Ok, I’ll admit it. In years past, I’ve been a decorate-for-Christmas-on-December-23 type of girl. The holidays just always seem to sneak up on me. But this year, having finally moved into our fixer-upper and having a 20-month-old on my hands, everything is different. Now I have a lot more incentive to make our house feel special, cozy and inviting. I really want the season to be extra merry and bright for my kiddo – but I’m embracing the spirit too. After everything 2016 has put us through, I’m very ready to revel in the ultimate yuletide feeling. You with me?

As in years past, I turned to the guru, one Ms. Martha Stewart, to help with my holiday decorating. This year, I decided to turn our entryway into a Christmas-y wonderland. Spoiler alert – this is also a major sneak peek of our house!


A dramatic entryway deserves some dramatic holiday decor, but achieving the look doesn’t have to be complicated. I used just a few key pieces to create the simple, sophisticated vibe I was going for; a garland, a wreath and a little mini tree.

To make it easy on myself, I had Ms. Martha help me out with a beautiful faux garland as well as a faux wreath from her Martha Stewart for the Home Depot collection. Going faux makes life so much easier. There’s no needles scattering everywhere and no worry about the entire thing turning brown and brittle. You’re guaranteed to have good looking greens until they go back into their boxes, ready for the next year.

But going faux doesn’t mean you can’t get creative. In fact, it just gives you a great base to work with – no extensive DIY skills required. To make my garland and wreath a bit more personal, I decided I wanted to add my own elements. Some additional fresh pine boughs scattered throughout the garland, along with sprigs of white berries helped to fill out the gaps and really amp up the unique factor. I love how the garland cascades down the newel post on the stairway. It adds a touch of extra drama.


Adding berry sprigs to the wreath (which already came frosted and adorned with its own pine cones), pulls the entire look together. Tszujing a store-bought garland or wreath doesn’t require a set plan nor any over thinking of the design. Simply stick in branches here and there until you start to get the look you’re going for. I intentionally added weight to one side of the wreath to make it a little more asymmetrical along with a jumob-sized pinecone as a final flourish.


A little potted pine tucked into our hallway corner adds some additional personality to the entryway – and it was just so cute I couldn’t resist him.

And there you have it. Just a few easy steps and my house feels celebratory the moment you set foot through the door. My kiddo really loves it. And I really really love that.


original photography for apartment 34 by michelle drewes / florals by lambert floral studio

This post in partnership with Martha Stewart for the Home Depot. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting posts that have kept apt34’s doors open.

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Whoa! Wonderful.. so cheerful and inviting! Warm and cozy…

  2. I love your stairs painted black. I’ve been wanting to that to ours at home, but I worry about them being slippery (we currently have a runner on them). Are they slippery? Do you worry about your little one and your dog? Thanks!
    Love your blog, you have great style 🙂

    1. Hi Betsy, thanks for asking! I actually don’t find them too slippery though I would use a little caution if walking down in stocking feet. Our little one and dog have had no problem. I’ve heard you can mix fine grain sand in with the paint to add a little grip that’s barely noticeable. The toughest part about black floors is keeping them clean. They show dirt immediately!

  3. It’s stunning! I love simple.

    We are into our 5th yr. of redo on our house. Living room is done so I can do it up this year!

  4. Love the berries amd the large pine cone is awesome.
    The Garland is All so festive.
    Thanks.for.sharing your ideas.