A Colorado Home Decked Out for Christmas

See how this cozy mountain abode is decorated for the holidays
Holiday St John Room

Designed around the family’s Yuletide traditions, the living room’s Christmas décor emphasizes the time-honored red, green and white color palette. “The holidays are a big gathering time for this family,” says designer Courtney St. John. | Photos by Brent Bingham

Holidays in the high country are a special time of year and an opportunity for homes to reflect the holiday spirit with festive décor. Courtney St. John, principal designer and owner of Courtney St. John Studio, decks the halls in a client’s Colorado home each year, working with the family’s preexisting assortment of holly jolly nutcrackers and stuffed animal polar bears.

Holiday St John Moose

The magnificently decorated tree reflects the ranch-meets-rustic aesthetic, hence a moose set beside the evergreen appears woodland in tone.

“The wife really enjoys the same classic décor every year—think traditional red, green and white. She loves the nostalgia of the holiday,” St. John explains.

In fact, step inside the abode come Christmas Eve, she continues, and you will discover a Santa, accompanied by the “World’s Tallest Elf,” singing Christmas carols with guests and offering presents to the gathering children. “While that’s all going on, the homeowner is passing out cookies she’s made. She bakes hundreds of them all December long. The family’s Christmas Eve party is always something to behold.”

Holiday St John Cookies

St. John says the homeowner bakes scrumptious holiday cookies all December long for the family’s much-beloved Christmas Eve party and, later, Santa’s arrival.

To match the home’s ranch-meets-rustic vibe, St. John applies ribbons crafted from leather or suede, working them into garlands for the mantelpieces found throughout the home. “Each bedroom actually has its own fireplace, making the whole house feel warm and cozy in winter.” She selects chunkier ribbons, four to five inches wide, to achieve a charming classic aesthetic in the mantelpiece displays.

Holiday St John White Santa

Dangling from a tree bough, a Germanic Santa is a delightful nod to the holiday’s origins.

“The holidays can be so personal, so choose what you love to live with.” – Interior Designer Courtney St. John

Holiday St John Red Santa

One of many Father Christmases collected by the family, this Santa combines classic colors with rustic textures.

But St. John also expands the family’s collections. “Every year, we try to add another piece, like a new garland,” she says. Or, she might play around with which nutcracker stands front and center on the living room mantelpiece, as the lanky fellows are too tall for a bookshelf. “It’s always best to think about proportion and scale when determining what should go on the home’s largest mantel.”

Holiday St John Bears

A huge mama stuffed animal polar bear and her cub beckon holiday guests indoors to escape the Colorado winter.

When deinstalling the holiday décor, St. John is careful to mark where everything went. “That’s the beauty of sticking with predominantly similar décor each year; it’s always easy to figure out where things might go next time,” she says. Plus, reusing wreaths and garlands that you can return to every year can be a great way to become more sustainable during the holidays, she says.

For those eager to weave a more modern touch into their traditional Christmas décor, St. John suggests trying differently colored lights or other details that set a contemporary vibe. “There really are no hard-and-fast rules to getting the perfect holiday décor. Choosing whatever resonates with you is really the way to go. The holidays can be so personal, so choose what you love to live with.”

Categories: Cabins