There are certain people you meet online that you are instantly drawn to like a long lost friend. Ragan Cain of Mountain Brook, Alabama is one of them. You may remember Breeze Hill Farm, Ragan’s beautiful home decorated by the celebrated Mark D. Sikes, and featured in the March-April 2019 issue of Veranda. The cheerful and gracious home is bursting with color, traditional southern charm, and whimsical flair…. Just like Ragan herself! I have been following Ragan on Instagram and was instantly hooked when I discovered her blog… The Frances Flair is named for her grandmother and namesake, Frances Ragan, who not only taught her about the importance of tradition but also how to boldly make her own way.
Ragan has had an appreciation for classic southern style from a young age. Growing up in Eufaula, Alabama, she spent much time learning about the importance of family traditions, growing a love of antiques and travel, and enjoying time spent around the table at her grandparent’s historic home. Ragan always knew what she liked, but has often felt she was born in the wrong generation. In college when Ragan found herself thumbing through Southern Living while her friends bonded over the pages of Glamour and Seventeen, she knew her interests were more specific. Now, her grandmother Frances’ love for beautiful things and strong sense of place also live on in Ragan through The Frances Flair.
Today we are delighted to welcome Ragan Cain to The Glam Pad as she shares 10 tips for holiday decorating, making the most of Christmas 2020, and how to nurture family traditions. We will also take a tour of her elegant 1920s Eufaula home, a favorite destination for Ragan and her husband Brad. Welcome Ragan!
1. Traditions ARE important, and while this year may have threatened the ability to enjoy those traditions, don’t give up hope! Instead, push yourself to enjoy those traditions, even if they have to be modified slightly for this holiday season. So if you always put up a tree each year for your annual family holiday party, still put the tree up, no matter your hosting plans.
2. It is A-OK to do the same thing each and every year. For me, I have spent 43 Christmases at the same dining room table, with the same menu and many of the same people. What can I say, I’m a creature of habit! So if you like to keep things the same then keep them that way! And enjoy it each and every year along the way!
3. Enjoy each holiday season! I never decorate before Thanksgiving because I like each holiday to stand on its own. Personal preference, of course! Then, as soon as Thanksgiving is over, it is game on for Christmas decorating. But, then it must all sadly come down by New Years Day!
4. Collecting is one of my favorite hobbies, and over the years, I have turned this hobby into a holiday decorating tip. When looking at your mantle or tablescape, pull something unique into the mix that has a story to it. For example, I most recently used a vintage swan as my centerpiece for a holiday shoot.
5. I have a tendency to impulse buy – when I see something I like, I want to buy it right then and there! So when I see a decoration or gift that I know is right, I go ahead and get it, no matter the season! I can always figure out what to do with it later, which is a much better option than regretting that I didn’t snag it at the time.
6. For me I am a red and green girl at Christmas (see #1 above) but I do love to throw in an occasional extra color- orange, yellow or a pretty blue for a fun twist. Even if you have a more classic or traditional vibe, try adding in that extra touch of flair to mix up your holiday decor this season.
7. When wrapping presents, remember that presents add to your decor! Even though they sit under the tree, a beautiful package can really stand out for a fun eye catching surprise. Want to take it one step further? Try adding a fun surprise to the top of each present. These items can be small and inexpensive and found throughout the year. Usually I choose an inexpensive find like an ornament, an eraser or something totally random that you can tie on top. Have fun with it!
8. Always dress for the occasion! I know this isn’t your typical decorating tip, but I am a big believer that every detail matters, including what you wear. So if you are hosting a small gathering this year, remember to dress for the occasion to add that final touch to your holiday decor.
9. Consider outsourcing your weaknesses when decorating your home. For me, I struggle with creating beautiful floral arrangements and centerpieces – I just never can get it right! So I always enlist a trusted florist to add the very important touch of floral element.
10. Last but certainly not least, remember to decorate for you. At the end of the day, you are the one who sees your decor every single day, so be sure that you love what you put together. It is so important that our decor makes us smile and feel good, especially when at home!
Thank you, Ragan, for the fabulous festive tips. Such an inspiration! Now, let’s take a look at Ragan and her husband Brad’s Eufaula abode, a very special getaway in their favorite place. Decorated by Melanie Pounds Interior Design, it was decked for the holidays and featured in the December 2017 issue of Birmingham Home & Garden. (You can see her Mountain Brook home, decorated by Mark D. Sikes, here.)
All floral design is by Marigold Design. So much Christmas Cheer! For ongoing inspiration from Ragan Cain, please follow her blog, The Frances Flair. You can also follow her on Instagram @thefrancesflair. And please click here to tour her Mountain Brook home by Mark D. Sikes.
For your continued holiday/winter shopping, please visit The Glam Pad’s Christmas Shopping Guide… We are adding to it regularly, including the latest tips for hostess gifts and for après ski!