Simple décor and textures enhance an understated and elegant holiday look. Copper, brass and gold metallic finishes, as well as green garlands and wreaths, add to the aesthetic.

The holiday décor of this home in Williamsburg, Virginia, is a perfect balance of charming, cozy and elegant. It belongs to Jenni Holmes of the Dear Lillie Studio, her husband, Jonathan, and their two daughters Lillian and Lorelei. Her style shows that you don’t need a total makeover to create a little holiday magic. Use these tips to inspire you to make your home feel festive and nostalgic with an effortless flair.

  1. Neutral

“My overall style is traditional with a little bit of a twist,” Jenni explains. To keep her look versatile from season to season and year to year, she sticks with a neutral and monochromatic color scheme. “Most rooms have a relatively neutral base with creams, grays, blacks, navy or chocolate brown, so I can easily mix things up seasonally. If I want to bring in different colors for Christmas, summer or fall, it’s easy to do that.”

Gold may be glamorous, but the fact that it looks lovely with just about any other color makes it an adaptable and easy neutral, no matter the season.

Accessories with bronze, brass or gold trim details not only look on-trend, but they can also create a Christmas look in an instant when combined with gold ball ornaments and handmade wreaths.

Greenery doesn’t necessarily have to be real. “If you find something that looks real, snag it,” Jenni says. “It lasts forever and is worth it.”
  1. Natural

A simple way to make any home feel merry and bright for the holidays? Just add greenery and natural branches and twigs, fresh or faux. “A lot of the time I’ll use clippings from outside. I’ll find branches and berries and just layer them in,” Jenni says.

Dark walls create a cozy atmosphere in the bedroom. Jenni layers crisp, bright white into the space for high contrast.

For Jenni, this also means fresh roses, which are a tried and true way to add a romantic ambience. “Around the holidays you usually can’t get a lot of fresh flowers, but no matter what your holiday color scheme is, roses look pretty,” she says. “If you stick with one color and cluster them together, it makes a statement.”

A pair of vintage wooden skis add wintery flair to a corner in the dining room.
  1. Collected

Casual, but with an elevated personality, Jenni’s home feels warm and inviting through the use of sophisticated furnishings with comfortable textures, metal accessories and dark neutral colors. A mix of hand-me-down antiques and vintage-style furniture creates a collected and approachable ambiance.

Jenni’s white sofa pops against the deep gray walls where a plush tartan deer head is mounted with a fest wreath. A pair of vintage snow shoes rest in the corner.

Finding the right pieces is key to creating a livable look, whether it’s an heirloom mirror handed down from Jenni’s great-great-grandmother, vintage skis or sleds, or a new-but-made-to-look-antique dresser.

“We just like it to be a welcoming place so that when people walk in and it’s decorated [for Christmas], it makes you feel right at home,” Jenni says.

  1. Crafty

Lastly, what’s a surefire way to personalize your home for the holidays? Jenni insists on adding homespun decorations for a family-friendly and sentimental touch. “There are so many ways to make it look and feel ‘holiday’; you don’t have to buy your decorations at the store,” Jenni says. “You could make gingerbread men and string them onto ornaments. You can string popcorn or cranberries on a garland—those are some of my favorite memories. You could just make a few things and make it feel special.”