I hope everyone enjoyed last night's premiere of the holiday special on HGTV! Production actually happened months ago during a not-so-wintry week in September. Here's just a sliver of the panoramic water views from Kathie Lee's gorgeous, Spanish-style estate in Greenwich. Immediately, upon seeing the house and where it was located, I knew I wanted to do something that invoked the water but in a subtle, sophisticated way.           


My other source of inspiration came from this. 


It's a swatch of tartan plaid that figures prominently in the main room I chose to decorate. The colorsβ€”navy blue, gold, burgundy and hunter greenβ€”are a classic Greenwich palette that lends itself perfectly to holiday. But first, every great party needs a memorable entrance, so I decided to decorate a side foyer in Kathie's Lee house as well. I loved the clean, classic lines of the staircase, together with the nautical feel of the beadboard.


On the table, I did a feather tree decorated with icicles and plaid ornaments we made from old shirts I found at the Goodwill. Like the Halloween special, HGTV came to me to create a holiday look that was beautiful without spending a lot of money. The candy buffet I created as a sweet start (and finish!) for Kathie Lee's guests at the party, thanks to our friends at Hammond's.


Here's a before shot of the stairs…


…a beautifully blank backdrop for the modern boxwood garland, embellished with clusters of plaid ornaments and lustrous navy satin ribbon. Overall, I wanted to do something light and fresh in the foyer with an elegant nautical feel that truly related to Kathie's Lee's house and what's to come.


What's to come, however, would definitely need some work, especially if this was going to be a beautiful but budget-friendly party fit for a celebrity. Here's a before shot of the "pub," as Kathie Lee and Frank affectionately call it. As you can see, the tartan plaid covers walls, ceiling and even the six dining chairs in the alcove. It's a symmetrical room, so to play it up, I thought I'd do not one, but two Christmas trees! As a magazine editor, I found that moving furniture around was often the easiest way to freshen up a space, especially for the holidays.


For the trees, I used two fraser firs from US Evergreen in the city, decorated with a mix of ball ornaments from Bronner's and vintage Shiny-Brite reproductions from Christopher Radko, all in the colors of the tartan plaid.


In the alcove, I loved the idea of Kathie Lee and Frank hosting another couple for an intimate dinner following pre-dinner drinks, so I definitely wanted to keep the table in place but move two of the chairs to the other side of the room. 


To decorate the windows without obstructing the views, I did five 16" wreaths, also in boxwood, tied with white satin ribbon and hung from curtain rods. The pillows we switched out for a cozier collection from Pottery Barn, perfect all winter long.     


The table I set with an eclectic mix of new and old pieces, some borrowed, some Kathie Lee's, and even some of our own! The gorgeous set of gold china, red glass goblets, and gold flatware are all Kathie Lee's, while the salt cellars and monogrammed silverplate flatware we brought from our own butler's pantry at home. To fill in, I borrowed beautiful octagon-shaped dinner plates, champagne flutes, and water glasses from Juliska. Finally, the antique brass candlesticks are Kathie Lee's with navy tapers from our good friends at Creative Candles.


Here's a before shot of the opposite side of the room with a skirted table I planned to remove to make room for the second tree. It's also the perfect time to send it away to the cleaners during the holidays!


Of course, two trees in a room this small is a touch unexpected, perhaps even indulgent, but what can I say? I love a pair, especially in a space so symmetrical! As you can see, I also dropped the leaves on the coffee table to make more room during the party. If you're entertaining for the holidays, I suggest moving furniture around or even out of the room completely, so guests have space to mingle comfortably.


Finally, here's a before shot of the opposite side of the room. As pretty as the painting is above the fireplace, I knew it would also be the perfect place for a beautiful boxwood wreath and garland. 


On either side of the mantel, I placed two of the dining chairs with arms for extra seating during the cocktail party. The icicles I made from paper, while the wreath and garland are embellished with pine cones and gold ornament baubles. The stockings I fashioned from green felt with monogrammed letters for Kathie Lee, Frank, Cody, and Cassidy. Everything was super easy and inexpensive, but more on that in the days to come!


Celebrity Holiday Homes airs all this month on HGTV, so if you missed it the first time, don't worry about it! In the next few days, we'll also be positing about everything that went on behind the scenes, so be sure to check back soon!