A peek into design blogger Amy Boyle’s holiday look.
This holiday issue, Lifestyle is thrilled to feature Warrenton designer and 11 Magnolia Lane blogger Amy Boyle’s holiday decor. 11 Magnolia Lane, started in 2010, features home design and decorating, stylish celebrations and entertaining, organization, and easy DIY projects. Over the years, the blog has evolved into a very successful lifestyle brand with a monthly social media reach into the millions.
Warrenton Lifestyle sat down with Amy to ask her about her thoughts on decorating for this festive season.
How would you describe your holiday decor?
Our home is decorated with a neutral color scheme, so I stay within the same lighter tones when decorating for the holidays. I love using metallics at the holidays; gold and silver make everything feel like a celebration and I like to have a lot of sparkle. For the last few years I have stayed away from the traditional reds and greens, especially mixed together, but I occasionally will incorporate one of them as an accent color in a space. The challenge is in creating a look that is cohesive but also feels festive, and of course is beautiful to look at. Overall, I strive to create a feeling of casual elegance, just like our home, I want it to be pretty but livable at the same time.
When do you start decorating for the holidays? How long does it take you to make it “perfect”?
For my online work our holiday season really gets going in October. People begin searching for holiday ideas very early in the fall. Most of our work has to be completed so it can be photographed and ready to go ‘live’ for the holiday season, which typically peaks the week after Thanksgiving. It’s not unusual for me to have trees going up around Halloween, and I am usually fully decorated by mid-November and doing photography then. My family is used to having Thanksgiving with a Christmas tree in the room! The nice part is it gives me more time to deal with the other holiday “stuff” in December, so I actually like that it is all done early. I don’t know that it’s ever really perfect, I am always tweaking and moving things around. Of course, we live in our home too so with three kids and a dog things never stay perfect for long!
Do you enjoy decorating for the holidays? Why?
I love it! It’s such a magical time of year. I am fortunate that I get to do what I truly enjoy for my line of work. It is always fun to see what new trends and creative ideas emerge from year to year.
Does your family help? Do the kids get into it?
Not really! One year I had a tight deadline and my mom helped me get a tree set up and decorated quickly the day before Halloween. My daughter and I work together to decorate her own tree in her room, but my teenage boys and husband aren’t really into helping. I do think they appreciate the results once the house is all lit up and festive, though.
Do you do different things every year? How do you change it up?
Yes, staying relevant online means always having something new to share. I think a lot about my color schemes from room to room and plan what I’ll do differently in the weeks leading up to the holidays. This year I am creating a blush pink flocked tree in my home office and a pale blue and silver tree in our family room.
What are your staples for decorating for the holidays? Where do you get them?
I shop mostly at HomeGoods (one of our sponsors). I also try to find unique items at local resources like Merrifield Garden Center and the Lucketts Holiday Market. My staples are always changing, but I have several good quality flocked (the snow-covered look) trees that are always the focal point. My ornament collection is a little crazy, I have so many color schemes by now. I also love using ribbon. I am constantly adding to my decor collection. Sometimes I’ll find a unique item and that will spark an idea, then I build upon that until I have a space that can be photographed.
How many Christmas trees do you have?
This year I’ll have four full-sized trees decorated in our home. I sometimes do smaller ones in my boys’ rooms (with their special ornaments) if time permits. Once I decorated a tree for our front porch; that was fun, and the neighbors seemed to enjoy it.
About Amy Boyle
Amy met her blogging partner Christy Black as a freshman at James Madison University and they remain the closest of friends. Frequent family moves, a shared love of entertaining and a similar design aesthetic motivated them to start a lifestyle blog together in 2010. Ongoing brand partnerships include HomeGoods stores, The HomeRight Company, Mohawk Home, The W-D 40 Company and Balsam Hill, among others. Christy’s and Amy’s gorgeous homes have been featured in national magazines and on countless websites. They recently returned from the historic Biltmore Estate in North Carolina where they were honored to be invited to assist with holiday decorations at The Inn at The Biltmore through their partnership with Balsam Hill. Amy’s background is in advertising and graphic design, she graduated from JMU and lives in Warrenton with her husband Justin and three children, Declan, Jackson and Sloane.