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Design Ideas
A Festive Farm
These holiday tableaus on a festive farm will inspire you to create interiors with elegant vintage and Midcentury Modern touches.
There’s something so familiar and comforting about the hallmarks of the holidays: the profusion of reds and greens at the grocery store, the peppermint-flavored mochas at the coffee shop and the carols playing over the speakers at the mall. But there’s nothing better than coming home to your own festive farm hideaway—and then inviting your... Keep Scrolling
Written by AUTUMN KRAUSE
Photography by BRET GUM
Styling by SYLVIA ASMUSSEN, MADAM


There’s something so familiar and comforting about the hallmarks of the holidays: the profusion of reds and greens at the grocery store, the peppermint-flavored
mochas at the coffee shop and the carols playing over the speakers at the mall. But there’s nothing better than coming home to your own festive farm hideaway—and then inviting your nearest and dearest over for hand-warming mugs of cocoa and a gift exchange.

Christmas entertaining area made in a barn, flanked with miniature pines and sprinkled with gifts and pops of red.
MERRY MEMORIES. Sometimes a setting invokes a theme. When Sylvia saw the barn for the festive setup, she immediately knew how to style it. “There is a scene in White Christmas where the cast is singing, and the lodge doors open to reveal the Christmas trees and snow outside. When I saw the large barn doors at this farm, the first thing I thought of was that movie scene. I wanted to put my own spin on it and design a space that captured that moment.”

No one understands this better than stylist extraordinaire Sylvia Asmussen, the owner and CEO of Madam Palooza, a vintage rentals company. “Your home is the most important place to be, especially during Christmas,” she says. “I decorate my entertaining spaces so that they are festive and serene, which encourages my loved ones to visit often and stay longer.”

I decorate my entertaining spaces so that they are festive and serene, which encourages my loved ones to visit often and stay longer.

Using pieces from her company and her styling expertise, Sylvia partnered with Owl Creek Farms owners, Kerry Casler and  Kimberly Brown, to create cheery, inviting holiday tableaus on Owl Creek Farms’ beautiful grounds.

Festive Farm Eats

A hot beverage and dessert station mixes the traditional with the unexpected. The station comes alive with a Midcentury Modern-meets-urban-farm theme. “We designed and built a retro 1960s white backdrop and placed it behind a rustic plank table and barnwood crates,” Sylvia says.

Aerial view of a silver tray of gourmet donuts next to desserts and a lit votive candle.
BAKED FOR JOY. Sylvia turned to EAT Marketplace for these delectable doughnuts. For just the right holiday flavors and toppings here are her suggestions. Peppermint frosting on a cake doughnut, gingerbread with chocolate chips and sugar cookie with chopped nuts. “But my favorite,” she confesses, “is a s’mores topping of roasted marshmallows and crushed grahams on top of a chocolate doughnut.”

She layered in fresh greenery to add texture and aroma to the station and then
incorporated micro elements, like homemade square marshmallows and candy canes and cinnamon sticks for stirring.

SMELLS LIKE CHRISTMAS. Fresh greenery and cinnamon sticks complete the look but also add a lovely aroma.

Good entertaining requires attention to taste as well as visuals. Sylvia carefully paired her holiday-flavored doughnuts with dark chocolate cocoa. “Since the doughnuts had a variety of different toppings and flavors, I kept the hot chocolate as simple as possible,” she explains. When it comes to setting up your own dessert and beverage station for entertaining, add retro details for a fun aesthetic. And if you opt for holiday doughnuts, you’ll find they are delicious and don’t require any cutlery, a hosting godsend.

Christmas Seating

A good conversation setup is essential for holiday entertaining and can be achieved in any living room. For this inspirational tableau, Sylvia went for a White Christmas in Southern California aesthetic. “I love the midcentury vibe, so I used furniture from that era that had a neutral color palette,” Sylvia says. “This allowed me to introduce pops of my favorite Christmas colors: red, gold and green. I added geometric-red-print and gold-gilded pillows and brought in texture with a shag rug and faux fur draped over the sofa.”

Sitting area with a light colored couch and armchair in the background and a midcentury inspired coffee table with a pile of wrapped Christmas gifts in the foreground.
FEELING FRESH. With neutral furniture as the backdrop, the red and green accents are extra vibrant and really pop.

She styled the top of the coffee table with a varied blend of evergreens, pinecones, antlers and gilded decorations. Her approach can be scaled for any living room. Simply layer topical elements into your current setup. Throw blankets and pillows are a no-fuss way to add lots of holiday cheer. A coffee tabletop display with greenery clippings and ornaments immediately draws guests in and encourages them to connect and recharge from the holiday bustle.

Remember Your Why.

Festive farm outdoor dining setup in the form of a long family style table made up of farm tables and church pews with string lights hanging from the trees above.
UNDER THE TREE. If the weather permits, having dinner outside allows guests to enjoy their natural surroundings, along with delicious food and drink. When it came to styling the outdoor dining experience, Sylvia says, “I knew I wanted my design to complement the natural surroundings. The owners showed me their collection of weathered farm tables and pews, and I fell in love. They were my anchor pieces for the rest of the design.”

With Sylvia’s tips, your holiday entertaining will be as pleasurable for you as it is for your guests. “I love creating holiday spaces because they bring my friends and family together,” Sylvia says. “And what’s more important than that?”

Want more simply beautiful ideas? Check out this post on Ideas for a Rustic Cabin Christmas. 

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