Christmas in the Old Dominion by Pamela Harvey

For clients in Oakton, Virginia, designer Pamela Harvey was asked to help the family celebrate in style with festive decorations and elegant table settings.

The first Christmas in a new home is always a cause for celebration. From finding the perfect spot for the tree to outfitting the banister with garland, every festive addition feels fresh and exciting.

After 12 years in their previous house, a Virginia couple and interior designer Pamela Harvey were able to create a fun perspective on their Christmas traditions against a bright new backdrop.

Christmas in the Old Dominion by Pamela Harvey

Christmas in the Old Dominion by Pamela Harvey

Christmas in the Old Dominion by Pamela Harvey

Christmas in the Old Dominion by Pamela Harvey

Christmas in the Old Dominion by Pamela Harvey

Christmas in the Old Dominion by Pamela Harvey

Christmas in the Old Dominion by Pamela Harvey

Christmas in the Old Dominion by Pamela Harvey

Christmas in the Old Dominion by Pamela Harvey

Christmas in the Old Dominion by Pamela Harvey

Christmas in the Old Dominion by Pamela Harvey

Christmas in the Old Dominion by Pamela Harvey

Christmas in the Old Dominion by Pamela Harvey

Christmas in the Old Dominion by Pamela Harvey

Christmas in the Old Dominion by Pamela Harvey

Visitors are greeted with a welcoming arrangement of tulips and berries in the entryway, where important pieces from the family’s African art collection are also on display. Beyond the entry, one gets a glimpse of a Christmas tree decorated with ornaments collected over the wife’s lifetime. “She puts even the oldest ones on the tree,” says Harvey.

“She says she keeps them to remind herself of how far she’s come.” The family room exudes warmth, with rich fabrics and lustrous finishes. Iridescent grass cloth covers the coffered ceiling, reflecting the lights of the tree and the flicker of the fire. Harvey draped the mantel with a thick garland and boxwood wreath for a sumptuous finishing touch.

“THIS TREE WAS MORE INTENTIONALLY DESIGNED TO COORDINATE WITH THE ROOM’S FABRICS.”
—PAMELA HARVEY

A second tree adorns the dining room. “This tree was more intentionally designed to coordinate with the room’s fabrics,” says Harvey. Silver snowflakes and glass balls reflect the cerulean blue of the drapery fabric, while the chairs wear festive wreaths tied with wide blue ribbon.

The same ribbon adorns the gifts, wrapped in paper to coordinate with the fabrics. A lavish centerpiece of white roses, hydrangea blossoms, hypericum berries, gold-painted pinecones, and white lilies extends down the center of the table.

Off the entry, the living room features a seating arrangement of four armchairs around a coffee table. Harvey hung a dramatically large wreath in the window, giving the room an air of a swanky hotel lobby.

The wreath draws out the green tones in the linen print Harvey used at the windows. Red leopard throw cushions add holiday cheer.

Harvey dressed the breakfast table for a formal morning feast. “I filled the glass vase with limes and used them to anchor the roses, hydrangeas, and greenery,” she says. Mixed greenery drapes the chandelier, and pomegranates provide pops of color. Containers of greenery scattered around the counters are an easy way to add Christmas to the kitchen.

In the sunroom, a notable large-scale wallpaper by Quadrille lends an Indian vibe. To avoid competing with the glamorous walls, she kept the holiday decorations quiet with an airy wire tree on the coffee table and wreaths hanging in the windows. The family’s pet “dog” is actually a paper sculpture, in deference to the husband’s allergies.

In the master bedroom, Harvey tempered the feminine-leaning space with his-and-hers bedside tables. Harvey’s repetition of the same pattern on the walls and the throw pillow gives the room a finished look. Though the bed made the move from the old house, like so much in the new setting, it’s a fresh start for the happy clients.