A sophisticated style shouldn’t always cost a fortune. Courtney of French Country Cottage knows this decorating mantra. As a lifestyle blogger who loves blending rustic and traditional elegance, she offers readers creative ideas for repurposing flea market treasures and bringing in the same touch of luxury as that of her 1940’s cottage.
Courtney shares her holiday decorating inspiration with Balsam Hill in this exclusive interview.
BH: What inspired you to start blogging?
Courtney: As my kids grew and were in school longer, I found myself looking for something to jump into that would allow me to connect with others who had similar interests and passions, such as decorating and French style. A blog seemed like a great place to fuel my passion as well as be inspired by so many others and to connect with them. Since we had been renovating our 1940s cottage, it was also a great place to share the projects and before-and-afters as well. It was a perfect fit, and that hobby has turned into a passion for me.
BH: Do you have a signature ornament you use on your tree year after year?
Courtney: I do have some ornaments that are used every year, though they might not be on a specific tree. Sometimes, they appear in a vignette or somewhere new. Even though I tend to pick up a few new ornaments each year, I like to keep those keepsake ornaments in the mix.
BH: What’s your favorite family holiday tradition?
Courtney: There are so many really, but I would say that one of my favorites is probably our family all getting together on Christmas Eve to have a special dinner and open one gift. After everyone goes to bed, I watch the movie ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ while finishing up any last-minute wrapping.
BH: When you decorate for the holidays, are there any guidelines you try to follow?
Courtney: Not really. I tend to go with the colors and details that are inspiring me each year. I do love silver and gold and whites, so you will see them and a lot of natural touches like fresh wreaths and greenery each year.
BH: What’s your favorite spot in the home to decorate for the holidays?
Courtney: I love decorating almost every room in my home for the holidays, but the one room I would say that I look forward to decorating most is my bedroom. It’s a treat to have a fireplace mantel to decorate in the bedroom and I have a large flocked tree in there as well. I love having the glow of the lights on the tree warming the room.
BH: Where do you go for holiday decorating inspiration?
Courtney: I have magazines that I have saved for years that I always look back through, but I usually refer to my favorite designers again and again. Even though I might have seen their designs many times, I am always inspired by looking at them again. Sometimes, I might notice a detail that I love that stood out more this year and inspires a design as well.
BH: Who’s your favorite holiday designer?
Courtney: He’s not really a ‘holiday designer’ but I love Charles Faudree. His Christmas decorations are so beautiful. Elegant, natural, inspiring, warm and welcoming.
BH: Any gift-wrapping tips?
Courtney: I like to choose a special wrap each year; some years, it’s simple like a white paper with gold ribbons. I wrap the presents like they are part of the decorating while they are under the tree. A special touch, such as a monogram ornament and sprig of pine or cedar, is always a nice way to dress them up as well. This year, my favorite so far is a brown music note wrapping paper that I finished by placing dried flowers on top of.
BH: What is the most memorable Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
Courtney: There are so many, but I would say the gifts from kids. One year when they were little, they made me a big garden gnome out of clay. I just love it and love that they took the time to make it. It’s a special one for sure.
BH: What do you look forward to the most during the holiday season?
Courtney: I love spending time with family and friends and just enjoying all the magic Christmas brings.
There is an art to wrapping Christmas gifts even at the last minute for Courtney. From simple white paper with gold ribbons to brown music sheets adorned with dried flowers, the presents she wraps blend well with the overall look of her Christmas tree and reflect her love for casual elegance.