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Home + Garden Style

December 2, 2019

House of Nomad creates a cozy holiday look for the home that’s inspired by nature.  

By Cathy Martin    •   Photos by Dustin Peck 

Flowers and greenery by Nectar

When is comes to decorating you home for the holidays, there are plenty of options beyond the traditional red and green. 

“For us, with holiday decorations, we just prefer for it to feel more cozy and wintry,” says House of Nomad’s Kelley Lentini. She and design partner Berkeley Minkhorst opt for a soft, natural look created to last throughout the holidays and beyond. For the design duo who co-founded the travel-inspired studio, three things are key to achieving an understated but festive vibe: layering, texture and bringing the outside in. 

Outgrowing their South End studio just a year after it opened, House of Nomad relocated last month to a renovated bungalow in Myers Park, where they showcased this low-key seasonal design. The expansion also includes a new retail shop — appropriately called The House of Nomad — where customers can purchase hand-picked furnishings and accessories from the designers’ frequent travels to Bali, Mexico, Morocco, France and South Africa. 

“A lot of this design is nice to use throughout the season, then come Christmas you can add strings of lights and a bit more brass to add a little holiday shimmer,” Minkhorst says. 

“You have two parts to every fireplace: the decor placed on the mantel itself and on the hearth below,” Minkhorst says. “It’s important to try to achieve cohesiveness and balance between the two.” Here, Lentini adds magnolia leaf accents and a pair of brass cowbells from Bali. An alternate suggestion is to use leftover tree trimmings and add in strings of white lights. “Last year, I staggered in paper gold stars for a fun element,” says Minkhorst, a Charlotte native. “Or you can add in lanterns of different heights or something organic.”

When it comes to accessories, consistency is key, Minkhorst says. “For example, the brass balls we hung above the bar cart — we also used those on the white twig tree in the sitting area. It just keeps it cohesive, not fussy.”

This custom bar cart was created in Bali for House of Nomad, while the pom pom is from Mexico. “We’ll even use white pom poms around our Christmas tree as garland,” Lentini says. “It’s playful, but it actually looks great on the green.”

“The bar cart is a fun place to get festive,” Lentini says. “You are switching out your ingredients, getting your bitters and Chambord ready, so swap out the mint for sprigs of rosemary and ginger. Be sure you have beautiful decanters ready for your drinks, and you can drape fairy lights between bottles.” The zebra vase, decanters and brass bird are vintage. “We reincorporated the magnolia leaves and some of the elements from the tabletop floral arrangement in the vase,” Minkhorst says. The black-and-white pottery — including the small striped tagine — is from Morocco.

“For holiday decor, first and foremost: Keep it simple. Our biggest suggestion is pick a color palette and stick to it. We like to stick to a minimalistic and natural palette. We love using white and green and then incorporating a natural element,” Minkhorst says. 

With floral arrangements, the designers prefer rich, saturated tones for the holidays. “It can still be unique, but keep a consistent color scheme” throughout the home, Lentini says. For this project, the designers brought in local boutique florist Nectar to provide the centerpiece and greenery.  SP

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