Professional seasonal designers Cavalier and Co. are experts in evoking emotion through design. As a multi-disciplined creative studio, their areas of expertise include interior design, immersive events, and seasonal styling. Clients like The Ritz-Carlton and Disney trust their hands-on creative approach when designing spaces and experiences.
Read on as Creative Director Joshua Jones shares their story and a glimpse into the life of a professional designer. Then, learn expert decorating advice you can use either in a commercial or residential setting.
Cavalier and Co.: How it All Began
In 2010, Cavalier and Co. was founded by Chicago-based life partners Joshua Jones and Christopher Junkerman. The company’s holiday division was established in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. Joshua is the Creative Director, while Christopher is the Director of Operations.
Their eighteen-year partnership in both business and in life, as well as their combined formal education and experience in interior design, event styling, marketing, and branding provide a solid foundation for the creative business.
Featured: A Balsam Hill Christmas tree display styled by Cavalier and Co. for The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Sunny Isles Beach, Florida
How did you start out as a designer and get into the Christmas decorating business?
“I grew up in a home where the Christmas season was celebrated in full force. My mother always took great care and detail in adorning our Christmas tree with a sparkling assortment of ornaments, ribbons, and picks. And that attention to detail in creating something so special for our family has always stuck with me. Also, like many kids, I was enamored by the sleepy-eyed 6am stroll into the living room where warm Christmas lights were aglow on the tree after Santa’s anticipated arrival. As an adult, I naturally wanted to share that same magic with my clients.
While pursuing my Bachelors of Interior Design at the Fay Jones School of Architecture, I kicked off my career in the world of interiors and holiday design by working as a young twenty-something at an Arkansas-based design firm that was (at the time) based in a historic colonial home. The firm’s owner and lead designer, Cleon Johnson, was the epitome of a charming, elegant, and stylish Southern lady. She took me under her wing and shared her passion for lush and layered holiday styling. Today, I infuse Cavalier and Co.’s designs with that same thread of Southern hospitality that Cleon taught me all those years ago.”
What do you love most about being a designer? What do you get the most joy out of?
“It’s sort of like a two-part situation because we obviously love designing and curating the décor. Then, after everything is set up, the joy of people just walking through the space and seeing them take pictures in front of your décor—it’s really special. Also, when we create holiday pop-up experiences for people, we look forward to the memories that they will make with it. And that’s what the season is all about—we spread joy when we deck the halls.”
Creative Design Services and Clientele
Cavalier and Co. offers a diverse range of creative services from bespoke interiors to immersive events and professional seasonal styling. They cater to both residential and commercial customers, as well as social soirées and life celebrations like weddings.
Featured: The Christmas tree display at The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Sunny Isles Beach was inspired by the sand and turquoise glass tones of the sea overlooking the property.
Tell us more about your business. What type of projects do you work on? Who are your clients?
“We’re a multi-faceted design team. Half of our business is focused on the interior design world; the other half is focused on event experiences. During the holiday season, we switch our focus to seasonal styling as we curate and design displays from Chicago to Miami. We’ve been around for about 4 years. We’re a fairly new company but we’ve had great success, and we have incredible clients.”
Apart from The Ritz-Carlton and Disney, their portfolio includes clients like Virgin Hotels, John Hancock Tower, 21c Museum Hotel, Loews Hotel, CoverGirl, and Ronald McDonald House Charities, to name a few. They take care of everything from ideation to planning, installation, maintenance, and removal of displays.
The Design Process
What is your design process like? Where do you find your inspiration?
“As interior designers, we listen to the visual voice of the spaces we approach, and the existing aesthetic plays a huge role in shaping the holiday design strategy. When we tour a new space, we take note of the general style of the architecture, the light fixtures, the shape of the furniture, the tones and textures of the walls, and the metallic finishes of various hardware, whether brass, nickel, or beyond.
Not only do we look at the interiors, but we are also often inspired by the exterior landscape, as well. Sometimes we may find inspiration in the sand and sea glass tones of an ocean view, the manicured landscape of a French-inspired garden, or the shimmer and energy from the twinkling lights of a bustling city. From there, we curate a beautiful collection of ornamentation and embellishments that bring the space to life. We even pay close attention to the style and coloration of the artificial trees we select.”
However, they also have clients who request for something beyond the surroundings of the space. When commissioned to do whimsical displays or thematic installations, they hop on to the challenge and explore all decorating possibilities.
“Sometimes our clients wish to stretch the boundaries and commission a design that is whimsical or thematically themed, and we’re always excited to dream big!”Joshua Jones
Creative Director, Cavalier and Co.
Professional Holiday Decorators’ Expert Styling Advice
The team at Cavalier and Co. decorates an 18-foot BH Balsam Fir Narrow Tree at the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Sunny Isles Beach, Florida
What are your practical considerations when decorating businesses or large public spaces?
“Dream big in large spaces. Literally! Large, towering trees and loads of textural layers are the perfect ingredients for large spaces, whether a beautiful hospitality-driven hotel lobby or a luxury building environment. While we don’t use natural fresh-cut trees in our high-end projects, we always strive to achieve the most realistic look through quality artificial trees to bring the magic of the season to life.”
When it comes to commercial Christmas decorations, the team always works from a practical standpoint. For instance, instead of using delicate glass ornaments used at homes and smaller spaces, they opt for large, shatterproof ornaments to complement the tall commercial Christmas trees that they use. The larger-scale ornaments will create a bigger impact and are much safer than using ornaments that may break.
“We don’t love seeing the strings on ornaments. Re-wiring them is not just an aesthetic standpoint, but it’s more of a functionality standpoint. There are a lot of curious hands from adoring fans that would want to touch and admire ornaments. We want to make sure that our ornaments can stay put, looking beautiful all season long.”Joshua Jones
Creative Director, Cavalier and Co.
When asked whether they stage their commercial holiday décor in place or on-site, Joshua replies, “Currently, we build everything on-site for the most part. That allows us to bring in the product and really give everything a very curated look. So many times, our clients use the term ‘mall trees’ which means that a particular look has been used over and over. We want to get away from that and really bring a hands-on, curated look—so that means building things on-site.”
Cavalier and Co.’s Favorite Balsam Hill Trees and Decorations
What are your favorite Balsam Hill pieces to decorate with and why?
“Balsam Hill provides some of the most realistic artificial trees, garlands, and wreaths we’ve seen, and we adore the detailed branches and fullness that act as the perfect canvas for the curated textures and layers we design. Balsam Hill’s realistic trees offer unmatched quality which allows our designs to embody the season’s magic. The BH Balsam Fir is our go-to for many projects, and we adore the BH Noble Fir, Aspen Estate Fir, and Yukon Spruce for the most realistic and textural trees available on the market.
As designers, we love pulling things together and combining different color palettes. We appreciate the lovely ornament sets, tree skirts, and wide range of wreaths, garlands, and decorative elements that allow us to create a fully realized holiday design concept. What we love about Balsam Hill décor are the inspirational, pre-curated collections that you have. For many people, I can see that this helps take the guesswork out of styling, especially for those who don’t necessarily have the eye to put different textures and colors together. This makes decorating so seamless for anybody. They can just come and purchase product and make a beautiful tree.”
If you are a designer, commercial developer, or event planner, we’d love to partner with you in creating unique and beautiful holiday settings for your clients. Join our Design Trade Program today to enjoy exclusive discounts, privileges, and dedicated support. To pursue a partnership, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-888-626-0971 for details.
If you are a business looking to purchase commercial holiday decorations, our Business Sales Team will help you select the perfect artificial Christmas trees and décor to fit your establishment. Enjoy exclusive discounts and benefits for volume orders on business decorations. Email our Business Sales Experts at email@example.com or call 1-888-626-0971 for more information.
Craft a Designer Look for Your Holiday Display
Get Christmas decorating inspiration and expert advice with these how-to guides from the pros:
- How to Decorate Your Christmas Tree Like a Professional
- How to Decorate Slim Christmas Trees
- How to Decorate a Frosted Christmas Tree
- How to Decorate Small Christmas Trees
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