When it comes to seasonal decor, Christmas doesn’t have to mean red and green.
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Jeff West was just a little boy when he was mesmerized by a sparkling silver sphere, an aluminum Christmas tree that reflected mid-century chic in its shimmering fronds.
It wasn’t a good match for his mother’s restrained and stately holiday display. But young Jeff loved the tinsel tannenbaum so much, he surrendered his allowance to buy it—and decorated the tree in the basement.
“I still have it and I would bring it out again in a minute if I had just the right place to display it,” he says.
West has been developing his innate talent for melding beauty and whimsy for decades, starting with the May Co., where he created visual vignettes that delighted department store shoppers. Most recently, he is the owner of Jeff West Home in Rehoboth Beach, where patrons will find elegant and relaxed furniture and accessories, as well as highly personalized design services.
At the vacation cottage in Lewes that he shares with his partner, Henry Cox, West approaches decorating for the holidays with the same traditionally hip approach he takes to everyday design.
He starts with the palette that already defines the social spaces of the cottage interior, the soft and fresh blues, greens and cream of sea glass, dune grass and sand, accented with muted gold and silver.
“For me, it’s color, always color,” he says. “Christmas doesn’t have to be all bright reds and greens.”
The tree—this year, it’s a small fresh fir—is decked out in cascading streamers of pale green silk. Large ornaments are fanciful and one of a kind, including a hand-painted wooden bunny and other animals West designed for the Kellogg Collection, an upscale home and interior design retailer in metro Washington, D.C. Miniature mermaids bob on branches beside dried starfish embellished with rhinestones and seed pearls.
(Hint: When taking down the tree, put the ornaments from the inside of the tree at the top of the box. “Pack in reverse,” West advises.)
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