Jacin Fitzgerald & Her Holiday-Ready Home
At the helm of her eponymous creative events company—which covers everything from wedding planning to design and florals—Jacin Fitzgerald seems to have no shortage of inspiration when it comes to all things decorative. She rarely misses a detail, and her holiday home is living proof of her attention to each vignette and every corner. From the garland-drapped front entry to the sweet velvet ribbon strung throughout her festive spaces, Jacin is prepped and ready to ring in the season and the new year. We invite you to step inside her beautifully layered home below, and to soak up a bit of Jacin's thoughtful perspective on decorating for the holidays.
Your home is gorgeous! How did you decide on your decorating style this year? Would you call it a theme?
Thank you! This is our second Christmas here in the south since moving last January, so we are still getting settled in, but there's nothing that makes a house feel more like home than the holiday season. We don't really have a theme when it comes to décor—it's more about mixing heirlooms with holiday pieces we've collected together through the years. Oh, and tons of fresh pine and cypress! I also like to keep our dining room feeling beachy (I'm a New Englander living in the south, so saltwater is in my blood) by incorporating mussel and oyster shells as ornaments and keeping things coastal and natural, décor-wise.
What are your favorite parts about decorating your home for the holidays?
Putting on the holiday tunes for the first time and pulling out all the boxes of décor with my husband, Pat. I love seeing all the old ornaments from past holidays and the memories they bring.
One favorite tradition we've incorporated through the years is to bust out the hot chocolate after our Friendsgiving dinner, which basically kicks off the season. We add a crushed candy cane rim to the mug and a shot or two of peppermint schnapps for a cozy spiked hot cocoa, then we watch "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."
What are your top three favorite details of your holiday décor?
- The pine swags we hang in the windows between the curtains. They're actually branches cut from the bottom of our trees before we put them in their tree stands. If you ask your local nursery or tree farm, they will gladly give you leftover pine branches for free!
- The star at the top of our living room tree came from Pat's brother who lived in Norway for several years. I love how simple it is and how it finishes off the tree perfectly.
- This year, Pat's parents gifted me their holiday village with pieces they've collected through the years, so that was a really sentimental addition to our décor this year.
How early do you usually start decorating?
We drive to New Jersey (from Atlanta) every year for Thanksgiving, and make sure we're back in time to buy our tree the Sunday after turkey day.
Do you have any decorating traditions?
Yes! Our favorite tradition involves one of our favorite things—Champagne! We open a bottle of Champagne every year for the tree trimming and save the muselet (cork cage) to write the year underneath. We then hang the muselet somewhere on the tree. It probably sounds crazy, but it's so fun to open the box of ornaments every year and look through all the muselets we've collected through the years. It brings back fun memories, from trimming our tree in our tiny apartment in San Francisco to our new home here in Atlanta.
What holiday albums do you have on repeat this year?
A Charlie Brown Christmas is always my go-to, but this year I'm really loving some of the oldies like Frank Sinatra and Andy Williams.
Can you share some tips and tricks for holiday decorating?
- Don't compete with Pinterest. Keep it cozy and just as elaborate (or not) as you want it to be.
- I feel like the holidays accentuate the feeling of "home" and cozy fabrics (think: faux furs, plaids, velvets) create an inviting atmosphere.
- Hit up HomeGoods, Hobby Lobby, One Kings Lane, Pottery Barn and other home décor stores after the holidays to stock up on decorations, holiday pillows and throws and holiday lights for a huge discount.
- Purchase seasonal blankets and pillows to swap out with those you have out year-round to immediately bring a holiday feeling to any room.
- Use what you have! Head out to the backyard with clippers to cut pine and holly branches and place them in vases you might have on-hand to bring a festive tone indoors. I took several oyster and mussel shells we had collected and drilled tiny holes into them to create ornaments for our dining room tree. I also used some for votive candle holders on the table!
- If you don't have a table runner, head to your local fabric store and find a pretty plaid (or seasonal) print and purchase two-to-three yards, depending on the length of your dinner table. Fold the fabric in half to make a festive runner.
- Always have a trusted candle on-hand. The flickering flame of a candle immediately makes any room feel more welcoming and warm. My absolute favorite holiday pine candle is the Frasier Fir candle from Thymes.
What are your go-to shopping resources for decorating?
Heirlooms are kind of my favorite but I do love the fun holiday décor at Target, West Elm and HomeGoods. I feel like my style might be a little more New England-y, more traditional, so I'm drawn to simple and cozy décor. My holiday style is kind of like L.L.Bean meets Southern Living!
No matter what's going on in the world, or tiffs that might be going on in families, the holidays seem to put a pause on the negativity, if even just for a moment. This world needs more of that.
What things are worth splurging on and where can you skimp?
We always, always, always get a real tree. This might change once we finally have kids, but for now, we just love the smell and feel of the real thing (although these ScentSicles smell like the real deal if you get an artificial tree). We don't necessarily splurge on a real tree, but it's certainly going to cost more throughout the years, I suppose!
Rhody looks ready to celebrate! Is there anything you have to do differently when decorating with a dog?
Luckily, he's not a puppy anymore so things have changed a bit! When we first got him, he was only a few months old at Christmas, so our favorite ornaments made their way closer to the top of the tree, along with the string of lights a little farther from the bottom of the tree. Nowadays he's more concerned with the squirrels or deer outside so we don't have to worry about him gnawing away on the décor!
Drink of choice for the festive season?
Oh, there are few things I love more than a festive cocktail during the season. One favorite tradition we've incorporated through the years is to bust out the hot chocolate after our Friendsgiving dinner, which basically kicks off the season. We add a crushed candy cane rim to the mug and a shot or two of peppermint schnapps for a cozy spiked hot cocoa, then we watch "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."
What's your favorite thing about the holidays?
We haven't lived near home in about eight years, so we love the opportunity to see family and friends this time of year. No matter what's going on in the world, or tiffs that might be going on in families, the holidays seem to put a pause on the negativity, if even just for a moment. This world needs more of that.