Interior Decorating by Elaine Burns

Subtle Holiday Decor

It’s official: It’s December 8th, and the holiday season is in full swing. This time of year especially I fully embrace the gold, glitter, and baubles and I am lucky to live in a city that does too.

One of my favorite family traditions is picking out and trimming our Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving. We admire our most special ornaments and decor while listening to the best selection of Christmas songs.

This year I wanted to really deck out my Brooklyn apartment, but also wanted to be mindful of the small space and not overwhelm our living room with a Christmas decor explosion.

With a nod to my family holiday traditions, below are 4 ways that I am embracing the season in a subtle, though no less festive, manner.


A wreath
We have a round mirror in the entryway (and not much else besides some coats) that lends itself to needing a little bit of sparkle, especially now. This was a thrift store find from my mom. If I didn’t have a spot for it here, it would definitely be outside my front door.

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A garland
While I love our low-ceiling living room, the space is challenging to fit a Christmas tree (even a mini one). So, I opted for a lit garland. It brings enough holiday feeling to the room without distracting from the rest of the design.

Cozy Textiles
I’ve written a couple of times about my recent textile obsession, and now I have added all of my coziest knits and shearing blankets to the couch to warm up the space. Coupled with a good book and noise-cancelling headphones? Talk about a perfect Sunday afternoon.

Hand Crafted Gifts    
I’ve found the best way to really get in the holiday spirit is to channel my crafting cravings into at least a few handmade tokens for friends and family. Spending an afternoon among all of my supplies and assembling gifts is especially wonderful when done with a group of friends. This year as part of a Friendsgiving celebration, my friend Tala of @eatsandthecity and I made these red velvet mason jar treats.