By: Holly Pembroke • Interior Decorator • Middlesex, VT.

As I get ready for the holidays I think about traditions and what this time of the year means to me - family, home, comfort, giving, and simplicity. Around the holidays it is so easy to get lost in the schedules, parties, and stress. It can be overwhelming and expensive - but it doesn't have to be.

I have a sign in my kitchen that says "keep it simple". That sign has been with me for 10 years as a reminder in my life and in my approach to decorating. To me, simplicity is beautiful. I highly recommend the book Lagom; a wonderful message to remind us of balance in everyday life. In Swedish the word Lagom means not too much, not too little. 

This year for holiday decorating I challenge you to keep it simple. 

Use things we already have in abundance in Vermont and bring in something from the outdoors:

  • pine cones
  • branches
  • greenery

Be creative and don’t spend a lot.

I am excited to showcase some of my favorite holiday decorations and inspiration from some of my closest friends.


Every time I walk into Karen’s beautiful mountain home, whether it’s holiday time or not, I feel so at peace with the natural elements that she has brought inside. Her birch trees are so simple, yet so spectacular.



Adri has a way of making things look so gorgeous and I love walking around her house this time of the year because her decorations – the elements of gold and the white lights – are so stunning but again simple. 



Heidi always has an amazing tree – topped with her Swedish straw tree topper and Swedish straw ornaments in her windows. 

This is a family tradition for her.




   Sonya displays her holiday cards on her staircase with a rope and clothespins. She keeps it up past the holidays to surround herself with her loved ones. 

   Such a fun way to display holiday greetings!


Lastly - Our Barn Wreath

This year we cut branches in the rain and snow and worked the entire day to create a simple inexpensive wreath. We did not use a wreath ring and instead used wire to create the shape. Throughout the process we doubted ourselves, Dave endured a series of wire cuts on his hands, but in the end, it turned out to be so pretty. 

We challenged ourselves this year to make our own and not buy one, and we’re extremely pleased with the result. 

Happy holidays to you all! Enjoy your friends and family and enjoy the simple things.




I’ve always been passionate about design and how a change in a room can effect positive change in your life.  As an interior decorator, I work collaboratively with clients – many who have busy, chaotic lives – to create peaceful, organized, beautiful, spaces in their homes. I also stage homes for those who are selling, and I love demonstrating how simple changes can increase a home’s value.