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Misha Vause's Southern Holiday Home

Posted

December 2021

BY KIM HASTY

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CINDY BURNHAM

When Misha Vause moved back to her hometown and bought her Valley Road home just before the holidays last year, she had just a few requests before turning over all the festive decorating to Jen Britt of Pink Petunia.

A graduate of the University of Mississippi, she wanted to honor her Southern heritage. And there was one other thing: “Honestly, I just told her I don’t like ribbons,” Vause said. “I did not want bows.”

So it was that Britt got down to the business of incorporating natural elements like topiary balls, magnolia, blue and red berries and pheasant feathers. A wreath made of cotton bolls serves as a distinctive focal point on the living room coffee table. “It’s kind of Charleston meets Old South Christmas,” Britt said.

“That really is Misha.”

As she usually does for her clients, Britt started with things Vause already owns, including salad plates from her Spode china collection in the earthy Woodland pattern placed atop simple Pottery Barn white plates and pewter chargers. Christopher Radko ornaments, from many years of family Christmases, add sparkle to the tree.

Among the more special of Vause’s keepsakes is a Santa Claus figurine that Britt placed front and center on a bank of bookshelves in the living room. The figurine is flanked by two other special pieces, though neither is specific to the holidays. A large, engraved silver platter, passed down from her grandmother, was awarded to her grandfather, R.C. Vause, in recognition of his tenure as president of a farming organization. A large crystal vase on the other side was Misha Vause’s award as a top performer for Insight Global.

Santa, busy checking his list of good girls and boys in his workshop, was handmade for the Vause family in the 1990s by a dear friend, the late Judy Briggs. Briggs included a toy tractor in the scene, a nod to the Vause family’s farming roots and longtime family business, Vause Equipment.

“Santa’s list has all of our names on it,” Vause said. “Judy was just such a character. She did a lot of those for people.”

When Britt had completed the task of turning Vause’s home into a Southern-inspired wonderland, it kindled memories of years spent watching longtime Fayetteville decorator, the late Curtis Godwin, decorate her parents’ home off Parkview Avenue.

“Our family Christmases were always a huge to-do,” Vause said. “I do love Christmas.”

Holiday Decorating Tips from Pink Petunia

Color Play: Add a surprising color to your decorations! Don’t be afraid to step outside your box – go beyond traditional reds and greens and add in a touch of hot pink, black and white plaid or silver and golds to your theme. Layer, Layer, Layer: Load up on a mix of faux greenery to mix with live greenery for a fuller and grander look!

A little element of surprise: Take larger Christmas ball ornaments and stuff them into the inside of the tree to give dimension to your final look. They usually are seen as the backdrop to your beautiful collection of ornaments peeking out of the green branches!

Greens on Greens: Take a walk through your yard and cut some real magnolia greens, fir, red berries and the “ever famous” smilax to add to your Christmas decor! It’s stunning and will last through the season!

Spruce up: If your artificial greens look aged from long-term use or outdoor exposure, touch them up with a gentle spray of dark green spray paint. It brings them back to life!

Shop right at home: Use a beloved large planter for your tree instead of a tree stand and skirt! It is fun to add in a bit of unusual to your Christmas!

And it is OK to decorate early – and before Thanksgiving! You enjoy the season that much longer!


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