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Design Ideas
Christmas Decorating With Blue & White
See how adding shimmery gold to this two-color palette is your sure-fire way to create a winter wonderland at home.
Santa will surely want to stop and admire the stunning beauty of this holiday home as he enjoys his milk and cookies on Christmas Eve. Interior designer Molly Kay Johns, owner of MK Interiors, transitioned her Purcellville, Virginia, home from its daily décor to a cozy holiday style that’s all about Christmas Decorating With Blue... Keep Scrolling
Written by Meryl Schoenbaum
Photography by Robert Radifera
Styled by Molly Kay Johns


Santa will surely want to stop and admire the stunning beauty of this holiday home as he enjoys his milk and cookies on Christmas Eve. Interior designer Molly Kay Johns, owner of MK Interiors, transitioned her Purcellville, Virginia, home from its daily décor to a cozy holiday style that’s all about Christmas Decorating With Blue & White.

living room with flocked tree decorated in gold and white ornaments
“I kept the Christmas décor on the tree simple so that it could still be seen and shine through,” Molly Kay says. “We don’t have a fireplace in this room, so I hang the stockings on the built-in. I do not like having to move furniture around to fit Christmas décor, so I was happy the tree fit perfectly in the corner. Golds and whites are what this tree is all about.”

Molly describes her everyday décor as “transitional and coastal contemporary,” and she has creatively incorporated her favorite Christmas decorations into her design approach of bringing nature’s beauty indoors with her color choices. As you walk through the Southern farmhouse built by her husband in 2017, you’ll find the colors of the winter sky, snow and silvery icicles that combine for an indoor winter wonderland.

living room with white shiplap walls, a large flocked christmas tree and a blue hall table with blue x-bench stools underneath
“The main focus of the family room is the built-in [wall unit] made by my husband,” Molly says. “I love its clean and simple lines and the shiplap in the back.

Feeling Blue

For Molly Kay, Christmas decorating using costal hues was a given. “I am basically obsessed with blue and white! Anytime I tried to use other colors, I just kept coming back to my favorites,” Molly says. “I added lots of metallics and realized that this kind of Christmas décor makes me happiest.”

large flocked tree in a tall-ceilinged foyer with blue double doors.
Molly wanted to showcase a Christmas tree in the entryway to greet guests. “We have a two-story foyer, so I knew when I designed the space that I wanted a very large Christmas tree right there when you walk in,” Molly says. “I absolutely love Christmas trees, and my entryway tree is my favorite! I always wanted a really big tree, and I love that it’s not in competition with any other pieces as it’s really the only thing in my foyer.”

The designer’s approach in transitioning from everyday to holiday style is particularly easy if your home already has coastal or blue elements. “To start, I chose a Christmas color scheme that went with my everyday décor,” Molly says.

Gold bottle brush trees add glimmer to tabletops and shelves. Since the house doesn't have a don’t have a fireplace in living room room, Molly Kay hang the stockings on the built-in.
Gold bottle brush trees add glimmer to tabletops and shelves. Since the house doesn’t have a don’t have a fireplace in living room room, Molly Kay hang the stockings on the built-in.

“My Christmas colors are lots of white and gold, and each tree has a different accent color that goes with the room it’s in. I don’t like having to take all of my everyday décor down so I add to it with my Christmas decorating and use complementary colors. I’m not a big fan of red and green so this palette worked better for me.”

white kitchen with brass counter stools and large brass lantern-style pendants
“The kitchen is the main focus and key element of the whole main floor of our home,” Molly explains. “I have always dreamed of having a large island, so I designed this kitchen to have a 10-foot island with seating for our whole family. I like a clean and open feeling, so I added just a couple of Christmas touches to the kitchen on the range hood and island.”

Christmas Decorating: Use What Makes You Happy

Molly makes a point of advising homeowners to decorate according to their evolving style preferences and sentimental pieces. “When my husband and I got married, we started from scratch buying Christmas decorations,” she says. “After 22 years, my tastes have changed a lot and décor has come and gone, but we still use the gold angel tree topper we bought for our first Christmas. It is on our family-room tree.”

dining room with a traditional table and a mix of modern and chippendale style chairs. Blue wallpaper on one wall.
“My dining room, while being a separate space, is open to the rest of the first floor, so the décor needed to be cohesive—even with Christmas décor. I decided to do something a little different and line the table with lanterns filled with ornaments. I also took all of my cone trees and put them together on the table rather than scattering them around the house. They make more of an impact all together.”

Molly has achieved her goal of creating Christmas décor that surrounds herself and her guests with a warm holiday feeling. “Family and friends are always saying my Christmas décor looks like it’s from a magazine, but they have also said how cozy and homey it is. That is the ultimate goal for my Christmas décor so I take that as the highest compliment.”

master bedroom with white tufted headboard and a brass modern chandelier
The master bedroom may be mostly monochromatic in white, but different textures, lines and touches of gold and blue add style and interest. “My top priority in my bedroom was a calm and serene feeling. I wanted a clean but elegant look. I opted for picture-frame wall molding painted in white on white as well as a white tufted headboard and bench to give the room an airy feel. I love to add Christmas décor to bedrooms, so here I did a white tree with white ornaments to keep the room light.”

Stress-Free Holiday Styling
Molly reveals her favorite tips for transitioning your rooms from everyday décor to Christmas.

  • Plan ahead. Start thinking about your décor a few months ahead. You don’t need to decorate until you are ready, but thinking about it well in advance and planning it out helps a lot.
  • Get your Christmas décor out a couple of weeks before you plan to decorate. This way, you can go through your items, see what you feel like using this year, and assess what you may need to purchase so that you have it all on hand and ready to go when you want to begin decorating.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to decorate. When you’re not pressed for time, Christmas decorating will be enjoyable rather than a stressful chore. Don’t try to get it all done in a day. I like to start early so I can take my time but also so that I can be done and enjoying it well before the holiday rush.
  • Only put up what makes you happy. One year you might be craving a simple minimalist look. Follow that feeling. Don’t feel pressure to go all out and decorate every inch of your home if you don’t want to. If you have décor you don’t love anymore, don’t put it up. Decorating with a few items you love is much better than adding a ton of things that are just OK. Quality is better than quantity when it comes to Christmas décor.
a young girls room with pink and purple floral wallpaper and a shabby white french style headboard
When designing my daughter Brighton’s room, I knew I wanted to do a bold wallpaper and paint her ceiling, so I kept the other three walls white,” Molly says. “I wanted a timeless yet current look and a design that I didn’t have to redo as she grew. Her little flocked tree decorated in pink almost blends into her wallpaper. She loves having a little tree all her own. Her furniture pieces are all French antiques.”
a dark greay farmhouse on a hill with woods behind
Molly’s house, built by her husband in 2017, is large, but the cool gray-blue exterior color gives it charm, character and style. “I wanted a dark color for our cement siding so I chose this gray-blue and did bright white trim and railings to have it pop,” Molly says. “We plan to put Pennsylvania bluestone over the concrete walkway. The house is new, so there is still a lot of landscaping to do. It sits on 5 acres so we plan to just landscape around the house and let the rest [of the property] be in its natural beauty. We have 8-foot double doors and a very large Southern porch. I like it to look welcoming to guests.”
front farmhouse style porch with flocked pine swap and a two robins egg blue doors each with their own wreath
Symmetry gives Molly Kay’s front porch it’s classic traditional feel.

Looking for more winter-wonderland-inspired holiday decor? Check out this post all about creating an enchanting winter wonderland dinner party.

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