From Dried Citrus Garlands to Group Cocktails, These Entertaining Pros Share Their Holiday Secrets
Designer Heather Taylor, caterer Annie Campbell, and floral designer Whit McClure share how to turn your home into a holiday haven for family and friends.
A massive tree wrapped from root to canopy in LED twinkle lights towers over the backyard of designer Heather Taylor’s Laurel Canyon home. It’s a sustainable nod to the holidays that looks so good you wouldn’t blame her for leaving it up all year round.
Subtle but high-impact twists on tradition like this are core to what Taylor does as founder of Heather Taylor Home, the housewares company known for its simple gingham linens that look just a little bit preppy and a whole lot modern. That new nostalgia is also at the heart of Taylor’s approach to decorating for and celebrating the holidays.
Before the pandemic, Taylor ran a thriving events rentals business. While that ground to a halt, cozy cushion sales shot through the roof as people transformed their homes into havens for escape. The super-social Taylor missed the parties, so she jumped at the chance to show us how she and her friends and collaborators—caterer Annie Campbell and floral designer Whit McClure, founder of Whit Hazen floral designs—would throw one for the holidays.
Not surprisingly, this busy crew is all about keeping it simple and keeping it cozy, with just a little nostalgia and loads of easy style. Campbell cooked up a throwback menu of bubbling fondue, shrimp cocktail with green goddess dip, buttermilk-dressed wedge salad, and pomegranate margaritas with cranberry-studded ice cubes. McClure designed a wispy, sage-y wreath, lyrical tablescapes, and a playful garland of dried citrus. And Taylor transformed her home—from dining table to guest bedroom—with linens, cushions, and housewares from Heather Taylor Home and her capsule collection with West Elm. To get you inspired for hunkering down and stretching the holiday cheer over the season—in a way that whispers winter celebrations but doesn’t push you to poinsettia fatigue—we’ve assembled the ultimate guide so you can maximize the coziness in your home.
What You Need:
- 50 dried orange slices
- 7 feet of twine or thin cording
- Wooden beads in a variety of sizes
- Pair of scissors
- 2 yards of velvet ribbon
For the garland, I created visual interest by alternating groups of dried orange slices. Start with one grouping threaded through the center, follow it with a grouping threaded through the sides, and repeat. Place wood beads between groupings to set them apart.
To thread pieces where you see the whole orange slice, take your toothpick and make a hole on each side, next to the rind. Thread your twine or cording into one side and out through the hole on the other side.
To easily create a symmetrical design, string a couple of slices and beads on one end of your twine, then repeat the same look on the other end. Alternate sides like this until you’ve reached your desired length.
Once you’ve reached the end, make a loop knot, then thread a piece of velvet ribbon through the loop and tie it into a bow. Cut the ends of your ribbon at an angle to give it a finished look.