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Top Designers Share Their Favorite Holiday Traditions

Top Designers Share Their Favorite Holiday Traditions


As we reach the end of the most unpredictable year, many of us will (hopefully) ever experience, there is comfort in maintaining beloved holiday traditions. From decking the halls to trimming the tree—and everywhere in between, we asked these some of our favorite designers how they are carrying on the spirit of the season in their holiday celebrations this year.

Amy Lau, Amy Lau Design

I am originally from Arizona, and each year I travel home to be with my family for the holidays. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been in charge of decorating the Christmas dining table for our entire family. All together we are a family of 18, so that means fitting two large dining tables together, which is usually held outside in the Arizona sunshine, if the weather permits. I cover the table with two beautifully embroidered succulent and cactus tablecloths, hand-hammered copper chargers, and our family dinnerware and glassware. Then I go foraging in the desert and find precious blooming flowers, sculptural and unique succulents, cacti, and anything that is indigenous to the area, mixing in some complementary flowers with the scheme. As I have nine nieces and nephews, some will come along with me on this annual trip to help me select some beautiful specimens to place on the table.

Eliza Harris, Sister Parish

As an American heritage design brand honoring my great-grandmother’s iconic firm Parish Hadley, we live for tradition and love to share the design legacies of Sister Parish and Albert Hadley with our customers every day of the year—and the holidays are no expectation, as Sister loved decorating her home to the nines for Christmas. In her honor, we always fill every room in our home with paperwhite flowers, Rigaud candles, and red tins of Lazzaroni Amaretti cookies, as these were tried and true Sister staples for the holidays.

My great-grandmother also loved to wrap her presents in stiff white paper and thick satin ribbon. It was her signature wrapping style, and I’ve begun doing my own wrapping in this style, as a new family tradition. It’s another small way to keep Sister’s spirit alive with us during the holiday season.

Fabrizio Casiraghi, Casiraghi Architecture d’Intérieur

I always decorate my Christmas tree with traditional blown-glass ornaments from the Czech Republic. I’ve also kept a childhood tradition of putting a Viennese carved wood Christmas crib above the fireplace.

Steven Gambrel, S.R. Gambrel, Inc.

This year we decorated our house in Bedford, New York, which was built in 1927. For the fireplace mantels, I cut holly from the woods and embellished it with magnolia leaves brushed with gold paint. Everything glows with candlelight and roaring fires. This year we’re keeping mulled spices stewing on the Aga so the house smells like Christmas too.

Charles de Lisle

My favorite holiday design tradition is strands of big-bulb, vintage multicolored lights haphazardly strung over the two big agave’s in our front patio. A little bit of old-school 1970s New England goes west to California. It makes me so happy every night, when I open the gate, to come home.

Brigette Romanek, Romanek Design Studio

One of our favorite holiday traditions is to put our daughters’ gifts in big bags from Santa, no matter how old they are, and wake up early on Christmas day to watch them open them. This remains something we look forward to every year—along with the delicious breakfast by my mother that we enjoy after. Continuing this tradition with loved ones is always so joyous and something we cherish dearly.



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