At Danielle’s bright, pastel-inspired home, Christmas is a kitsch family affair. Take the tour and get ideas for how to have a very kitschy Christmas.
Think Christmas, and odds are you’ll picture red, green and gold, the traditional colours of the festive season. For Danielle Thompson and her family, these have been replaced with fresh, candy shades – and guess what? It works. Their Georgia-based family home positively sparkles with vintage angels, frosted white trees and kitsch figurines, for a celebratory visual feast. Danielle is a trained graphic designer, so it’s no surprise that she has a colour-coded approach to the festive holiday season. Only a design perfectionist would buy a fake green tree from IKEA, then repaint it orange “to co-ordinate with my Christmas colour palette.” Likewise, she eschewed the cardboard ornaments that came with it and used her own “so the colours would co-ordinate better.” And a quick scan of her hot pink sideboard reveals gifts wrapped in fuschia foil or white with scarlet pom poms, all designed to hang together.
As a mum and freelance creative she has relished the organic process of decorating their 1960s ranch, and over the years the house has under-gone three eclectic looks. “I go with what I’m into,” she says. “But essentially my style is retro with a lot of colour.”
And what colour: a glorious blend of pink, turquoise and yellow mixed with white. Partly, says Danielle, the colour bursts have been prompted by a lack of natural light “so it has been a challenge to work within those boundaries.” But she loves to be surrounded by cheerful shades and urges everyone to embrace colour. “Try to repeat certain hues throughout a room to give it a cohesive look,” she advises.
In the formal living room she has practised what she preaches: there’s a pink sideboard and cushions, and yellow-print wallpaper (done in her own custom colours) yet she’s tempered these shades with a tan vintage sofa: “I like to include a healthy dose of neutral or white: it provides a calming environment.”
Danielle is a huge fan of vintage, and most key items were bought for a snip. The living room sofa and coffee table were sourced through Craigslist classified ads from the same owner “all for around $250!” Danielle has also picked up a vast collection of knick-knacks and artwork, and admits to having “a lot of collections.” Over the dining table there’s a cute mix of vintage clocks, and in the sitting room a tableau of flea market portraits is massed above the sofa. She’s even whipped out her paintbrush to repaint some of the backgrounds “to match my palette better.”
With her love of flea market finds, it’s no wonder that Danielle’s Christmas decorating has a retro flavour, too. Everywhere you look, shelves are cleared to showcase tiny painted angels, kitsch plastic Bambi deers and wooden Father Christmas figures. And while the frosted white fake tree dominates the living room, smaller Christmas trees also bristle with hot pink and yellow baubles. “The boys also have a little tree for their shared bedroom,” she adds.
It’s Danielle’s openness to new influences and unusual thought patterns that keep her home so fresh and charming. She firmly believes in using items in a non-traditional way. “Mixing up decades – 50s, 60s and 70s – gives a fun, eclectic look,” she says. “Disregard the rules!” So when Christmas Day dawns in the Thompson household, without a flash of forest green or gold in sight, suddenly yellow, hot pink and white seem enticingly festive instead.
How’s this for a neat idea? Baubles and pom poms sit together on skewers to make a pretty festive bouquet.
This article originally featured in Mollie Makes 46.
Words: Judith Wilson Photography: Danielle Thompson
Make mini felt house fairy lights (below) with Danielle in Mollie Makes Christmas, out now.
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