I like the Classics: a good martini, Carrara marble table top, a little Bosanova and you’ve likely all seen the Metropolis Airstream out at local Orlando events. I’m nothing if not consistent, so at the holidays I like a tinsel tree and bright, jewel toned lights and accessories. After a few decades, I’ve assembled a great treasure trove of holiday decor, with themes rotating out throughout the years, but my most solid “go to” look from Thanksgiving through New Years has to be a classic mid century modern scheme.
The good news is, even if you are starting with this year as your foundation year to begin collecting and decorating with an MCM decor, the overarching principal behind this great design is minimalism; a few good pieces will go a long way. We also cannot discount how the internet makes shopping for unique pieces a little easier. I get most of my furniture and lighting from Craigslist.org, and I am always looking for items on auction house websites. A Craigslist search for “vintage” holiday items will most likely turn up incomplete table settings, broken light strands and collections of Christmas villages or Santas. MCM decor is also en vogue again, and so it’s easy to find new, reproduction items at all the major retailers.
How you re-purpose those items into your decor is up to you, but if you mix the older items with some of your existing, it will certainly boost the posh of your existing setup. Here, I’ve compiled 5 ways for you to find that jazzy, sparkly, MCM look for yourself, even if you have to start from scratch:
1: Search the internet and estate sales for place settings that have that retro vibe you want and set a holiday table with vintage flair. Amber toned glasses, graphic linnens, and table decor with a Scandinavian twist can all be selected to invoke that retro-modern look you crave. A well set table at the center of your socializing, will give your home a decor boost, even if you only keep it up for a day or two. I also have the inkling to suggest you make some gelatin molds, a meat loaf and ambrosia salad while you’re at it, but I’ll forgo the food from days of yore in exchange for something a little more deconstructed.
2: Keeping a tableau simple and clean is key in creating Hanukkah decor with an MCM impact. Color blocking is also an effective tool and the use of complimentary, vintage gift wrap would provide a punch of graphic impact. Websites like Etsy and even Architectural Digest have great options. Goodness knows there are ample selections of mid-toned wood and brass options for the menorah, with these: 1, 2, and 3 making me want to celebrate the Festival of Lights myself. These bold and brightly colored dreidel remind me of European holiday gifts from the 50’s and 60’s and would be a great way to adorn gifts or napkin rings for young and young at heart.
3: I still love the look of the large ceramic Christmas lights around the eaves of the house but those have gone by the wayside as technology, and safety standards, have improved. My plan this year is to incorporate a strand I found on Amazon, into a garland that I’ll put in the family room, over the fireplace. Certainly, care has to be taken not to leave them on for long or if we leave the house, but that should be a consideration with all holiday lights. These painted lights bring a bit of an organic feeling to the decor and have more warmth than their LED grandchildren. You can also find newer options that are not ceramic but still keep the classic size and shape.
4: The most simple way to pack a punch is to invest in a tinsel tree. I have found these are easier to find lately, having experienced a resurgence in popularity over the last decade. They have various sizes at all the big box stores and even on Amazon. In their original usage, they were often placed on a rotating stand with a rotating light placed adjacent to it, or underneath, and the whole tree came to life with color and spectacle. It is so easy to find vintage glass ornaments, and even reproductions, online and at yard sales. My husband and I have been collecting them since we began dating and we use them in wreaths, wide mouthed vases and to fill bowls as centerpieces.
5: Nothing epitomizes the swing and swagger of the Mad Men era quite like a New Year’s Eve soiree. This is easy and requires little more than a great bar and good music. Vintage bar ware is so easy to find and is, surprisingly, affordable. Most local vintage stores will have several options from which to choose and if you have basic champagne glasses, a mix of vintage plates and linens, and bouncy lunge music, you have all that any guest will require. Some of the greatest visual impact of a glamorous and retro styled NYE party will be the guests themselves, so encourage, via vintage invitations, an attire that includes vintage cocktail wear.
Writing this blog post has me wanting to “Spring Clean” the whole house and pair down to just the basics so I can begin to set my table and fill the house with smells, sounds and spirit of the holiday season. In Orlando, we get to spend the entire year celebrating each season outdoors and in, with lots of lake and beach time. I look forward to this short season of time where we can really focus on the interior spaces of our homes deck the halls for house parties and intimate dinners. Whether your home is a Mid Century Marvel like we love to showcase over at Metropolis Real Estate Solutions, LLC, or a contemporary Florida home, I hope you will try to add a little retro-modern glam to your holiday decor this year. Shoot me some photos of what you have accomplished and how you have enjoyed it over these coming, hopefully temperate, last couple of months of 2019.