Keeping the Past Alive
Cottages and Bungalows|FMD Christmas 2020
An Illinois designer channels holiday peace and love from the 1970s through mementos and collectibles.
DANI GRACE

VANESSA MULLIN HAS ALWAYS FELT SHE WAS BLESSED with an old soul. She has consistently felt most comfortable amid the culture and accoutrements of the 1960s and ’70s, but only recently has she really developed her décor to reflect the sentiments of that “groovy” age.

When her grandmother passed away in 2012, Vanessa inherited many of her belongings, like jewelry and the Pyrex bowls in which they had mixed cookie and cake batters together. The items began as a few sentimental keepsakes to cherish, but now Vanessa has turned collecting into a joyful and intentional habit, transforming everything from small memorabilia to classic appliances into a simultaneously mismatched and organized style.

“I started to feel very connected with these old things, so then it kind of became a lifestyle,” she says. “It’s great not only to bring myself joy, but anyone who comes over remembers these things from their grandparents’ or parents’ houses, and it brings back great memories [for them].”

Since then, Vanessa has curated a self-described style of “Rainbow Brite meets Austin Powers,” which grew out of a childhood filled with neutral-colored furniture and décor. While her mother touted soft hues, Vanessa has always felt more connected to vibrant tones. “I was always drawn to ’70s pop culture,” she says. “I just love color and the ’70s hippie vibe.”

While many storefronts transition to Christmas décor around Thanksgiving, Vanessa spends about three weeks decorating for the holidays, starting the week before Halloween and leaving everything up until the New Year. She first sets up her miniature Santa Claus collections on her hutches, the shelves of which she lines with décor appropriate for each holiday throughout the year. “I know people are kind of against early decorating, but it makes me happy,” she says.

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

Your Facebook Friend Has Some Thoughts To Share About Your Covid Vaccine

Mark Zuckerberg wanted to make Facebook a source of reliable information about the pandemic. Instead he created a perfect platform for conspiracy theorists

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
April 12, 2021

FACEBOOK WORKING ON INSTAGRAM FOR KIDS UNDER 13

Facebook says it is working on a version of its Instagram app for kids under 13, who are technically not allowed to use the app in its current form due to federal privacy regulations.

1 min read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #491

The Receipt Keeper D'Angelo Wallace always knows how to cut through the chaos.

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW what’s going on with YouTubers or anybody else with a modicum of influence online, you’ve got two options. You can watch their videos and scour Instagram—or you can get thee to a YouTube drama channel. And no one does a channel quite like D’Angelo Wallace. The Texas-based 22-year-old packs his superlong explainer videos (many of them run over an hour) with timelines, charts, and commentary—a hybrid model that perfectly encapsulates the messiness of the influencers he covers. He now has more than 2.18 million subscribers. “I will say it’s not necessarily a case of me always striving to have the best research, or I’m always going to be 100 percent correct,” Wallace said. “I just am obsessed with the storytelling of it all.”

4 mins read
New York magazine
March 15 - 28, 2021

HANDWRITTEN

Looking for a soothing pandemic hobby? Try hand lettering.

2 mins read
Baltimore magazine
February 2021

But First, Coffee

It’s a rare day when you open up TikTok or Instagram Stories and see your fave influencers *without* a giant Dunkin’ iced coffee in hand. And for years, Starbucks’ ubiquitous cups have been seen as a status symbol—even considered an actual accessory.

4 mins read
Girls' Life magazine
February/March 2021

MOM UNDER FIRE

FULLER HOUSE STAR CANDACE CAMERON BURE IS FED UP WITH HATERS MAKING SNIDE REMARKS ABOUT HER FAMILY.

1 min read
Star
January 25, 2021

Florence & Zach: SECRETLY MARRIED?

Florence Pugh and Zach Braff had Hollywood abuzz after a pal wished her a happy birthday on social media Jan. 3 and cryptically referred to her as “FPB.”

1 min read
Star
January 25, 2021

IMPROVE YOUR DRONE PHOTOGRAPHY

10 must-know Lightroom tips

10+ mins read
RotorDrone
February/ March 2021

Tom & Hayley: MAN ON A MISSION!

AMID ALL THE TENSION ON THE SET OF MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 7, TOM CRUISE HAS BEEN PURSUING HIS COSTAR, HAYLEY ATWELL, TO BE HIS NEXT GIRLFRIEND ... AND IT SEEMS TO BE WORKING!

2 mins read
Star
January 11, 2021

Q & A: WHAT'S NEXT FOR FACEBOOK IN THE ANTITRUST CASE?

Could Facebook be forced to spin off WhatsApp and Instagram?

4 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #477