Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Greetings

Many, many thanks for your kind words about our new home in the previous post! Tom and I read your comments together, and we're very appreciative of them. Thank you for taking the time to wish us well. A tour of the interiors as well as an update very soon - work has already begun!

In the meantime, the DC area had its first snowfall this week. Does it get any more magical and wondrous than the first snowfall? It always inspires us to start the holiday decorations. This season we are keeping our home very simple as we're a bit busy.

How about you? Have you started decorating? And have you found that perfect tree? Our woodland tree came from a friend's property outside of Belfast, Maine. Don't laugh when you see the little *Charlie Brown* tree :)

From our home to yours, much warmth and good cheers for a wonderful holiday season! 
Loi 
The first snowfall in December - a lovely way to start the holiday season!
A plump robin enjoying a bit of sunshine between snowfalls. After the snow, a wintery ice storm coated the gardens in glistening ice. 
It's freezing so let us go inside! In the dining room, pomegranates and red nandina berries in an antique ironstone tureen add a splash of seasonal color. The marble top console will soon get fresh green ferns.
Gilded zinc stars from Restoration Hardware are a patriotic way to jazz up the antique eagle sconces in the living room.
   Back on display for Christmas is the antique mercury glass collection. Also the popular and frequently pinned (on Pinterest) bleached pine cones which I shared last year. Read about the mercury glass and pine cones here.
 Also in the living room, giant ornaments from Pottery Barn bring festive flair to the pair of French urns.
 And now our woodland tree from Maine! Yes, it is fully decorated, and no, I didn't prune it :) Because the tree was growing in dappled shade, it is naturally sparse. I wanted an airy tree with minimal decorations inspired by nature.....a simple tree that breathes.
I was inspired by Steve's gorgeous woodland tree last year - check it out here!! The little birds came from Merriefield Garden Center, the quail eggs from eBay, and the nests from Michaels. To make the nests pop, I added bright green moss.
In lieu of light strings, votive candles illuminate the tree. Pine cones and burlap continue the natural theme.
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays! 

97 comments:

  1. Loi, I LOVE your tree! That is the cutest thing with just the birds on it. I have a small tabletop tree, too but it is filled a bit more than yours, but with the same thing, birds, nests, and other natural things.

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  2. Your home is simply stunning...it just shows how elegant a few well placed classic decorations can be! Have a lovely holiday season!

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  3. Loi, I love it! The tree is just perfect, and I love how the bird ornaments echo back to the real little robin in the snow (my favorite photo). Simplicity never looked so stylish. Love the mercury glass ornaments in those fantastic urns. They are incredible! We're mostly decorated here. I'll bring some fresh greens in as we get closer to Christmas, but am happy with how the house looks overall. I'll post some photos on Friday. Congratulations again on your new home - now that is the perfect Christmas gift! Happy Holidays to you and Tom.

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  4. So simple and elegant, I love the aviary tree, we did owl theme this year.. I love birds! Your home is always so well done!!

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  5. Beautiful, Loi! Your tree is so simple and striking. You have a wonderful way with Christmas! I have been admiring the votive candle holders under your tree--the modern shapes contrast nicely with the sweet little tree. Really looking forward to seeing the in-progress work at your Maine home too. Best wishes to you and Tom for the holidays.

    -Deborah

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  6. Very nice and classy Christmas decorations Loi. We also decorated our tree with birds. The robin outside your garden is so chubby and cute! Your winter garden is gorgeous. Thank you for your kind comment about my winter photos.

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  7. Just beautiful, as usual! So clean and minimalist. The nests and the birds are the best ideas and perfect.
    I was in D.C. for the snowfall and it was lovely…too bad all the museums closed on Tuesday though! Well, we did some great shopping...

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  8. your home is so beautiful and so perfectly done! and i happen to think the tree is perfect.

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  9. We wish you and Tom the Happiest Christmas and New Year.
    Thank you for sharing all your talents and beautiful home. Your home reflects how simplicity can rise above and be the most glamorous of all!!!
    Patty and MC

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  10. Loi, spectacular tree and lovely life like-birds. I love the natural look and that it is sparse, and perfectly curated- so you! Loved your little victorian fence from last year also, that has stuck in my mind! Love the pomegranates and nandina, beautiful combination! We have a big family Christmas party this weekend with lots of guests and baking, etc. for it all week. Then another one next weekend. It's really busy here for us with work in between. I'm not sure when we can get together but I'll call and catch up again soon. Wishing you and Tom the most wonderful holiday. I hope you can take some time for yourself and your family and enjoy the holiday to the fullest. So excited for your new home! Im sure you have it all decorated and dream about it every night! So happy we have gotten to know you more this year. I am proud to call you friend! xoxo Nancy (Tell Tom hi!)

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  11. Loi, everything looks gorgeous and don't you just love those PB ornaments?! The large bulbs make such a statement and I like the way you juxtapose the rustic fabric with your other decor. The pinecones.. love:) Looks like you are ready!! xxleslie

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  12. Love the birds on the natural tree-
    No decorations for us becasue we are FINALLY moving!
    We leave the 20th for San Diego!
    After what took forever and a day, our house is sold/closed/finished.
    While I will miss my peonies( new people are gardeners so that makes me happy) a new garden awaits. Happy new houses in 2014 !

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  13. Wait a minute. You just moved in. Where are all the boxes and the stacks of stuff? This isn't right. How can you have your home ready for the Holidays at a time like this?
    You're not human, are you?
    I still love you, though.

    Happiest of Happy Holidays!

    xo

    Andie

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  14. That is such a great tree! I haven't decorated at all this year because we are traveling for Christmas, but back in our smaller house in Washington, I have been moving to table-top trees.

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  15. Hi Loi, As always, you have created charming vignettes. This time of the year is perfect to bring out the mercury glass. Also, a very unusual tree--never seen one like it.
    --Jim

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  16. Wish you and Tom magical Christmas! Your home feels the upcoming celebration and all look so fabulous! I love your tree, simple, natural, wonderful!

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  17. So simple and beautiful. Just like the snow in the garden. Perfect.

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  18. So pretty! Everything feels so serene and calming I feel more relaxed just looking at those pictures and the snow lends a certain magic to it all. I must admit as much as I am not liking winter so much, that first snow fall really is something! Love all the beautiful touches....wishing you the happiest holiday!

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  19. I am speechless....well, ALMOST! teeheee

    Loi, first of all, I have missed you! I was hoping you would get a glimpse of my home on my last post as well.

    You home is outrageously perfect. You really know as well, how to get the proper lighting which has always been my complaint about my photos. Your neutral tones are what I've been striving for and slowly achieving, but I love that pop of RED on your dining table. The urn in the first photo, filled with ornaments is perfect, as is YOUR TREE! I actually prefer a Charlie Brown tree, and have a stunning platinum colored one sitting on a gray table. I love it just plain.

    We are shivering here with below zero temps (-20 with windchill) but are enjoying the season. I am so thrilled for you and Tom about your new home, and I just know you are going to deliver the best in decorating ideas, but most of all, you always welcome us in, as if we were just right there, your neighbors and friends. Thank you, and to both of you, I wish you peace and LOVE! Anita

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  20. AHH! YOU DID COME to my other post! Oh, I'm so glad you came! No detention my friend...teeeheee...life is BUSY!

    How I love your birds....

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  21. Snow is magical at your home, and messy at mine...go figure? I love how you decorate for the Holidays, it feels so inviting and interesting. I can't wait to see winter pictures around your second home. I hope Santa brings you and Tom some new snow boots and coats.

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  22. Hubba Hubba…..that is the cutest little tree:) Love all of you fabulous Christmas decoration…of course your taste is impeccable!

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  23. Hi Loi,

    I was so thrilled to read about your new home in Maine. Castine is so beautiful! Too bad we wont be neighbors but hopefully we can connect sometime up there. Your photos have definitely gotten me in the holiday spirit! I missed you at the shop yesterday. I found several beautiful mirrors for a client of mine.

    Hope to see you soon.

    Michael

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  24. you do Christmas so well…perfect. Once heard someone say "Christmas should not slap you in the face when you enter a home." Your home the perfect example of a welcoming home at the holidays….elegant and soothing. And your tree is perfectly imperfect….so beautiful

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  25. Dear Loi - your home is perfectly dressed for the festive season with an ambience of serenity and calm. Hope you and Tom enjoy a joyous, and happy festive season.

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  27. Loi, I love walking out and taking pictures of the snow before anyone walks on it! I never tire of nature's beauty. Your home looks beautiful decorated for Christmas. I love using lots of greenery and birds and nests in my Christmas decor. Hope you have a wonderful holiday and very Merry Christmas!

    Allison

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  28. Can I please come over for some hot cocoa?
    Fondly-Lisa

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  29. Beautiful, so much inspiration. The red berries in the ironstone....love :)

    becki~

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  30. I LOVE love LOVE your tree! Happy Holidays to you both and I hope you're feeling much better! xo

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  31. It's all so gorgeous. Love seeing the first snow in your garden - equally as beautiful in the winter. The urns filled with the Chirstmas balls are a favorite and the tree...precious. Just love the bird, the nest with eggs and the burlap tree skirt! Exquisite taste as always...Merry Merry to you and Tom!!

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  32. with every image my soul was sated with simply, purely, elegant decor
    christmas blessings
    debra

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  33. I love it. The tree is perfect, so simple & elegant like the rest of your home. Merry Christmas.

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  34. Loi!!! I have birds in one of my Christmas tree too! I hope to share next week. Anyway, let's talk about all this beauty you just shared! Wow! I love the quiet elegance in your decor. It's captivating and mesmerizing. I feel like there should be a piano playing somewhere; just lovely Loi. All that snow is the perfect backdrop too. Happy Holidays and I can't wait to see a tour of the vacation house! Bring it on!:-)

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  35. Everything is beautiful, Loi! Wishing you and Tom a very merry Christmas and all the best in 2014!
    xo,
    Phyllis

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  36. Perfectly LOI!! Only you could do such a minimal tree and decorations and make it seem like we should all be decorating this way. You are uniquely talented my friend and I love my visits here. Merry Christmas to YOU and Tom!
    xo Kathysue

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  37. Of course + love the tree with bird's + bird's nest! you both are the best + merry christmas to you + yours.xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  38. Loi,

    It is most fitting that this adorable, naturally adorned tree should be illuminated by soft candlelight for all to see, in your already glowing home! The berries and fruit, along with all the touches of nature's seasonal gifts, make for a calm and serene holiday scene.

    Merry Christmas!

    Poppy

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  39. The pop of red on your table is so stunning… of course so is the rest of your home!
    That little plump robin stole my heart.
    Happy Holidays to you and Tom.

    xo
    Brooke

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  40. 1) Your tree is so not a Charlie Brown Tree. It is strikingly elegant and magical, all at the same time!
    2) It's ALL strikingly elegant and magical, all at the same time.
    3) I love that you used PB ornaments. Last night, I wrote a post as we're using some PB knobs for the kitchen job. Not everything has to come from high end sources and PB often has some very beautiful things!
    4) That robin is downright obese. What you are feeding them birds? LOL

    xoxo and really, Loi-- endless thanks for your unfailing support and friendship!

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  41. I am so jealous of your snow, we had some promises here, but nothing white to report. I was in Denver over the weekend where they had a beautiful dusting, so beautiful. Your home is beautiful, I love how you incorporate nature into your displays {I do nests too, but need to add the moss, great tip}. I've been stocking up on on the things I need and am moving into power~decorator mode now! Thank you for the inspiration Lovely Loi!

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  42. Hello Loi,

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and Tom. Your house and garden look beautful this holiday season. There is always something magical about the first snowfall. I am quite late decorating our home, so your post has left me inspired to get going!

    I love that plump robin and your collection of Mercury glass is to die for! Gorgeous! I am in LOVE with that Christmas tree. I am a big fan of the smaller, thinner tree. It looks so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your talents and your beautiful home with us. As always, it is amazing,
    Your friend,
    Susan xxoo

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  43. Oh, I love you tree, Loi!!!! Everything you do is exquisite.

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  44. Oh my gosh, and Happy Holidays, Loi!

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  45. That robin is the PERFECT shade of orange/red!! Mother Decorator Nature!! LUV your images! franki

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  46. Holiday gorgeousness, courtesy of Loi! LOVE the simple tree and birds, with the perfectly arranged bookcases as a backdrop. We have a small tree this year, for the first time, also simply decorated and with a burlap skirt. The greys of the dining room with the berries and pomegranates looks stunning. And the little plump robin with the fat tummy is so adorable, great shot! So understated and elegant, your home is just beautiful for the season! Merry Christmas to you and Tom and Happy New Year to you both and Mocha and Panda... what a fun year it will be as you establish your new Maine home! Now onto pinning my favorites from this beautiful post…..

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  47. Every post is always so tastefully done giving the reader a look at the beauty you create.
    I adore your Charlie Brown tree and the adorable birds you placed on the branches. I've been looking for such a tree in Philadelphia for years...no luck yet!
    We too have had much snow, it's like the frozen tundra, truly enjoying the beauty of nature.
    Vera

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  48. Loi, you have a true gift for making an environment cozy and still uncluttered. Your simplicity is so attractive - from the contrast of the oversize glitzy mercury glass ornaments in vintage rusty urns, to the spare tree with bird nests. I love it all. I am taking copious notes...though I don't think I'll ever have the self restraint to accomplish a look like yours...

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  49. Thank you so much for the wishes! I wish you both a Wonderful Christmas Tima and a Happy and Prosperous New year!
    Gorgeous decorations Loi!!! Love love love it!

    Greet

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  50. Exquisite and beautifully edited Loi. Well done. I love love love your tree - airy and lovely. Yes Steve had an amazing tree last year. He is creative like you. I would not be permitted to have a tree like that. haha. I also love the dash of red in the dining room. I am not a red fan but at Christmas, amongst the white decor I just adore it. I have never seen a robin who looked like that! Ours are more orange. Lots of love to you and Tom at Christmas. xo Terri

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  51. Loi, your home looks so beautiful!! And the tree... love your little birds and nest! Red in dinning room looks so elegant!! Everything is very lovely!
    Holiday hugs,
    Vesna

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  52. Loi,
    I'm honored that you took inspiration from my tree. I really like the stripped down, pared back version. It seems so perfectly natural like the whole thing happened naturally. It's exquisite. I love the subtlety in all of your decorations like the simple stars on the eagle sconces. Very beautifully done!
    Steve

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  53. Loi,
    The tree is perfect. I love the birds and nests and pine cones. Mother Nature is the best designer on the planet! The outdoor trees look like trees of crystal with their ice coating.
    Everything looks so enchanting and festive.
    Hope your holiday is jolly.
    xo,
    Karen

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  54. You make me want to re-do my over-the-top decorations Loi!!! I love everything you did for your home! Your courtyard is even more gorgeous with snow and ice, it's nice to cuddle and enjoy a good book with. I love mercury glass, though I don't know much about the antique versions (I need to read the post about it), I have a lot of them which I decided not to bring out this year because of my green and gold theme, but for sure, next Christmas, they'll come out again. Love the urns and your tree is a darling .. love the birds, nests and everything on the table. So classy and stylish!!!!!! Hope you both have a wonderful Christmas dear!!!! Warm hugs to you both!

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  55. Your house looks beautiful, and I like the simplicity of that Charlie Brown tree and the natural decorations. I like that your tree reveals a lovely bark that I don't associate with firs.

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  56. Loi-
    I LOVE THE TREE! Your entire home looks amazing as always!!
    Thanks for sharing the beauty.
    Teresa
    xoxo

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  57. Beautiful pomegranates and berries in the white tureen, and I love your little tree with the birds and nests in it. You have such an elegant, understated approach to holiday decorating. It's really very pretty! I'm envious of your snowfall. I'm hoping we get at least one snowfall this winter. Merry Christmas to you and Tom.
    Claudi

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  58. Loi, I just love your special Christmas tree! I have collected glass bird ornaments for years, but I like the feathered ones too! Your mercury glass collection is gorgeous! Do you see much of it in antique stores or shows anymore? I rarely see any of it in the Chicago area anymore. Maybe it's all in your collection! lol
    Also, that is quite a squat little robin in your garden. It seems our robins are taller that yours, and of course all ours are gone now until early spring! Wishing you and Tom Happy Holidays!

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  59. I love your tree, Loi! It is one of my favorite Christmas trees ever! So simple and real but festive at the same time. It's perfect. I also love the plump little robin! He's been having a good holiday season!

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  60. Merry Christmas, Loi & Tom!! We took it easy on the decorations this year too. We went all out on the tree but skipped the mantles and doorways. It's always such a treat to see what you two chic gents cook up- this Christmas did not disappoint! XO

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  61. Loi...I love your simple but sophisticated way of design....its creative and beautiful...I love seeing what your up to!

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  62. We've been meaning to stop by and see what you've been up to and absolutely love everything about your holiday decor. Sometimes, simple is best and it's the little touches that make the season bright. The mercury glass, the little birds, even the Charlie Brown tree are perfect!
    xxoo
    C + C

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  63. Oh, Loi, I am late chiming in here but that is no reflection of my love for your holiday decor. Each photo is more perfect than the last. It is spectacular--I find myself saying that a lot about your impeccable style here! How wonderful that your Christmas tree came from Maine, a great reminder of your second home there.

    Happy holidays to you and Tom!

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  64. Happy Holidays Loi! Love your cute little tree and all the natural elements-nicely done:).
    XO Sarah

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  65. Loi,

    I love the tree... mine is fat and full, complete opposite but I wish I could pull the sweet little one that you have off with the kids! The snow is beautiful too! We are looking at almost 80* this weekend so we will have to let that dream go also! Wishing you a wonderful holiday!

    I always feel so late to the party here- I get your feed via email and I am always a bit late with my comments!

    all the best,
    Christina

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  66. Loi and Tom,
    Stunning photos...of course and how lovely...the bird theme and your tree are. What joy those little birds create coming and going in the winter they make me smile and their chirps remind me of how special it is to experience the magic of the holiday...they seem to know it's christmas.

    Merry Christmas and Blessings in the new year.

    Bette

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  67. Love the spare little tree. And all the rest of your Christmas decorations. Love the new house...the steps, the door and a charming town to boot. I will follow your renovations closely!

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  68. I love your Charlie Brown tree and all of your interior touches, but my very favorite is that plum little robin in the snow. Somehow God's simple beauty outdoes everything else. Merry Christmas to you!

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  69. Laugh?! No way. Loi, I love your tree. The simple decorations are the most elegant. This year I had to rely on my kids to decorate our tree. I had an allergic reaction to it. It was almost funny!

    Merry Christmas,
    Keri

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  70. Merry Christmas, Loi!
    Doesn't a snowfall make everything look magical? Your exterior looks as beautiful as the interiors. Can we talk about that stunning angel wall plaque. I'm in love with it! Have a serious thing for angels. One hangs above our bed.

    Love, too, that precious tree. Everything you touch is pure gold!

    xoxo Elizabeth

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  71. Hello dear Loi!

    The beautiful simplicity of your decorations are the perfect compliment to your home- just perfection! Best wishes for a lovely holiday to you and Tom!

    xo
    Mimi

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  72. Adore the elegant simplicity of your decorations Loi. Wishing you and Tom a very Happy Christmas, and an exciting New Year!

    Sophia x

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  73. What a great shot of the red robin....and then the red decor inside! Such a gorgeous home you have at Christmas and year round!

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  74. Olá,
    Linda sua decoração de natal. Adorei sua árvore decorada com pássaros. Aqui é muito quente tem que ser árvore artificial, árvore natural seca em semanas. Sua casa está muito chique adoro ver sua decoração.
    Bjos tenha uma ótima semana e um feliz natal, Deus proteja você e sua família.

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  75. Lovely and charming decorations. The woodland theme is so right for this time of year. Coincidentally, I put my super large mercury glass ornaments into an ironstone bowl this year. That was after my tree fell over from the weight of heavy ornaments(?). Now it is tethered to a beam in the wall. There is something to be said for a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.
    Merry Christmas to you and Tom.

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  76. Merry Christmas , Loi! Your home is looking gorgeous (as always!). I didn't get a chance to comment on your last post, but I wanted you to know how excited I am for you and Tom....what a glorious adventure, sharing history with your 'new' home. Where I live, truly old homes like that are just not found. A very old home here would be late 1800's. I would love to visit a place with such history and age. Truly, I'm sure even our history (North America) seems juvenile compared to that of Europe :)

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  77. Hi Loi,
    Your tree is so beautiful! I love its sparseness and the way you decorated it with birds and votive candles to illuminate. Your home looks wonderful inside and out. The snow is so beautiful to look at but I'm sure not to live with! Hope you have a very merry Christmas!

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  78. loi, loi, loi! everything looks spectacular. truly poetic and lyrical and sacredly so. i love your styling, your light, and so many beautiful details. and i'm inspired. now i know how i will decorate our entry hall next year: round table with tree in center, surrounded by pine cones and votives. merci! i bow to you and Tom.

    sending this magical night of snow globe lovely to you across the miles.

    michele

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  79. As with everything you do Loi, your sparse, perfectly symmetrical tree is very stylish.
    Hope you both have a wonderful holiday season.
    See you next year.
    Di
    xoxo

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  80. Your tree is perfect as is everything you do. When my boys all grow up and no longer bring home Christmas decorations from school made out of cereal boxes and toilet roll inners, my tree will look like yours! Merry Christmas x Sharon

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  81. Beautiful Garden, beautiful Christmas decoration! Love the pomegranates together with Nandina, I'll miss my pomegranates, the trees and shrubs died because of the icy winter two years ago, sadly enough. But still have plenty of Nandina berries, so perfect for Christmas.
    LOVE - LOVE the birdies!!! SO originell and unique!
    Which you a very lovely Christmas - a happy Holiday season, dear Loi.
    Warmest greetings, Karin

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  82. I am crazy about your woodland tree Loi...hope your season is bright!

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  83. A very serene post. I am in love with your Christmas tree, it shows you don't need a ten foot tree loaded wit ornaments to make a statement. I have collected some of these bird ornaments over the years :)
    Best wishes, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas

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  84. Your home is so beautiful, and I love your tree!! Oh, and that snow! How I dream of a white Christmas, which will never happen here in Miami... it is still in the 80s! Thank you for sharing your lovely holiday cheer!

    XOXO,
    The Glam Pad

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  85. I just discovered you and have spent hours perusing your blog. Simply stunning.

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  86. My dear Loi,

    How kind of you to come to visit me during this wild season! I hope you and Tom are having a blast with friends, in your outrageously beautiful home, and now planning for the new house.

    You have been a great friend and your visits are a honor to me. I truly wish you all a special time with all the people you love. And I am sitting here at the airport to get ready to fly back to California to have some TAMALES with my Mexican-American family! YOOOOOOOOOOOWA!

    XOXOXO Anita

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  87. Popping in to wish you all a Merry Christmas:-). xx

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  88. Hello dear Loi!!
    It looks like I've missed quite a bit, so I will visit your previous post promptly...exciting news about a new home? Wonderful!
    But here...what stunning, peaceful, and warm beauty...and the sweet tree....it is lovely, and the needles are so green! I notice that because our firs are always a deep forest color....
    I love what you have done with the natural elements...exquisite as always!
    Wishing you, Tom, and your whole family, a beautiful Christmas, and many happy blessings in the New Year!!
    What a joy and honor to know you in this magical "blogland"....
    Sending much love and many happy wishes, dear Loi!
    xoxo,
    - Irina

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  89. What a year of beautiful inspiration you have brought to the table. Your tree is an ethereal triumph and perfectly executed in the Tone on Tone style we have come to admire. I am sure your Christmas will be equally as slick and styled with the same finesse you sprinkle on every project. Thank you for inspiring me in so many ways Loi. Wishing you Happy Holidays and a marvellous 2014 of new adventures. Paul :)

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  90. Buon Natale, caro Loi e grazie per queste meravigliose immagini!
    Auguri di vero cuore!
    Luci@

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  91. I have enjoyed your blog for some time now. Thank you for your wonderful posts and exposing me to "Houston Style". I so enjoy your humor, and sharing funny stories about your family. May you have a holiday season fill with love. Living room with Christmas decoration

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Many thanks for your visit and comment. If you have a question, let me know and I will respond here. Loi