If you ask Sandy Gervais about her reputation as the Queen
of Holiday Decorating she’ll modestly tell you, “Really, my decorating is
boring. I find something in my house that’s red and put greens around it and
call it Christmas.” Dig a little deeper, however, and you learn that nearly
every room in her house sports some form of red with greens…and a whole lot
In part, that’s because the color red can be found in
Sandy’s home all year long, making it easy to find just the right object to
festoon with greenery (and shiny balls and berries and lights). And it’s also
because Sandy’s got a great eye for turning the everyday into something
Red quilts are stacked in a tree-shaped pile, while others are draped
across her couch and chairs. A red-and-white polka dotted Pyrex bowl and a hat
box bought on a Moda trip overflow with greens and pinecones.
Sandy’s sentimental side is in full force at the holidays.
Ornaments created by adult her son and daughter (who made this snowman in third grade) when they were young hang from the
branches of the tree and a collection of carolers given to her by her husband
stands atop a bookshelf, where an angel quilt of Sandy’s serves as a backdrop.
Each bed gets a Christmas quilt (there are plenty of those, as Sandy’s designed
18 collections of holiday fabric for Moda, including her newest, Merry Medley) Favorite
toys and collectibles are stationed under the tree, including her husband’s toy
trains and a Crazy Ike figure her mom gave her that’s reminiscent of one Sandy
loved as a child.
Traditions are important, too. Sandy’s grandmother had a set
of green plaid dishes she used each Christmas and when Sandy found the same set
at an antique store, she bought them and uses them on Christmas Eve. On Christmas
Day, the table is set with a red and white quilt and holiday dishes she
designed for Moda in 1999.
Sandy may call her decorating boring, she admits that it
takes awhile to accomplish. Her tree is a good example: Sandy opts for a
non-sheared, natural balsam that she wraps with 2400 lights. “To keep it
dimensional I wrap the lights out to the tip of each branch, then back in, and
then because the branches are so heavy I take heavy-gauge floral wire and stick
it along each branch to keep them from drooping and weave the wires back in,”
she says. “It takes me three or four evenings after work to do it.”
While Sandy may not think her decorating methods are
anything special, she admits there is something she particularly loves about
her house this time of year: “I don’t usually like to get up on winter mornings
because it’s dark, but I love getting up around Christmas,” she says. “I take
my coffee and sit in the living room with the lighted tree. Then the dark isn’t
For a view of Sandy’s
latest creation, a mannequin whose holiday habillement includes a skirt made
from a holiday tree, visit her blog.