Vessel Vignettes

By Kate Riley December 11, 2012

Christmas is such a funny time for us around our house.  The family is accustomed to all the boxes and bins I pull out every year and stack up in the corner of the living room.  They tolerate my humming of Christmas tunes while I float around hanging wreaths and ornaments and sometimes they indulge me in my requests to help me make the house merry. 

I’m not the most organized person in many aspects but when it comes to the holiday decor, I do myself a favor every January and organize by color because that’s how I decorate in December.  All the gold stuff is in one plastic bin, the silver in another, etc.  I turn to the same old techniques every year because they appeal to me.  Always a lot of branches, some are real and some are faux, plenty of colorful ornaments, and some fresh greenery, with a garland up the staircase and evergreens scattered about.

One of the easiest ways I find to decorate each year is with piles of ornaments in vessels and I really do place them everywhere.  It’s easy and takes little thought.  Piling up ornaments in vessels always looks festive and it allows me to use what I’ve already got.  So I roam from space to space, filling up hurricanes, urns, and compotes with piles of those sparkly baubles recycled year after year. 

vases and branches centsational girl


My collection of blue glass vases floats around the house, usually they’re in the family room but this month in the entry.  Shop your house, that’s my motto!

branches and bowl of ornaments


blue glass compote with ornaments


It’s Rhoda’s Vignettes Party today, so here are just a few more scenes of those ornaments piled up in vessels around the casa. 

Hello favorite wire dot bowl !  I love this little thing, it’s gold, funky, and cool.  I purchased it this past summer on Joss & Main – the bottle brush tree is from Target.

gold bowl filled with ornaments


My big ol’ blue bottle from the mantel two years ago is back filled with willow branches from the fall porch – the trio of peacock blue finials is from Horchow.  Mirror available here.

mirrored apothecary with stockings


The stockings I found on Joss & Main (my crack, I really should stay away) and they are available at Anna Maria Horner.  LOVE them! 

striped stockings on mirrored chest


More piles in the entry on a mirrored tray.

entryway vignette


Aw, even a sweet little tree in our bedroom gets a few little ornaments around the base.

mini christmas tree with ornaments


And the family room bookshelves are all merry with a medley of decor I’ve collected over the years.

family room bookshelves


Linking up to Rhoda’s Vignettes party today!

rhoda vignettes

Sarah’s Christmas tree party is on Thursday, I’ll be there too!




  1. OK I have to say this is my favorite of all your holiday decor! I’ve followed you for years now and have loved everything you do at Christmas, but this year– *swoon* :-)

  2. Love the family room bookshelves!
    I also decorate with bowls and hurricanes and whatever else will hold some simple ornaments! I have lots of heirloom and family ornaments I hang on our tree, so it’s fun to have splashes of color all over the house!

  3. I love how all your colors go so well together. The blues and grays and greens all work so well together. I also love the idea of the painted branches in a simple vase with ornaments on them.. some thing so simple looks so good!

    • Hi Amy, I’ve found all my fake white branches locally, usually at after Christmas sales and I use them year after year. :)

  4. I love it all! That blue is my love… it’s all over my house and now it is all over my tree too! Love your bookshelves too with all those whites and natural elements!

  5. I tend to be a fan of more traditional colors but your turquoise, silver and gold decor is beautiful.

    I also found it interesting how you store your Christmas decorations: by color. I have always stored my decorations by holiday:Easter, 4th of July, etc. But I had an epiphany on this subject the other day when I was getting out my Christmas linens and realized that I could use the red napkins at other times of the year. So I decided that I would store items by catagory: linens, lights, fruit and vegetables, greenery, floral, etc. It would be interesting to see how other people store their holiday decor so that they can use items throughout the year.

    Wishing you and your a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  6. Oh MY-LANTA….love how crisp and clean your house always looks! The colors for deco are awesome…wish my family would let me switch it up from red and green to something new and fresh. Hmmm… I will just do that next year….such a rebel!
    Anyway….Love this and your site!

  7. Absolutely beautiful, Kate! I love the soft blues and whites together for the eyes to rest upon. I’m sure your house is stunning with all your creativity!

  8. Hello, Kate. I`m one of the army of your loyal fans. Your home looks like a luxury magazine. Just wonderful and so inspiring! We all see you have tons of decoration. Where do you store it when not in use? Do you have a special storage room or may be a whole attic?

  9. I have to say, I have never been a fan of blue for Christmas decorations but I LOVE these!!!!

    Thanks for sharing! I am trying this year!!

  10. Thanks Kate on the info for the houses. im about an hour from Petaluma so I will have to check out the store next time I’m down there. I have to admit I feel like a stalker, I’ve printed out all the photos and will carry them with me as I look for Christmas decorations. I love everything, especially that baby deer on the book shelf!!! Any links you may have with names or brands for some of your decor would be wonderful.

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