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A new trend is using neutral tones, including design elements in shades of cream, taupe and gray.

Featured Article

A Festive Home for the Holidays

Unique and inspiring decorating tips from Jessica Merryweather Pollard

Article by Sue Baldani

Photography by Maile Mason Photography

Originally published in Bend Lifestyle

When Jessica Merryweather Pollard opened her home, gift and design store in the summer of 2020, she focused on creating a place where people could find something that expressed their unique tastes. Over two years later, Pollard continues to encourage customers to think outside the box when they come into her store, Merryweather, located in Bend’s Box Factory. With the holidays coming, she especially wants to promote decorating in a style that incorporates the traditional with the unexpected.

In order to keep a sense of continuity in the décor, Pollard advises choosing a color palette and carrying that theme throughout the house. This way, from the time you and your guests walk up to the front door, then walk into the living room, the dining room and possibly the powder room, everything feels connected.

Here she gives us some ideas on how to make your home festive and fun this holiday season.

Front of home/porch

If you have a pot that you keep flowers in during the summer, transition that into a holiday theme using white or natural colored sticks with a mix of evergreens and even feathers. “I usually do evergreen and juniper, but I’ve also used red sticks that come off my crab apple tree,” Pollard says.

“On the front door, you could do a swag or a wreath,” Pollard explains, “but I like to do greens around the border of my door and then add some fun color using ornaments and lightweight outdoor bulbs.”

Living room

Most Christmas trees go in the living room, so the tree is going to be the focal point. The tree is also going to set the tone for how you’re going to decorate the rest of the room. You can go the traditional route of reds, greens, creams, golds and silvers, or follow the trend of super neutral. “A new trend is do have a white tree with lots of cream, taupe and gray ornaments,” says Pollard. “If you're going to really kick it up and go kind of modern, it's really fun to do navy blues, hot pinks and citrus. So, first decide how you want to decorate your tree.”

If there's a fireplace with a mantle, your next step would be to connect the mantle to the tree using the same colors. If you're going traditional, you could use evergreens on the mantle, but if you’re going more neutral, you could use a pinecone swag or a feather garland - something that's more browns and creams. Add candles in whatever colors you have going on with the tree.

“On the sofa or chairs, you can add fun holiday pillows such as the Christmas Tree Trimmers design by Coral & Tusk (shown on page 2) which uses a linen foundation with embroidery on it,” demonstrates Pollard. Merryweather also carries other festive holiday pillows to add to your collection.

On your coffee table, try using a tray that has a winter arrangement with candles, or fill a bowl with wooden acorns (shown in photo of table setting). “There’s a really nice gold on the cap part of the acorns,” Pollard adds.

”Whatever color palette you do choose, you want to repeat the color at least three times in the room,” states Pollard. “I call it a three-point connection.”

Dining room

It's fun to dress up the dining room table with a table runner, and you can find them in all different colors and textures. “One of my favorites, Christmas Cheer, is a winter woodland design with a bear, fox, reindeer and hedgehog on it,” Pollard says. “It’s absolutely gorgeous and whimsical.” There are reds, greens, oranges and browns, which are very pretty and not the typical green and red plaid. You can then have your plates and napkins bring out some of the colors that are in that runner. Be creative.

“We sell a great candle holder you can put on your table or sideboard that you can fill with a mix of candles, pinecones or evergreens,” notes Pollard. “Again, think outside the box.”

“We also have African Zulu baskets that are all very neutral and you can mix in things you already have in your house with something like marble Christmas trees and make it very organic,” Pollard states.

Powder room

Merryweather also has beautiful hand towels. Have fun dressing up your powder room with holiday themed towels. Don’t forget to add a pine scented candle to complete the room.

“There are many creative things to do. It doesn't always have to be classic greens and reds,” Pollard remarks. “Hopefully, this gives you some new and fresh ideas.”


  • Jessica Merryweather Pollard offers holiday decorating tips to make your home festive this season.
  • A new trend is using neutral tones, including design elements in shades of cream, taupe and gray.
  • Unique baskets add texture to this neutral color palette and can be mixed with other design elements in your home for a creative and festive holiday theme.
  • Green Christmas ornaments offer a pop of color to this winter arrangement including candles, feathers and antler stocking holders.
  • This whimsical "Christmas Cheer" table runner with a winter woodland design adds charm to your holiday table setting.
  • Adding decorative pillows and throws in complementary shades can add festive touches throughout your home.
  • Holiday Inspiration from Merryweather