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HOLIDAY 2016

Christmas country house style


Welcome

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Greetings, friends and welcome to the holidays at Connecticut Country House. I never know, year to year, what exactly that's going to look like – that's part of the fun! Last year, Nantucket was my muse. This year, my inspiration feels a bit closer to home. The scent of fresh-cut pine, the freshness of bringing the outdoors in. The sweet and enduring gifts of friendship and family. The chance to get cozy, create comfort, and celebrate what matters. Whether it's your first visit or you've come through these doors many times, I hope you enjoy our Holiday issue, and I hope you're inspired to bring the Country House lifestyle into your own home, wherever you may be. Wishing you the happiest of holidays, my dear friends, and a beautiful new year! Love,

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HOLIDAY 2016


Nora Murphy Founder and Editor in Chief N O R A M U R P H Y C O U N TR Y H O USE.C OM

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“It's practically a new home.” Can I say that A B O U T A H O U S E B U I LT B E F O R E T H E A M E R I C A N R E V O L U T I O N ? S I N C E P R O J E C T R E F R E S H , I T ' S B E E N T R U E .

Now that we've reswizzled almost every room O N

T H E

M A I N

F L O O R ,

I ' M

M A R V E L I N G

A T

H O W

N E W

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Y E A R S

C A N

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These are our first post-Refresh holidays A T

C O N N E C T I C U T

C O U N T R Y

H O U S E ,

S O

N A T U R A L L Y

W E ' R E

enjoying these old spaces in a whole new way. T H E R O O M S A R E D O I N G D I F F E R E N T J O B S T H A N T H E Y U S E D T O . T H E Y C E R TA I N LY L O O K D I F F E R E N T T H A N B E F O R E ! O U R

creamy palette is a delightful chameleon, TA K I N G O N A N E W AT T I T U D E W I T H J U S T T H E S L I G H T E S T E D I T O R A D D I T I O N . I ' M A C O N S TA N T T I N K E R E R W I T H S T Y L E , A N D E V E N I C A N ' T B E L I E V E H O W FA B U L O U S T H I S N E W F O U N D AT I O N I S . O N E O F M Y D E S I G N M A N T R A S I S ,

“ M a k e t h e m o s t o f w h at yo u ' v e g o t " – A D V I C E T H A T W O R K S F O R A N Y O N E , A N Y W H E R E . P R O J E C T R E F R E S H R E A L LY H E L P E D U S D O T H A T, A N D

the designer in me is thrilled!

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HOLIDAY 2016


Christmas country house style

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Contents

NORA MURPHY COUNTRY HOUSE style holiday 2016

welcome 2 Christmas country House style 10 hearth and home 12 wrapped with love 36 Home to roost 54 scents & sensibility 66 simply green 70 we gather together 86 my country kitchen 96 For more Country House Style inspiration visit our website and blog at:

NORAMURPHYCOUNTRYHOUSE.COM Follow Nora Murphy Country House on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. Please direct all inquiries to: contact@noramurphycountryhouse.com. © 2016 Nora Murphy Country House, Inc. All rights reserved.

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All design, photography, and copy on NoraMurphyCountryHouse.com is original, produced year-round at Connecticut Country House and on location. Nora Murphy Founder and Editor in Chief Carol Hubner Art and Features Director Deborah Golden Copywriter/Copy Editor Criana Web Producer Robyn Szarka Roos Content Producer Sister Linda Boccia Copy Editor Darryl Arbesman Duanne Simon Nora Murphy Contributing Photographers Aida Kiernan Styling Assistant

Visit

NORAMURPHY COUNTRYHOUSE.COM

for more

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Christmas country house style

Getting Connecticut Country House ready for a festive holiday season 10

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Hearth &Home

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With our new creamy white foundation (check out our Project Refresh magazine), swapping out the pillows and piling on the throws is just about all it takes to transform the family room from summer-fresh to winter warm. A homemade garland of greens says holiday in the simplest, most natural way, and the scent is divine! N O R A M U R P H Y C O U N TR Y H O USE.C OM

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Cozy Up If you know me, you know my heart belongs to tartans! Just because it's 'tis the season doesn't mean red and green are the only way to go; these wonderful wooly patterns are cozy in any color. 16

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Heaven in Nature An inexpensive store-bought balsam wreath gussies up bleached elk antlers already on display, and a few found nests from my collection look right at home tucked into the mantel garland. N O R A M U R P H Y C O U N TR Y H O USE.C OM

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Up Close & Personal With its retro-modern vibe, this pillow looks like it could top a list of today's textile must-haves. In fact, it's vintage, from Hungary, and embroidered by hand – a fun, festive connection to my heritage and a graphic design note on the white denim slipcovered chair. N O R A M U R P H Y C O U N TR Y H O USE.C OM

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simple & special Simplicity keeps the theme going in the TV nook off the living room: A spool of thick jute and a handful of pinecones are all it took to turn out rustic roping for our garland of fresh-cut greens. 28

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make a statement When you want to be seen, figure out how to stand out! Since Project Refresh, the touches of black throughout the house feel especially bold, fresh, and important; our holiday greens really make them pop.

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Mad for Plaid Stacks of well-worn, well-loved wooly tartan throws are a wintertime staple at Connecticut Country House.

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Wrapped with Love

Plain and fancy, plaids and stripes – pretty wrapping is like getting a gift twice.

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pretty paper Kraft paper is a staple and, just like coordinating fabrics in a room, I love to mix patterns, colors, and scales in a theme. My tip: Keep an eye out for special papers all year. The hunt pays off!

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ELEMENTS OF STYLE Liners, fillers, and ties: Keep these basics on hand and your wrapping will never be the "same old" again! For me, the staples are white tissue, white crinkle filler, and raffia in lots of colors.

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A WINK AND A STYLE Mixing two tartans on one package is decidedly dressy and cheerfully quirky at the same time. I like to call this my "crazy quilt" combo.

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SWEET TARTANS It's no secret that I will collect tartan ANYTHING, but ribbons are especially fun! Any color, width, or fabric will do. These big spools of Stewarts in various colors were a TJ Maxx find. 46

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Branch Out Freshly cut sprigs of fragrant balsam, long-lasting boxwood, and beautiful glossy green, red-berried holly appeal to the senses and give packages a lovely, unexpected element. 48

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TAG, YOU'RE IT! A gift for you! Please enjoy this year's exclusive NMCH gift tags with my best wishes for a happy holiday season. Download both or either set (snowflakes / vintage holiday), print them on kraft or white paper, trim them, and personalize your gifts with NMCH style this season!

G Download our free Holiday Gift Tags here!

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G Download our free Holiday Banner here!

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a banner year Free download! A simple holiday message that's fresh and new. Print it on kraft paper, string it with baker's twine, and start the celebration. N O R A M U R P H Y C O U N TR Y H O USE.C OM

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Home to Roost

Every room in the house gets decked out, including The Coop, our master bedroom. Buffalo checks and a matelassĂŠ coverlet and shams from Country Curtains dress the Ethan Allen Quincy bed and turn The Coop into a happy holiday retreat. 54

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Check Mates What's more honest than a simple country check? There's a wonderful sense of comfort in its humble pattern and the bold scale always feels so now. Guaranteed to make me smile! 56

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In the Pines One of a pair of baby white pines Murph dug up for me from the woods is potted up in a big, shiny new galvanized bucket – its twin is in the living room. Come spring, they'll be planted outside. 58

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mix & match Antique textiles – the stories they tell! Textures, patterns, weights, materials, details – so varied and so beautiful. I love pairing the unexpected, like a pretty 1940s top sheet with a delicate tatted edge and a hearty/rustic hand-loomed Hungarian linen fabric I use as a coverlet.

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perfect for the season Touches of green, touches of wool – 'tis the season for personal touches of warmth and welcome. N O R A M U R P H Y C O U N TR Y H O USE.C OM

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Scents & Sensibility

Since the gardens surrounding Connecticut Country House are dormant now, I make my gardens where I can. Paperwhites, boxwood, and fresh greens do the trick – scentsational!

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Double Duty The old painted gateleg table opens wide for use as a central serving station.

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Bring the outdoors in with easy-to-make garlands and wreaths.

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SIMPLICITY TAKES CENTER STAGE A pretty silk tartan ribbon holds an unadorned balsam wreath in place on the antique sled – simple, seasonal, and striking. A string of battery-operated lights from Terrain (so clever!) sparkles in the balsam branches I rested on the arms of the iron chandelier.

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A LAYERED GARLAND What you'll need: Store-bought roping, pruners, floral wire, mixed freshcut evergreens, other natural elements (if you like) Directions: Cut additional greens to 6- to 10- inch lengths Fit individual stems into the already-wired roping For extra fullness, make small, thick bundles and wire into the roping as well

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NESTLING DOWN Birds love to weave fur and hair into their nests – it is soft and warm, after all. Some fur from our pup, Fiona, helps to insulate this one!

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NATURE'S TREASURES Combining elements of nature (greens, antlers, oyster shells) with special vintage pieces adds texture and tells a personal story.

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EASY PEASY Two wild balsam branches add wonderful seasonal style to my hand-drawn 18th century French property map; opposite it, a simple balsam wreath is adorned with a bird's nest. Easy, natural, charming!

More is more on the mantel and less is more everywhere else. Even a cozy room like this one can carry off a big display as long as there’s balance. 84 84

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We Gather Together

This will be our first Christmas dinner in the Garden Room (a.k.a. the dining room) thanks to Project Refresh. It's a new use for our much-loved former family room, and I'm looking forward to making new memories here! Nature's beauty is the continuing theme.

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My Darling Clementine Neutral place settings in white and tan are all about shapes and textures. (Monochrome never has to be monotonous!) For one high-powered pop of color, a simple clementine did the trick.

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Tiny Lights & A Big Find I love HomeGoods! And I love the brand new Ralph Lauren hutch I scored there on clearance (I know!). Filled with assorted white serving pieces, it looks like it's been part of life here forever – and fresh and modern, too. The twinkling garland is all it needed to reinforce its position as the star of the room. 92

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front & center A rope of white pine, balsam, boxwood, and pops of red-berried holly winds down the center of the dining table and is dotted with votives. So easy for such a great effect. N O R A M U R P H Y C O U N TR Y H O USE.C OM

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Christmas in my Country Kitchen

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Bringing the holiday spirit into my kitchen is a must – after all, it's the Connecticut Country House hub! Decorating with freshly made gingerbread snowflakes is a family tradition we all look forward to. (Of course, we make enough to nibble, too.)

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start with the best ingredients Maybe the most important thing I've ever learned. It makes all the difference! N O R A M U R P H Y C O U N TR Y H O USE.C OM

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snowflake gingerbread cookies Makes about 4 dozen snowflakes of assorted sizes Ingredients: ½ cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes (room temperature)

2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

½ cup robust molasses

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄ 3

cup cold water

3½ cups all-purpose flour

G Click here to download the recipe!

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½ teaspoon ground allspice ¼ teaspoon ground cloves ¼ teaspoon salt


Directions: In a large mixing bowl, beat the brown sugar, butter, molasses, and water on medium speed until combined. Lightly beat in the rest of the ingredients. Shape dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove cookies from pan and place onto cooling rack. When completely cooled (it’s time for a taste test), they’re ready to be decorated with the Royal Icing.

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

4 large egg whites

Generously sprinkle your work surface with flour. Cut dough in half or quarters and using your rolling pin, roll out to ¼ inch thickness (be sure to keep unused dough in plastic until ready to use).

4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

With cookie cutters, cut as many as you can get out of “a roll” and place on cookie sheet lined with Silpat or parchment paper. For hanging, remember to cut a hole in cookies that have no cutouts. Keep the cookies at least 1 inch apart.

Royal Icing:

6 cups of confectioner’s sugar In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with the lemon juice. Add the sugar and beat on low speed until smooth. If the consistency seems too thick, add a little water; if it seems thin, add a little sugar. The icing dries very quickly, so use immediately or store in an airtight container.

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Perfectly Wonderful I'm a firm believer that imperfect is the new perfect! Let your you-ness shine – there's nothing more charming or original.

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The Sweet Spot A small garland strung with cookies decks our freestanding barn red antique pantry. It brings balance to the space and – pow! – love that pop of traditional red-green-white. N O R A M U R P H Y C O U N TR Y H O U SE.C OM

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pick a place One lush garland on the main wall has a huge impact – definitely a case of doing more with less.

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Our gift to you! The Nora Murphy Country House 2017 Calendar

It’s a habit of mine to appreciate a little something beautiful each day. It’s a simple thing, but it gives me a sweet time-out. It grounds me and feeds my soul. Our delightful desktop calendar is more than a thank you to our readers old and new. It’s my wish for you to have a wonderful, beautiful year! Love, Nora

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to download the Nora Murphy Country House 2017 twelve month calendar.

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JANUARY 2017 Sunday

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Friday

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FOLLOW US

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Country House style comes down to the details— all those thoughtful littles that add up to

One. Great. Big! Come look around. You’ll find new pics and inspiration every day. And a thousand simple ways to

reswizzle your POV. visit us at

NoraMurphyCountryHouse.com 2016 Design Bloggers Hall of Fame Winner: Best Overall Design Blog

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I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. - Charles Dickens

Visit

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for more

inspiration

Nora Murphy Country House Holiday 2016 Magazine  

Our Holiday issue is filled with inspiration for decorating and celebrating the season.

Nora Murphy Country House Holiday 2016 Magazine  

Our Holiday issue is filled with inspiration for decorating and celebrating the season.