Suzanne's home filled with antiques, fine European furnishings, and notable art, yet it is always inviting and cozy. She loves incorporating outdoor elements such as magnolia leaves, eucalyptus pods, paperwhites, pinecones, and citrus throughout her holiday decor, and today as a resident of Southern California she has a plethora of natural elements available at her fingertips. Let's take a look inside Suzanne's home decked for the holidays... I have included highlights of her tips from One Kings Lane written by Laura Morgan with photography by Nicole LaMotte and styling by Scott Horne.
The piano provides an opportunity for Suzanne to showcase her collection of blue and white vases, and to show off a bold floral arrangement.
Suzanne likes to make a grand style statement in one area—as she has here with the lavishly dressed and candlelit mantel—as opposed to doing a series of smaller vignettes throughout a room.
Free falling ribbons add an element of seeming spontaneity to the carefully planned mantle. Painting by Marmaduke Cradock.
Classic pomanders, oranges studded with dried cloves, make a chic statement piled high in a crystal bowl. “Being from the South, citrus and greenery have always been a part of Christmas to me,” said Suzanne.
Whatever your tree-trimming style, the choice of topper is worth careful consideration. “Ours has been there since, oh my gosh, practically the beginning,” said Suzanne. “It’s German, and it’s made of this beautiful gold paper, and the face and the hands are molded wax. She’s held together with love at this point, but we couldn’t have anything else up there.”
“Our tree really doesn’t change from year to year,” Suzanne said. “All of the ornaments on it mean something to us.”
Suzanne trims her tree with ornaments she and her family have been using, and loving, for decades.
When it comes to a graceful table setting, there’s nothing quite like silver. “You have to work to get it clean, but then if you use it all the time the way I do, you can just take a cloth and wipe it once a week and it will basically stay that way,” advises Suzanne.
Suzanne endorses buffet-style celebrations, especially for Christmas brunches, as some find sit-down dinners too stuffy or too stressful. She serves anything from “a delicious hot dish like grits” to a green salad. Spicy pecans and cheese straws, a reminder of her Southern roots, are seasonal standbys. Punch is always a crowd-pleaser, and it allows the hostess to attend to last-minute details in the kitchen rather than being tied up taking drink requests.
Suzanne embraces oversized arrangements during the holidays.
The bird prints, from a vintage ornithological book, were framed 18th-century style in a sculpted glass to create that beautiful, but not overly glossy, reflection.
Suzanne bought this 19th-century candlestick from a dealer, and her daughter was recently lucky enough to find a similar pair at auction.
The holiday spirit carries through to the kitchen, where Suzanne strings all the Christmas cards with family pictures she’s received on a ribbon that runs down both sides of the door.
The elegant bar is given just enough holiday flair courtesy of the greenery-dressed curtain.
Fresh garlands embellished with oversize pinecones bring the natural beauty of the California outdoors inside.
A simple boxwood-and-pinecone wreath works especially well with traditional architecture. Leaving the bow untied adds a bit of tossed-off glamour.
For additional pictures and many more of Suzanne Rheinstein's holiday tips, please visit One Kings Lane. You will also find a specially curated a sale designed to recreate Suzanne's elegant taste in your own home! Suzanne's most recent book, Rooms for Living, is available through One Kings Lane and Amazon. I also love her first book, At Home: A Style for Today with Things from the Past.