Christmas Styling 2012

A few years ago I was out and about running errands when I happened to look in a store window and see a gorgeous antique chair sitting in the window.  People were milling around inside and it wasn’t clear what the store was (no signage yet), so I parked out front, made my way inside and quickly asked the first person I saw if the chair was for sale.  Well, that lovely lady was Danielle, a photographer that had just opened her new studio, and she informed me that the gorgeous chair I was drooling on her floor for was, in fact, a prop and wasn’t for sale.  Rats!  But we struck up a conversation and quickly learned that we both love antique furniture and we should get together.  So we exchanged phone numbers and I went on my merry way, scheming how I was going to convince her that I needed that chair more than she did.
Time passed, but Danielle eventually called.  We chatted it up about motherhood, our mutual love of all things vintage and, of course, photography (not that I had much to contribute to that part of the conversation).  She also began following this blog and I became a fan of her photography.  Then she did the unthinkable!  Last year she asked me to decorate the tree in her studio!  I was honored and excited and jumped at the opportunity.  Well, she invited me back again this year.  Yay!  She even recommended me to another store owner near by.  You’re awesome, Danielle!
I suggested we decorate the window boxes outside her studio this year.  They went untouched last year and thought it would be a nice addition to what we were doing inside.  Here’s how the window boxes looked before (I had already piled up the evergreen underneath):

And after:

The only items that I purchased for these window boxes are the faux berries, which are from Hobby Lobby.  It’s amazing what you can create with evergreen, sticks, birch logs and pine cones.  Mother Nature has created the perfect decorations, so why not use them?

Then here is the set I created which Danielle appropriately titled “Christmas Morning”.  She had the fireplace, the beautiful, velvet, vintage sofa, picture frames and door panels.  I put them all together to create a cozy, naturally lit display.  She didn’t want it to be too busy and she needed it facing the window for natural light.

I couldn’t decide if I wanted an evergreen wreath or a vintage sheet music wreath above the mantel, so I used both together.  Why not?  I think it actually turned out all right.  I added some vintage picture frames, books, lighted evergreen garland, more pine cones and a few more faux berries to finish it off, but again, kept it simple.

Some of you might recall the tree I decorated for Danielle last year:
The color scheme was much more neutral.
Well, this year she wanted the colors to match the sofa she intended on using in her shoots.  But I had already purchased the red bulbs when she texted me a photo of the very burgundy, sometimes copper colored (depending on the light) vintage sofa she wanted to match.  So I got to thinking and decided to add some chocolate brown ornaments to tone down the red.

The colors all worked together perfectly.  Whew!

Just look at that sofa!  Don’t you just love it?  Yet another fantastic Craigslist purchase!

Once her studio was finished, it was time to move on to the other store, which is an “art gallery meets Kinko’s” says the owner, Andrew.  He creates canvas wrapped prints, life size canvases, t-shirts and now even offers gifts in his store, such as candles and custom frames.
His storefront is on a main street corner and it’s huge!  Here is what I had to work with:
And here is how it turned out:

The evergreen tree is meant to be a magical surprise you’ve stumbled upon in the middle of the  forest.

The daytime photos weren’t turning out that well because of the reflection in the window, so I decided to return at night to try again.

Aha!  What a difference!  Now you can really get the sense of the mood I was trying to create.
I asked him if he could find a picture of a birch forest and blow it up.  Of course he could!  He printed it up on 4 giant canvases and we used it as our backdrop.  Not only did I want to create a beautiful, wintery scene, but I also wanted to make sure we highlighted what Andrew can do!
You might notice that there’s a lot of empty space above the birch canvases.  When you’re up close, it’s very noticeable, but you can’t see that space from the street at all so there was no point in cluttering up the window to cover that space.
Hi Guys!

One of Andrew’s best sellers is a canvas wrapped “Love” print with a picture of the State of Wisconsin for the “O”.  I suggested we do a similar one and use the word “Home”.  Together we designed the canvases below that now hang in the corner storefront window of his gallery.

“Home” “for the holidays”

I’d like to give a HUGE THANK YOU to Danielle for believing in me and for asking me to return again this year AND for referring me to another client.  I never did get that chair from you, but I gained so much more that day I stopped in front of your store:  a wonderful friend!!

Thank you, also, to Andrew for trusting Danielle enough to give me a shot.  I had such a great time working with you and I’m really looking forward to working on future projects with you!

Thank you for reading!


Linking to:

Embracing Change
Chic on a Shoestring



  1. Very inspiring, Laura!!!

  2. Your photographer friend has a wonderful sofa and paneling for her studio. They make the scene

  3. Laura how cool to strike up a friendship while shopping!Congratulations on being asked to stage.That tree is beautiful inside and in the window.Love that photo behind it too!Pretty window box.I agree just by using elements from nature can look beautiful!

  4. You did a great job, both displays are beautiful! If I had to choose, I would have to pick Andrew’s storefront as my favorite, not because it is “better”, but because I love the outdoors and that is such a pretty, magical scene!!

  5. Both places look amazing! How totally fun for you – what an awesome opportunity! I am so in love with what you did for the store window – you totally captured the mood you wanted!

  6. Oh my goodness! Just came over here from Lemonade Makin Mama and I love your work/posts! Sun Prairie is not that far from me and I WILL be making a trip to Artworks for one of those fantastic WI signs.

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