Jordan Ferney has never been one to compromise when it comes to her home’s decor (see: her dedication to joyful design despite living in a rental), and that sentiment rings especially true during the holiday season. Because the decorative additions are temporary, no permission (or cumbersome installation) is needed. So Ferney enlisted Domino’s style director, Naomi deManana. Although she grew up in a family who treated decking the halls as a major event, a picture-perfect space is never Ferney’s goal—creating a warm and welcoming environment is. “My mom was an artist, and the holidays were her creative outlet,” she says. 

Ferney prefers to lean into little moments of cheer, like dressing up a stair banister or hanging mistletoe, rather than an explosion of festivity everywhere. Her two sons, 12 and 14, have even gotten in on the action this time around, taking over the task of staging the Elf on the Shelf for their 5-year-old sister. Here are four of the joyful vignettes Ferney and deManana put together. 

Theme the Tree

The age-old German tradition of hiding a pickle ornament in the Christmas tree was never a part of Ferney’s traditions growing up, but this year she decided to lean into the legend. In addition to her regular evergreen full of colorful ornaments, she dedicated a second faux larch tree to the snack, taking notes from John Derian’s 2020 holiday store display. “I didn’t have enough pickles for a full pine tree, but I wanted them to still get their moment,” she says. Ferney purchased the ornaments back in May from an Etsy seller in Ukraine (her favorite country to find vintage ornaments), and she was itching to unbox the pastel vegetables the second Halloween passed.  

pickle ornaments
Cody Foster Vintage-Inspired Food Ornaments, Food52 ($18)
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Down the Stairs

Rather than opting for traditional winter evergreen boughs, Ferney and deManana went for a garland of bay leaves. They last much longer than spruce, and the leaves fill the hallway with their signature herbal scent. “My mom used to place paper towels soaked in cinnamon oil next to the heat vents to get the entire house to smell like spices, and I wanted to get that effect in a subtler way,” explains Ferney. 

pink velvet ribbon
Pink Velvet Ribbon, Paper Source ($12)
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An Outside-in-Color Scheme

Serendipitously, deManana and Ferney both suggested the same striped ribbon from M&J Trimming to determine the leading color story for this year’s decorations: bright blue, pastel green, and, of course, pink. A mix of solid and striped ribbons adorn each garland and tie the pickles to their tree. Never a stickler when it comes to traditional red and green decorations, Ferney was more concerned that the palette would coordinate with her downstairs neighbor’s bubblegum-hued flower boxes. 

bay leaf garland
12′ Bay Leaf Garland, Williams-Sonoma Home ($160)
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Set the Table

Food has always been a pivotal part of the Ferney family’s holidays, whether it be volunteering at a soup kitchen or making Santa pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream. So it makes sense that their dining table is decked out with snap peas, lemons, and peppers (all inedible, of course). The ornaments are simply tucked into a centerpiece of evergreen branches, no special installation needed. 

vegetable ornaments
Vintage Vegetable Ornaments, Etsy ($5)
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