Photos by SMHerrick Photography
Christmas is always a beautiful time of year, filled with gleaming lights, red and green flourishes, and plenty of sparkle. Holiday decorations can be made even more beautiful with the help of an equally gorgeous backdrop, and this new-build home in Orono certainly fits the bill.
Perfected by Lake Minnetonka custom home contractors Stonewood, LLC and Plymouth and Lake Geneva-based Studio M Interiors, the home showcases stunning features like an expansive transitional kitchen, an open-air living space that reveals an idyllic view of the surrounding trees, and a luxurious bath complete with a marble tile shower.
This already dazzling home becomes even more resplendent during the holidays, with the help of decorations curated by Melissa Musgjerd, owner and designer of Studio M Interiors.
“The holidays are the one time of year where you can totally transform your home into whatever color or style you desire,” Musgjerd shares.
It’s a decorating philosophy that she applies to her own home, preferring to change it up each year.
“I have bins and bins of differently colored ornaments, and every year, I pick a new theme for my house,” she says. “Last year, I decided on evergreen trees for my theme and did everything in green, red, and white with black-and-white gingham ribbon to finish it off.”
Since the Orono homeowners moved in right before Christmas, it felt like a special time to make the house look its festive best. And instead of opting for traditional holiday hues, Musgjerd went with a fresh and unexpected color palette—red, white, and blue.
“The house itself was very Americana with a red, white, and blue theme,” Musgjerd reflects. The patriotic-meets-holiday scheme was represented in a variety of ways, through red poinsettias, cozy throw pillows, and a living room tree entirely decked out in the three hues. The colors tied in perfectly to the existing decor, which includes pieces like blue chinoiserie vases and red kitchen stools.
For the tree, Musgjerd wanted it to tie together the overall red, white, and blue decor seen throughout the home. She says that she used lots of ball-style ornaments and other decorations in these colors and added in “tons of different flowers and sprigs that were red, white, silver, and gold,” she says.
Never one to shy away from anything glittery, she advises, “It’s the holidays, so never be afraid of using glitz to finish off whatever piece you’re working on.”
Musgjerd also notes that as part of holiday decorating, it’s incredibly easy to change out ornaments and ribbon from year to year to make a home feel completely different.
Evergreen touches not only feel right for Christmas, but also for the winter season. “I have large bowls that sit in my kitchen, dining room, and at my front door, and I always have some sort of evergreen sprig in each of those along with lots of holiday ball ornaments,” she says.
And just like for this home, Musgjerd doesn’t necessarily stick to a standard red-and-green theme, saying, “Some years, I use my green and red ornaments, and others, I just use my gold and blue ornaments. Then I buy my wrapping paper to match whatever my color theme is for the holiday, and that completes the look.”
As for the Christmas tree, Musgjerd takes a “more the merrier” approach, and isn’t afraid to jam-pack it.
“I stuff my trees so full of ornaments and sprigs that you can hardly see the tree when I’m finished,” she says. “It’s amazing!”
Always on the lookout for “the basics,” as she calls them—sprigs that are gold, silver, white, and natural-looking, ball ornaments, ribbon, and wrapping paper—Musgjerd has to be as prepared as possible, since she’s in demand for decorating during the holidays.
“Last year, I did seven homes in three weeks, and every home was based off of what my clients wanted the feel to be,” she says. “Some were all about color, and some were driven by the style of the home.”
Musgjerd sums up her entire Christmas decorating philosophy, with a focus on the delightfulness of the season: “The holidays are a time to have some fun, add some shimmer, and enjoy the twinkle lights.”
It makes Musgjerd’s clients happy to be home for the holidays.