New Year’s Day, 2019

Dear friends of mine dress their home and table for the Christmas holidays in a way that never fails to astonish and delight me. I have written about their holiday at least three times before, but I knew this year would be special. They spent the last two Christmas holidays visiting family in the US and abroad. They would be home this year.  M and I started talking about this year’s holiday in June, like we always do. I could say that talking goes on intermittently into the fall, but in fact, I am a listener, happy and intrigued to be privy to how his ideas evolve and gel. I am sure M2 is equally involved in this process. He is the more reserved of the two. The both of them are head over heels involved in the arts and design. They also have a sincere and passionate love of the landscape – this is how we came to meet, and fall for each other. Their holiday begins with the tree. Though they have an outstanding collection of vintage glass ornaments, the tree is always very different.

Their love of nature and the garden is always a substantial part of their tree.  They live on a large property in the country. Most of that property is wild. This year’s tree is chock full of the seedpods from butterfly weed, and assorted other weedy dry stems. The addition of the wild remains of plants foraged from their own property took a few intensely felt weekends. I truly admire and respect that they are able to set aside the demands of their professional lives, and give their all to the design and creation of this tree. It is a tour de force on so many levels.

I knew M had a plan to add clementines and persimmons to the mix. He later added mini Kishu mandarin oranges and kumquats.  I had my doubts about how that would work, but I kept that to myself. At the same time, I knew he was shopping every grocery store and farmers markets in his area for those orange fruits.   I greatly respect his eye. All it takes to be open to anything is the intent to be open.

The result is unique to them, and their point of view. Stunning, every square inch of it.  Their history, interests and passion for the arts and the garden resulted in a holiday expression of great beauty.

This New Year’s Day, I am thinking about those projects this past year that truly engaged me. Those projects that speak to the best, most inventive, and imaginative. And those projects that are created by the love of the landscape on both sides of the design equation. I have many to thank, and much to be thankful for.

As for the holiday created by my friends- thank you. It is a feast for the eyes, the heart and the soul.


The buche de Noel, a culinary creation of theirs – exquisite.


  1. buck moffat says


  2. Well, I think that has to be the prettiest Christmas tree I have ever seen!

  3. Lisa at Greenbow says

    The best sort of Yule Log no doubt. I love the doggie under the table awaiting drops. What an elegant celebration. Inspiration for next year.

  4. Spectacular! They should have a blog!

  5. jane Haylor says

    That “snow” from seed pods of butterfly weed is a dynamite idea!!! His table is exquisite. Please tell what he uses to write the names on the herb/leaves name tags. Have always wanted to do a Noel de Buche – a challenge for next year.
    Love all your posts, Deborah.

  6. Stunning! Thanks

  7. It’s beautifully clear that they love every minute evolved in the decor and cooking. I love the buche de Noël! All is a work of art.

  8. Donma Thibodeau says

    Love the indoor window boxes! Thanks for sharing and happy new year.

  9. Enchanting!

  10. Fantastic creations. Inspiring unique and fun

  11. Linda Gallinatti says

    This is the most gorgeous Christmas Interior I have seen! Thank you for sharing these clients with your website fans! Everything about your photos show your client’s exquisite taste. Certainly in keeping with your landscape design plantings.
    Linda Gallinatti

  12. Annie O Dillon says

    Gorgeous. Very fun to see!
    I love the elegant embroidered linen with a name scraped on the leaves…so, so..I don’t know… super special friendy? And, all the corals with pine, the persimmons, and the crazy powdered sugar mushrooms, and the blue? candles, and the cool / warm ~ natural / flocked FABULOUSness. Absolutely lovely. Thanks for sharing.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Annie, it seems to me that you spent some time looking. The candles are a darker shade of grey.The mushrooms are a meringue attachment to the classic French Christmas dessert-a buche de Noel. So pleased that you enjoyed their work. best regards, Deborah

  13. Carol Wiebe says

    I have read many of your newsletters and love them all but this one warrants a response. I am in awe of your friends’ creativity, ambition, style and elegance! This home is so beautifully decorated that I could gaze at your photographs for hours. Everything is absolutely stunning. I am at a loss for more superlatives. thank you for sharing.

  14. Lisa Magidson says

    This is the most beautiful tree I have ever seen! The tree and branches look as though they have been dipped in snow, how do they accomplish this?

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Lisa, theirs is the most beautiful holiday tree I have ever seen. I agree with you. They began with a tree that they had flocked white. all the best, Deborah

  15. Stunning holiday tree! The best this season for sure. These are visual gods!

  16. My-oh-my. A feast for the eyes.

  17. Cheryl Foley says

    Simply exquisite.

  18. Kathleen Paneitz says

    oh my. Everything is STUNNING! It would be a true gift just to be invited into your friends home. Happy New Year! Thanks for the inspiration you always so freely share.

  19. Michaele Anderson says

    These photos make me feel transported to another place and time…what a privilege to get to experience it in person.

  20. Spectacular!

  21. I’m speechless! Truly their love and devotion to beautiful design is here, in this exquisite lovely place! The linens are gorgeous! Thank you Deborah for sharing! The happiest of New Years to you!

  22. Very elegant, indeed. I would never think to use orange for Christmas as a color scheme, but it is actually one of my favourite colors. Thank goodness for people daring to do what they love! Sublime effect.

  23. Speechless, divine, love to know how they hung the fruits on the tree? I love it!

  24. Wow, I love these people!!!! Very creative!!!

  25. Wow, do I ever love the Noel de Buche! That took a bit of work, I’d say

  26. Annmary Magdowski says

    Thank you for sharing these lovely photos. It is such a tribute to the power and beauty of nature!

  27. Jennifer Taylor says

    Wow! Spectacular! Truly remarkable. Thank you for sharing Deborah.

  28. Joyce Baker says

    I do not know the words to describe this. They would be stronger than the words I now know to describe something as awesome, fantastic, unbelievably beautiful.

    I would enjoy seeing this every Christmas season.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Joyce, they do what they do every year. I agree that this is one of the most beautiful holiday expressions I have ever seen. Stellar. Sublime.

  29. Jane Cruickshank says

    I need to print and preserve so I can enjoy all year long. Ah that salt cellar ❤️. You are a perfect group and friendship.

  30. Diane Jaeger says

    Absolutely phenomenal! A treat for the eye and the soul!!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Diane, I am so struck about ho every element on that tree spirals. The lights spiral. The ornaments spiral. The garland spirals. All of those spirals are so subtle, but so striking. Every bit is phenomenal, as you say. best regards, Deborah

  31. Deb in AR Former Detroit eastsider. says

    WOW What a Feast For The Eyes you have given us for a New Year present…take care and my best in the New Year.

  32. Their Christmas decor is incredible! I love every detail. Thank you for sharing! I hope we will see them again next year.

  33. Their eye for detail is ahhhmazing! I love the window sills filled with white cyclamen. A leaf at each hand embroidered napkin! It’s all there… details!!!!!

  34. Thank you for sharing this work! How was the flocking done?

  35. Carolyn Hefner says

    Amazing! Thank you for sharing…growing up in the country, I love seeing all of these natural pieces incorporated into an elegant setting…the window sill is stunning! The table setting fabulous…off to add knife rests to my collection now!!! Just beautiful!!!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Carolyn, any gorgeous expression is a call to interpret and imagine for oneself. The knife rests are indeed beautiful. best regards, Deborah

  36. Carol deLuca says

    The world is much more beautiful for your skills, your friends and your willingness to share! Bless you!

  37. When I saw the tree I was enchanted. I have done something similar but not to this degree of beauty. Where did they get the tree flocked? I used dried flowers instead of fruits but love the fruits for the color. Lovely. Then I saw the stunning window sill….I love cyclamen, they are my winter flower for the house. I am going to use that idea for my kitchen and dining room bay window next December. And as if it could not get any better… there is the table. How elegant and understated the table is and oh, do I wish I had had an invitation to that gathering. The buche de Noel is outstanding…I am going to have to embellish mine more. Everything is stunning. Love the photos on your site. And as always you freely educate us with your knowledge. Thank you so much and Happy New Year

  38. Wow! Just spectacular. The embroidery technique on napkins–is that candlewicking? Gee. I wonder what was on the menu. The touches of orange fruit is perfect. Let me take another look to embrace all the sentiment.

  39. One word, stunning!!!!

  40. Are those little silver acorns under the cyclamen?
    Very ethereal.
    Thank you for sharing.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Lenore, there are garlands under the cyclamen that have paper leaves and silver acorns. They bought them at Detroit Garden Works a number of years ago. So pleased that you are enjoying their work. best, Deborah

  41. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

    Looking at all the touches of white — tulle that enfolds delicate fruit for the tree, window cyclamen (boy, am I going to copy that idea next year!), and those meringue mushrooms. I made them years ago and decided that, as much as I loved my family, it was TOO big a labor of love.
    Your pals must love you a lot. Of course they do!

    Like all of your followers, I am so grateful for all the posts you so generously share year after year. Happy New Year!

  42. I have missed this post over the last two years…so glad it is back. Absolutely stunning. Happy New Year!

  43. Stunning! Love all the details of their tree and the darling Yule Log!!

  44. marie Simon says

    How beautiful! I especially love the white coral with the persimmons and the silver lantern! Oh… and also the puppy under the table!

  45. Linda Brazill says

    I remember your prior posts on this couple and had been missing them. So this was a thrill to see. Lucky you to share in the festivities.

  46. Janet James says

    Many of the comments (e.g. Joyce Baker, Michaele Anderson, Carol Wiebe, Nella) have described the chord that you, and the designers captured….and then, so GENEROUSLY shared with us. It was like the opening bar of music that resonated so deeply, giving joy and awe, and personal pleasure that is profound. I think we’d all like to attemp it ourselves, knowing that we might not achieve the thunderous impact, but just for the chance to try it out! I want to add to the chorus of thank yous. It’s so lovely, so unartificial but ethereal.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Janet, thank you so much for your letter. It is what every designer hopes to achieve with a client. And certainly what I hope to achieve with this blog-encouraging people to try it for themselves. It is a very good feeling to create something beautiful. best regards, Deborah

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