafty. “I was going for fuss-free...and yet I fussed so much,” she adds. In keeping with the earthy elegance of her tree, Barbara wrapped the gifts in brown kraft paper – “I love the back-to-basics understated feel of it,” she says. “But, as with anything, you choose your moment to make a statement.” Here, it’s all about the sumptuous satin ribbons.
Go grocery shopping
Unusual and imperfect yet bright and seasonal, persimmons are the perfect accents for this natural style. Strewn along the mantel, they look like they’re about to be foraged by the vintage taxidermied pheasants above.
Customize the drama
Instead of splurging on pre-made bows, Barbara suggests going to a fabric outlet and having some custom made. These pricey-looking ones created from four-inch-wide peau de soie are dramatically oversized: 16 inches wide with 22-inch tails. “If you can explain what you want, it’s inexpensive to go to the experts,” she says. Find more holiday DIY projects here.