Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Christmas at The Well Appointed House

Of all the beautiful homes I write about, I do have my favorites... and the historic Greenwich, Connecticut home of Melissa Hawks from The Well Appointed House is at the very top of my list. Built in 1912, the pink Mediterranean estate known as the Mary C. Morrison house or "Twin Elms" features breathtaking marble fireplaces, exquisite woodwork, mouldings, and ceilings. And Melissa has decorated it most exquisitely, using my favorite Gracie wallpaper, damask, and chintz. You may recall, I featured her home earlier this year, and today I am thrilled to feature it again, decked in its Christmas finery!

This article originally appeared in Greenwich magazine by Riann Smith, December 2015. Photography, unless otherwise noted, is by Julie Bidwell. 

The living room's stately marble fireplace sits beneath a trumeau mirror original to the 104-year old home. 

"We usually have one large tree in our library, a tree in our family room that the kids decorate on their own, and a tree in our foyer that has a bird theme," said Melissa. The library features an exquisite original coffered and gold-leafed ceiling. 

"Bringing out a holiday pillow or two can add to the spirit, or swapping out hand towels in the powder room with a set that has a holiday theme. I also love burning candles to make the house smell good." 

A hallmark of Melissa's seasonal style is incorporating indoor greenery. "I use fresh garlands and preserved ones that I sell through my website. If buying greens year after year gets expensive, you can buy a faux wreath or garland that you bring out at the holidays. They look so real now that it is hard to tell the difference. Work in some dried magnolia leaves, or use greens and pine cones from your own yard. If you are a real DIY-er, spray-paint different leaves and items with gold or silver." 

Waterford crystal, silver flatware, and crisp embroidered linens are an ideal backdrop for delicate china. The pattern is Allée Royal by Raynaud. "A holiday table gets personality by mixing formal and whimsical elements, which is fun for your guests," she says. A rose napkin holder adds drama and ties in the centerpiece and mantle, while festive figurines impart a playful touch. 

"The snowy scene is just so Christmas," said Melissa of her glittering village display. "I just love those little houses and lighting them up." 

"Part of the magic of the holidays is letting yourself indulge and feel like a child, regardless of your age, and truly experience the tastes and smells of the season," Melissa said. "I have a massive sweet tooth and love a table piled high with decorated Christmas cookies, petite fours, and candies." 

Melissa and her children, via Instagram.

Shop the look! Below are a few items from The Well Appointed House to help you recreate Melissa's style within your own home. I have also included some of my favorite Well Appointed gift ideas perfect for the holidays or any occasion... 


  1. Fabulousness! That dining room! And the stair hall, and everything else... She really has a wonderful taste level. So nice to see a house like that get an owner up to the task of decorating it properly. It truly is a Well Appointed House. Thanks for sharing this holiday décor. Made my day.

  2. I love her home and store! And aren't the stockings are so fun?! Hope you're having a great week!


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