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Home design ideas: Simple and easy ideas for holiday decorations

Simple greenery and a collection of nutcrackers add holiday cheer to a historical home in Hingham.

Nutcrackers from the homeowner's collection help make this living space feel festive.
Nutcrackers from the homeowner's collection help make this living space feel festive.Jessica Delaney

Jaime Moore had long admired a stately Greek Revival home on the main thoroughfare of downtown Hingham. So, when the new owners called for design help, she was thrilled. Recently, she transformed a room that was a landing space for random kid stuff into a cozy hangout, then decorated it with classic touches for the holidays. “The prior owners used the space as an eating area even though there’s an adjacent dining room,” says the founder of James Studio Interiors. “Now, it’s perfect for family game nights and cocktails with friends.”

1 A nearly indestructible polypropylene rug in a vintage style was the launching point. “We pulled the aqua tones out for the accessories, including the Johanna Howard mohair throws,” Moore says.


2 “Sofas would have crowded this typical New England long and narrow room,” Moore says. Instead, she gathered four comfortable armchairs upholstered in soft performance fabric around the existing leather ottoman.

3 Figge Floral Studio created the magnolia garland for the mantel. Moore weaved in loose eucalyptus leaves from Hingham Greenery. “Eucalyptus smells good and dries well,” she says.

4 Nutcrackers from the owners’ collection stand sentinel on the mantel and dot the bookshelves. The client’s grandfather carved the wooden swan and ducks as Christmas gifts. “Personal touches make it truly feel like the homeowner’s space,” Moore says.

5 The designer added pine cones and eucalyptus leaves to boxwood wreaths from Trader Joe’s, along with simple red bows. “I hang them from clear Command hooks and get the drop just right by retying the ribbon,” she shares.

6 Moore painted the millwork off-white paint for warmth. The navy grass-cloth wallcovering on the bookshelf backs set off the items on display.

Marni Elyse Katz is a regular contributor to the Globe Magazine. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.