Veronika Miller

Veronika Miller

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Home for the holidays with the DXV Design Panel: Susan Serra

Just in time for the holiday season, we caught up with DXV's Design Panel to take a look into their personal homes and learn about their most coveted holiday memories. Join us for the next six weeks as we visit with Susan Serra, Mary Douglas Drysdale, Meredith Heron, Cheryl Kees Clendenon, Marilyn Russell and Corey Klassen.


We begin our holiday decor series with acclaimed kitchen designer Susan Serra from Long Island, NY. Susan's style is often inspired by her Scandinavian heritage which you can also see in her DXV Design Panel project.


VM: Can you share with us your fondest holiday memory? It can be anything from your childhood, growing up, from last year or whenever, what is the one holiday event or moment that stands out for you?

Susan: One holiday event that I can only think of as a sweet (if questionably smart) holiday moment was when my husband and I brought our two-week-old child to see Santa at the mall. She was our first child! I think Santa was a little bit nervous holding a fragile, 7 lb baby, but we knew we wanted to plunge in and start this suburban yearly rite of passage complete with picture taken with Santa, um, early on. In retrospect, I think we wanted to feel like real parents and it brings a smile to remember it!


Scandinavian Christmas Tree Susan Serra

VM: What are your typical family traditions for the holidays?

Susan: It's all about Christmas morning! Our grown kids (often, they are all in town), their significant others and our two grandchildren gather at our house and the craziness begins. Lots of gifts, wrapping paper torn and thrown everywhere while we try to be mature and allow each one to open a gift in succession. Sometimes that works! The fire is burning in the fireplace, Christmas music is on​ and soon we will sit down to a BIG breakfast. Christmas Eve, ah, that's for my husband and I to snuggle alone by the fire as the rest of our family is out visiting others.

Scandinavian Christmas Tree Susan Serra

VM: Now let's talk about holiday décor. What does your home look like during the holidays? And is there a style you've always coveted but haven't managed to create for your own home? Please share pictures of your own holiday home or styles you love from other sources (with credit to those sources).

Susan: As the years go on, I feel much more of an urge to express myself (luckily my husband likes it) creatively. I seek out imperfect Christmas trees tangled with vines at the local farm, add far fewer ornaments to the tree and ​desire more of a natural, simple, look in the home, one of thoughtful and purposeful imperfection. This look is driven by my whims, changes every year and does not build on past successful holiday decorating. One special recurring piece is the tree skirt that my Danish grandmother embroidered and always the Danish flags. Simple Scandinavian is my kind of look and this year as we move into our new home, the look will be a Scandi Coastal kind of vibe!

Scandinavian Christmas Tree Susan SerraScandinavian Christmas Tree Susan Serra

VM: We won't judge if you've been naughty or nice, so tell us, what's on your wishlist this year?

Susan: I've been VERY nice this year and would greatly appreciate a new kitchen! I promise the best treats for Santa, elves and the reindeer team will be ready for them when they arrive early Christmas morning when the house is asleep.