Article and photos by Savanah Mandeville
When most people think of Christmas, the colors green and red are probably among the first things to come to mind.
Not for Cindy Amayo, whose distinctive holiday home is awash with shades of white, silver, gold and pink.
Amayo has decorated her home in a curated French Country, “shabby chic” style for over 20 years. Her home is characterized by soft textures, shades of white and cream, ornate details, vintage finds and boho touches.
She incorporates these textures and colors into her Christmas decor, evidenced by fluffy, white stockings hung from the mantle, ruffled table dressings, glittering accents and a flocked Christmas tree. Her distinctly feminine style is complemented by light pink (her favorite color) touches throughout her home.
“In 1995, I started really wanting and living the shabby chic lifestyle,” she said. “It made sense to me to carry it through to the holidays and go for golds, pinks and whites for my color scheme.”
For someone who wants to build their collection of holiday decor, or home decor in general, Amayo said developing a personal, timeless style like hers makes shopping easier because you know exactly what pieces to look for. In other words, a specific goal can narrow down the onslaught of choices.
“Having a distinct style definitely makes it easier to find pieces you’re looking for,” she said. “If you’re starting to collect holiday decorations, I would probably start with a bunch of wreaths, some garland and always keep an eye out for ornaments.”
Amayo’s style means she can shop off the beaten path. True, some of her favorite stores are HomeGoods, Marshalls, Nordstrom, Hobby Lobby, Blue Moon and Pier One, but she said inspiration can strike any time.
“I’ve found over the last 10 years that my color scheme is available in a lot more places than it used to be,” she said. “For instance, I was recently in line to pay at Cracker Barrel when the perfect piece caught my eye. So, keep your eyes open all the time.”
For Amayo, decorating for the holidays is about more than style, it’s about creating a festive, inviting atmosphere for her family.
“My husband, David, and I have seven kids between us, 14 grandkids and three great-grandkids, so getting everyone together for the holidays means the world to us,” she said. “I love to create a cozy, holiday environment for our family. The grandkids look forward to coming to Nana’s.”
You may be thinking — 17 grandchildren and all that white furniture? Amayo has a handy trick up her sleeve: slipcovers!
“All my large pieces have slipcovers so I can simply take them off and wash them,” she said. “I don’t want to make my home untouchable to my grandkids. They like to lounge on the couches and pillows, and that’s really what it’s all about — creating a comfortable home to enjoy.”