Design & Décor, Living with Style, The Newport Diary


A Parterre Christmas

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Every Christmas has its signature. This year, not knowing what draconian measure or which “pause” we were honoring, I hadn’t done much planning for decorations. But one thing I knew for sure, RED was going to be the order of the day. I needed its implied energy and cheer, its identification with one of the most joy-filled holidays of the year. Even the tree got the message, puffed up and happy to have a new home.

With home truly the centerpiece of our lives in 2020, I wanted to bring a festive touch to even little spots that might have been overlooked in the past. With every corner turned, I wanted to be reminded of the meaning of this holiday and the promise that it brings. As with the bow-tied silk pillows on the entry hall settee, paired with a huge pot of red amaryllis.

The pillows also show up as you peek into the library.

A mass of fragrant fresh evergreens and red berries greet us every night as we head up the stairs, with lanterns lit.

An antique English cheese trolley sports greenery and ornaments on the upstairs landing Biedermeier library table.

The red beech branches hung with a multitude of small red balls in the entry hall’s old porcelain vase catch your eye as you’re coming or going.

And the last spot to receive a finishing accent is the front door lantern, with its large red bow that just happens to fit exactly!

A Christmas card to you, my followers….
The snow came in on padded feet to grace this last month of the year–and the Parterre Bench came out from her winter resting spot to celebrate. Here’s to Holidays full of Delight, Lots of things Merry and everything Bright. Sending you snowy hugs…

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Bettie Bearden Pardee

About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

37 thoughts on “A Parterre Christmas

  1. Romance in Red! Merry Christmas to you & your family. You brighten up our days with your beautiful world. Thanks for sharing when we all need it.

  2. The treatment you used for amaryllis was just simple and so lovely! Imaginative. Thanks–sometimes ours just don’t seem as elegant, and this inspired.

    1. Thank you, Cynthia, this was the first time I’d tried this with the little Christmas balls, so it’s so nice to hear that this inspired you!
      Merry, Merry yo you and yours, xB

    1. Warm thanks back to you, Pamella. So happy to “meet” another member of my Private Newport family. Have a lovely Christmas, xB

  3. Red poinsettias on my kitchen table are the sum total of my decorating this year. Enjoying all of the beautiful pictures in blog land. Thank you so much for all of your posts. Happy holidays!

    1. Claire, your kind note makes me so happy that I keep up my blog and offer a few moments of escape for followers like you. Thank you for taking thetime to write this note. Merry, Merry, xBettie

    1. Tracy, it’s always a pleasure to hear from members of my Private Newport family. Merry, Merry to you and yours, xB

  4. I just love your front door with the lantern and the bow hanging overhead, but please tell me what kitty’s name is. Thank you, Bettie, for another year of inspirational pictures of your home and garden.

    1. Her name is Clicquot, like the champagne, who never passes up a photo opp!
      Merry Christmas and here’s to a new beginning in the New Year! xB

  5. Clicquot was the perfect welcoming touch ! So loved this Christmas portfolio! It’s encouraging those to decorate even if one doesn’t have guests over during this COVID crisis.. Beauty encourages healing and happiness! Thanks for brightening our lives with each post.
    Love & Blessings to you & Jon & Clicquot!

    1. She stood there for 10 minutes to make sure I didn’t miss her…Thank you for observing that “beauty encourages healing and happiness.”
      This truth is what’s kept me going this crazy year!! Warm hugs to you and Peter and the kitties, xox B

  6. Beautiful touches everywhere, Bettie! Thank you for all your lovely words and pictures that brighten my days, especially during a time that has been so altered from the normal I was accustomed to. May you have a most wonderful Christmas and a New Year filled with good health, much joy, and the promise of love shared around the world. Hugs!

    1. What a lovely, heartfelt message…thank you so much, Bobbi! And all these same warm messages and wishes back to you!! xB

    1. Many thanks, Kenneth, I’m a bit partial to it myself…considering that 10 days earlier the December month weather report was for NO snow…so a blessing in disguise!
      Spontaneity is its own kind of gift….xB

  7. Your beautiful feline didn’t get the memo to wear a red Santa hat to complete welcoming your Christmas visitors. I got 3 orphans adopted this week for their Christmas furever home which makes me very happy. Beautiful pictures.
    A Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you both.
    Sharon and Don King

  8. Love your use of lanterns. Yours are especially splendid. , more substantial. I have looked for this type for my porch but alas they have proven difficult to find. Could you possibly share a source. Thanks so much.

    1. Hello Kay, I’m happy to say I could find the source for my lanterns…and supposedly they keep them in stock.
      “Park Hill” indoor/outdoor lanterns from POTTERY BARN. I’ll also email you the link. Happy New Year, xB

    1. Happy to know that Parterre might have inspired you for an early start to holiday ’21!
      Have a lovely evening, and a HAPPY NEW YEAR, xB

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