Minimalism Meets Merriment
The living room features a sectional sofa by DELLAROBBIA and a trio of paintings by homeowner and hobbyist painter Paul Fair. The living room features a sectional sofa by DELLAROBBIA and a trio of paintings by homeowner and hobbyist painter Paul Fair. For the dining room table centerpiece, Fair arranged three gold lamps, which she'd salvaged when a neighbor tried to toss them out.
CH&L: You live in a stunningly renovated 1950s ranch, and your Christmas decorations seamlessly blend with the minimalist décor. This couldn't have been a coincidence.
Homeowner Lorna Fair: It all started with an idea from my teenage son, Cole. We were driving up to my brother's house in Evergreen, like we do every year, to cut down a fresh Christmas tree, when Cole suggested we get four trees—one for each of the four windows in the front of the house. The whole design evolved from there.
Hold the phone. You were able to get your teenage son to talk about holiday decorations? We're very impressed.On the ottoman, Fair artfully arranged her collection of antique silver serving trays and her father's old sports trophies.
Both of my boys are used to talking about design; they've grown up around it. Their father is a product designer, and I studied art in college. We've been renovating our home since we bought it 10 years ago. In our house, there's always a family discussion about the holiday decorations, and every year we come up with a different theme.
So what did you do with Cole's idea?
My husband and I are both minimalists. So I knew if we were going to have four trees in the living room, we couldn't clutter them with too much stuff—I couldn't use all my decorations at once. I started simply by wrapping a string of bulb-style lights around the trunk of each tree. That felt a little stark, so I hung a few of my silver ball ornaments and some garland on the trees, and I finished off each tree with a silver star on top.
Where did you find the stars?
I owned one already, so I went around to stores looking for three that were a similar size and color.The bedroom set was made by Baronet, while the oversize, orange-corduroy pillows came from Nordstrom. Paul Fair painted the walls himself, creating a subtle textural pattern (look closely) by using two different sheens—flat and semi-gloss—in the same color to render a series of large squares.
It sounds like the color silver emerged as a theme?
Absolutely. I wanted the house to feel sparkly and festive. But I also thought: How can I do this without spending too much money? So I worked with what I already owned, which happened to be a quantity of silver things. The silver balls get used almost every year. Sometimes I fill planters with them and other years I'll put them on the tree. I also have this collection of antique silver pieces—a set of serving trays from my mother and my dad's silver sports trophies from the 1940s. This year I arranged them on the ottoman with some silver candlesticks and flowers.
It's nice to have a few sentimental decorations at Christmastime.
Definitely. Since I have a minimalist eye, I don't want a whole lot of decorations cluttering the house. But I do have those moments when I want to pull out the old manger scene and set it up; I almost feel like I'm cheating on the decorations by leaving them boxed up. That's why I liked bringing out the tray and trophies. I think they soften the whole design.
What's the story behind the lamps on your dining room table?
Those were actually my neighbor's rejects—a set of three antique lamps that were headed for the trash bin. I thought they were such an interesting shape, and at the time we didn't have a light fixture above the table, so I arranged them as centerpieces to add some interest and some light. You can't beat the price: free.