Christmas dinner table with mix of white and brown chairs and rustic decor.
A big family always requires extra chairs at the table. Here, Cindy has combine two different styles that blend effortlessly together. A smattering of red ornaments and accesories stand out against the white and burlap on the table. Cindy made the ruffled burlap wreathes that hang on the chair backs herself.

In Southern California, where sunshine and warmth are plentiful even at Christmastime, you can still bring the magic of winter indoors.

Nordic style living room with Christmas tree.
The chippy benches placed around the tree add a rustic dimension to the room, and also provide additional space for packages. The ornaments on the tree itself are simple and in keeping with the decor of the room.

For Cindy Roberts, owner of Cute Pink Stuff, and her family of six—which includes her husband and four children, ages 10 to 19—her suburban Los Angeles home is kept looking pretty all year in a style inspired by feminine French-Nordic design. By adding her own handmade and natural touches, she’s able to capture a blissful and memorable winter theme.

“Each year presents a different decorating style,” says Cindy, iwho refreshes her home’s holiday scenery by introducing new DIY projects, color combinations and ornaments. Starting with a neutral background gives her plenty of room for her creativity to flourish.

The hardwood floors and most of the walls are painted in a cottage-white, which opens up the space and provides an easy opportunity to switch out the décor.

Kitchen counter set for casual holiday meal.
Christmas breakfast can be a casual affair, with fun place settings arranged at the kitchen counter. Each spot has it’s own special tree. Note the blue and white tile from the backsplash is repeated here on the counter.

Because Cindy prefers a simple color scheme of red and white, borrowed from Swedish and French design, she can easily mix in Christmas décor with an occasional pop of pink—a beloved hue.

White nordic style room with rustic holiday decor
Vintage ornament garlands are an easy way to add holiday charm to any room.

“In years past, I’ve been exuberant, opting for traditional red and green décor, colorful Christmas stockings,window dressings and poinsettia plants everywhere,” Cindy says.

“This year,I kept it simple with splashes of red on a white background (walls, floors, furniture) combined with rustic elements (burlap, pinecones, bird nests) and elegant shine (mercury-glass ornaments).”

While Cindy designs and sells many of the handmade decorative items found in her holiday décor, her minimalist ambience puts the spotlight on her artful pieces.

“Our home’s year-round style blends French Nordic with rustic and feminine elements,” she says. “Having a neutral palette of white makes it easy to incorporate splashes of red for the holidays. Adding natural tones of brown blends nicely without changing our year-round style.”

A white, Nortic style bedroom with rustic holiday decor.
A pair of garlands over the bed and a few white silk flowers bring the Christmas spirit to the master bedroom.

Cindy’s tips for creating a whimsical winter theme:

Chippy cabinet decorated for Christmas in Nordic style home.

1. Simple crafting materials are all you need to add a festive touch to popular Christmas ornaments and decorations. Tie red, vintage seam binding or ribbon to vintage glass ornaments and hang them from a tension rod above a window.

2. Incorporate elements from nature for an authentic flair. Use pinecones, bird nests and boughs of holly to dress up your mantel and tabletops for a fun and organic seasonal look.

3. Display handmade pieces for a personal touch. Cindy’s burlap ruffle garland and linen rag wreaths create a unique winter aesthetic and cozy feel.

4. If you prefer a less-traditional holiday color scheme, go monochromatic. In Cindy’s all-white, cottage-style home, she opts for touches of red matched with natural tones found in twigs, pinecones and burlap, which add warmth and depth.

5. Scatter sentimental items. From vintage Christmas cards from years past to a favorite handmade piece, Cindy chooses to surround herself with items that she loves. “Collections of the same or similar items work well,” she says. “Each sentimental piece repeats a special memory that can be relived daily.”

6. Start a new holiday tradition that allows you to slow down and savor the experience. Cindy’s family sets out a special wooden bench that each child sits on to open gifts and thank the giver.