Draped to Delight
Cottages and Bungalows|December-January 2021
How a homeowner uses timeless and classic decorating traditions to ll her home with life and celebration during the Christmas season.
LAUREN HOFER

When homeowner and blogger Nichol Naranjo decorates for the holidays each year, she always comes back to the same theme. “Timeless, classic and more traditional holiday decor tends to make me the happiest,” she says. For inspiration, she’ll often draw from the set design of holiday movies and shows that she admires. “Sometimes I even take notes on my phone,” she says.

It doesn’t hurt that her existing decor is already an impeccable combination of whites, natural woods and nautical touches that create a perfect base for a classic holiday setting. “Someone once described my style as maritime French and I really like that description,” Nichol says, “I lean towards collected, rustic, European and traditional touches.”

THE BONES

The home itself is a 2006 builder-grade home located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “We thought we would flip it in three to five years, but then the economy crashed,” Nichol says. Fourteen years later, the entire Naranjo family (Nichol, her husband Dominic, their three daughters and two dogs) has made the most of staying put by making the four-bedroom and two-and-a-half-bath home a dreamy haven for friends and family to gather through all seasons. “My main goal for the holidays is to create a warm, welcoming, celebratory and classic feel,” Nichol says.

NATURAL ELEMENTS

One of the most striking elements of Nichol’s holiday decor is her extensive use of garland and greenery. “Hanging greens throughout takes each space to the next level for me,” Nichol says, “It was the way people decorated and celebrated long ago, and I’ve always wanted my home to reflect the way people decorated, even in the 1800s.” Nichol uses the imagery from classic works of literature like Little Women and A Christmas Carol as inspiration. She drapes garland, both faux and real, in nearly every room, transforming windows, mantels, hallways, chandeliers and even open shelves into bright and fresh holiday focal points. Some garland is even laced with citrus fruits, a sweet nod to the family’s last name, “Naranjo,” which is Spanish for orange tree.

A 25-year-old Norland pine adds life to the master bedroom next to a whimsical, vintage hanging swing that Nichol found at a thrift store. In the dining room, natural wood branches replace traditional curtain rods, while a massive sliding barn door separates the space from the living room. Built from two slabs of raw wood, the piece acts as a grounding element in the space. “I want people to feel like they can kick off their shoes and curl up on our sofa,” Nichol says, “we also feel it’s very important to bring nature into your home for the same reason, and that’s why you see wood throughout.”

FOR THE LOVE OF THE SEA

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM COTTAGES AND BUNGALOWSView All

Grow Anywhere

Tips and tricks for modern container gardening

3 mins read
Cottages and Bungalows
April - May 2021

Go With the Flow

A designer shares her secrets for creating a cohesive yet interesting look for an open floor plan.

7 mins read
Cottages and Bungalows
April - May 2021

Pretty in Paint & Patina

Anchor your rooms and center your spaces with Latina Patina’s one-of-a-kind, hand-painted, stunning furniture pieces.

3 mins read
Cottages and Bungalows
April - May 2021

Best of Both Gardens

Greg Loades’ book outlines how to fuse the elements of a traditional and new-age landscape for the perfect modern cottage garden.

3 mins read
Cottages and Bungalows
April - May 2021

Cheery Cottage Kitchen Renovation

Fun colors and whimsical cottage charm fill this bright, airy kitchen renovation of a vintage condo in Chicago.

4 mins read
Cottages and Bungalows
April - May 2021

Smart Storage Renovation

Thoughtful and creative design choices allow for maximum storage and functionality in this nautical-inspired kitchen renovation located in historic Larchmont, New York.

1 min read
Cottages and Bungalows
February-March 2021

Scandi Rising

A Wilmington, North Carolina, home gets a fresh look after hurricane waters ebb.

3 mins read
Cottages and Bungalows
February-March 2021

Sculpting the Future of Southern Style

A photographer and storyteller outlines fresh Southern design schemes that challenge outdated ideas and deepen personal connections through creativity and authenticity.

2 mins read
Cottages and Bungalows
February-March 2021

No Matchy-Matchy Allowed

Pattern play adds interest and fun to a bedroom.

1 min read
Cottages and Bungalows
February-March 2021

A Look at Country Life—Canadian Style

From the city to the country, a homeowner finds simplicity and joy on the prairie.

2 mins read
Cottages and Bungalows
February-March 2021
RELATED STORIES

Cut Above The Rest

Dominican Republic, March 16

1 min read
Star
April 05, 2021

ARod's - PROMISE TO JLO

After Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez dialed back news of a split, the baseball great, dogged by rumors of a fling with reality star Madison LeCroy, was ready to grovel.

1 min read
Star
April 05, 2021

Hotels Offer On-Site COVID-19 Testing

New requirements for travelers on international flights to the United States began earlier this year: All passengers ages 2 and older must present a negative coronavirus test taken no more than three days before their flight or proof they recovered from the virus within the last three months. With the new regulations in effect, many hotels now offer on-site COVID testing for guests.

1 min read
Global Traveler
March 2021

Obituaries

DICK ALLEN, a third baseman and first baseman who played in the major leagues for 15 years from 19631977 with the Phillies, Cardinals, Dodgers, White Sox, and Athletics and won the National League Rookie of the Year in 1964 and the American League MVP in 1972, died Dec. 7. He was 78.

3 mins read
Baseball America
January 2021

Soundtrack TO YOUR NEXT Vacation

The moment you step on Hard Rock Punta Cana’s property you feel like you are at home but with a much better soundtrack and scenery.

6 mins read
Caribbean Living Magazine
Winter 2020/2021

Morrow making moves

For a guy who went undrafted and who has never really had a lock on a starting job, Nicholas Morrow might very well be the most important player on the Raiders defense this season.

3 mins read
Silver & Black Illustrated
January 2021

WHO WAS INDIAN LARRY?

DISCOVER HIS MANY FACES – BIKER, BUILDER, REBEL, LOVER, MYSTIC, ARTIST, HERO IN INDIAN LARRY: CHOPPER SHAMAN

3 mins read
Born To Ride Southeast Magazine
December 2020

Dominic Savo

Whether it is sport or acting, Dominic Savo puts his heart and mind to it with full attention. He possesses that quiet smile that makes you want to know more about him. Well, we try to do our best to present him here in underwear and all. Don’t forget to read the interview. ; -)

2 mins read
Apollo Male Models
Winter 2020 Dan Decker

AFC WEST ROUNDUP

WHAT’S UP DOC? Laurent Duvernay-Tardif opted out of the NFL season to put his medical degree to use.

3 mins read
Silver & Black Illustrated
December 2020

A LASTING LEGACY

All-star player. Decorated manager. Ambassador for the Dominican Republic. Felipe Alou wore many hats, but above all he was a pioneer who helped pave the way for generations of Latino players.

7 mins read
Baseball America
December 2020