Deck the Halls

By Kate Riley December 12, 2009

The color red has been banished from the living room this year due to my latest fixation with hot pink accents.  However, the rest of our collection of crimson décor is making an appearance all around the rest of our home.  

As rainstorms pounded the house yesterday, we decided to skip those crowds at the malls and stay warm and dry indoors by making hot chocolate and decking our front hallway and foyer with garland, berries and red ribbons. 

front entry christmas

In years past, I’ve made every effort to cover the banister to hide the ordinary oak railing that I was never crazy about.  Ever since we refinished the staircase in this dark espresso color, I have no desire whatsoever to hide its new finish, so I swaged some simple greenery this year instead of wrapping it all around. 

Underneath the fresh cedar, the base is formed by a lighted faux fir garland.  We thought ahead to Christmas when we remodeled the house, and added electrical outlets at the top of the stairs. 

On top of the fir I’ve swagged some fresh cedar from a local farm.   


garland up stairs


We added bunches of red berries and some fun polka dot ribbon.  

berries and ribbons


The kids hung a medley of jewels from our Christmas collection.



Wall sconces receive a sparkly candle, some ribbon and greenery. 

christmas wall sconce


The children are also enjoying their Manzanita Advent Tree that I made this year. 

manzanita tree and garland


I picked up these candlesticks earlier this year at a thrift store and they’ve sat in this spot all year long.  They always look fresh regardless of the season. 

white candlesticks with fruit


I set a traditional scene on the highboy I refinished earlier this year with various shades of red, paired with white and gold.  The ornament wreath I made two years ago by hot gluing cranberry and gold ornaments to a foam wreath.  It usually hangs in the living room, but I think it looks just as pretty in the foyer this year.  

highboy with christmas decor 

master and mistress

ornaments and poinsettias


As merry as it looks by day . . .

front entry christmas


I like our decked out hallway best at twilight.

twilight foyer


Wishing you all a very merry weekend ! 


  1. It looks very festive and merry around your house! I can’t wait to fix up my stair case, my light oak wood hand rail drives me crazy and is one of the first projects I have planned in my new house– yours turned out lovely!! Very inspiring!

  2. wow. so pretty and festive. i love the touches of fresh greenery on top of the faux garland! makes me wish i had a pretty staircase like yours to deck out. great job!

  3. One of my favorite parts of Christmas is the garland on our staircase. I just love yours – especially the dangling jewels. What do you use to attach it to the railing?

  4. Oh yes! So pretty! Red, White and Green always looks so nice together. I, too, WANT to know where you found such a realistic garlands. As I will admit, the first thought that came to my mind was..” ohhh! she must have to clean up the mess everyday!” as I thought it was real.

  5. we think alike! I, too, made my electriction put plugs everywhere including the stairs for garland at Christmas! you can never have too many pretty light around the house! lol

  6. It is absolutely beautiful. Nothing says Christmas to me more than a green garland & red ribbons. And, what a smart idea to put in the electrical outlet at the top of the stairs…I will file away in my “someday” file.

  7. Ohhhhhhhhh, those busts are a hoot! Love that! My sister, too, has the PINK vs. RED quandary until she finally had to do red one year, pink the next! I LOVE both, I could never choose!
    Your home is gorgeous!

    m ^..^

  8. Kate where did you buy your manzanita tree. I need one..we had one as kids and decorated it for every holiday..i would like to find one for my mom and decorate it for her..thanks if you get a chance..

  9. I LOVE your staircase (I am doing mine similiar in January. Did you put a laquer over the stain?) LOVE your decorating. I did a little, then kinda lost some power to keep me going, but I have good ideas for next year!

  10. Good thinking – adding outlets for lights. I got those same ‘jewels’ in amber for a client. Love them. Didn’t see them in red, tho. Stunning. Dontcha love the way light reflects thru them? Beautiful entry, Kate.

  11. It all looks beautiful, Kate! I love seeing foyers and entryways given proper attention at Christmas since this is where guests come in and leave from.

  12. I just visited several posts and found the all to be wonderful. I do love your entryway decorations and the garland on the staircase rail…the green on the white.

  13. Kate,
    Merry Christmas!
    I love this post. So merry and love the jewels on the garland.
    I finally made the kids’ Advent Tree. I copied off yours but I just spray painted a free branch silver. I’ll have to get you pics.
    Your home is divine!
    Shannon in Austin

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