Just in time for the Christmas Holidays we end our series of Holiday Homes with the DXV Design Panel with Mary Douglas Drydsdale’s Holiday favorites. Mary’s design for DXV was a perfect exercise in pure white, perfectly executed formality with a twist that best reflects Mary’s personality and if you have not yet seen it, please click here.
DXV: Mary, thank you for spending a bit of time with us today, we know you are espcecially busy but would love to know what your holiday favorites are. Can you share your fondest memory of Christmas?
Mary: The fondest memory I have of an adult Christmas was at my small farm house in Pennsylvania. We had spent almost two years renovating our very small 1824 stone farm house and it was going to be ready for Christmas. That year, I was determined to make Christmas very special and decided that I needed original ornaments for my tree, as it would be our first Christmas in the country. I gathered together all of the old and burned out light bulbs I could find and painted them in highly decorative patterns and in unusual colors as an idea for Christmas ornaments. I also found antique cookie cutters in the shape of farm animals: horses, sheep, pigs, cattle, and roosters. Gingerbread cookies were then baked and polychrome frostings were dyed in order to blend with my re-imagined light bulb Christmas tree ornaments. As Christmas approached, Mother Nature was right on schedule and it snowed and snowed and snowed. My Great Danes watched the horses play in their paddocks and we sat briefly on the porch with coats and Amish quilts, wondrous that the beauty of it all was ours to share.
DXV: What are your family traditions for the holidays?
Mary: I grew up in a wonderful household that celebrated both Christmas and the night before, as my parents wedding anniversary, was Christmas Eve. The story that goes with that is one that I will never forget. My parents met in Hawaii and fell in love, but were young and had little in terms of money to buy expensive gifts. Together, they decided that the most precious thing each of them could give was love to the other, and so for Christmas, and on Christmas Eve, they married, as each considered the most precious thing they could give would be each other to one another. I love to remember the wonderful times I shared with my family and friends growing up. I think of Christmas as a time of giving, making and doing for others. I try to carry the spirit of Christmas with me all year round and celebrate the gifts of others all year round.
DXV: What does your home look like during the holidays?
Mary: There is a difficult balance between traditional symbols and iconic thinking. A room should be rich in idea, balanced in application and furnish sufficient amusement and interest, to delight. For many years I have decorated trees and wreaths with monochromatic lights. This year - as I am in the middle of a renovation, I am thinking of giving away everything I don’t need or want. And I think that I will draw a Christmas tree on the wall, wrap my gifts for others in extra blue prints from a productive year, and get some great smelling herbs to make the house smell delicious and clean.
DXV: Herbs and blueprints, what wonderfully creative ideas, your home will be magical. Before we let you go, you have to tell us: What is on your wish list this year?
Mary: I have certainly been both naughty and nice in 2014. On my wish list this year: a fabulous new bathroom, with a great big shower, an interesting design project offering new challenges, a dog or two, ready always to play hard and be silly, and a trip to a country where I have never been. I texted Santa my answer to this question.