White Christmas


Christmas Day came and went and not one frail flake fell from the sky. New Year’s dawned with a white sky of promise but hope faded with the sun. Not until the Epiphany of the Lord—yesterday—did our little valley get a glimpse of the white stuff. Somehow this seems appropriate on this day that we celebrate the revelation of Christ as king. Epiphany—the “aha!” moment, the unexpected light of insight. And Jesus, like a sudden snowfall, brings wonder into our lives. Epiphany celebrates how God revealed the identity of Jesus as Messiah to the Gentile Magi. It reminds us that Jesus came for all—not just for the Jewish nation—that is the significance of Epiphany—that the Lord of Lords reveals himself to each one of us in a unique and personal way.

This morning I sit in my white chair in my white dining room and watch the sky drift down in flecks of light. It is lovely to be warm and cozy when it is twenty-one degrees outside. I’m enjoying my new quiet time corner and this morning I remembered I promised to share with you when the room was all done.

First, here’s a little of what it used to look like. This is from Christmas a few years ago. The walls were yellow and red.


And here it is now:


I’m not a Martha-Stewart-type but beauty does inspire me. This makeover was inspired by some original artwork that I acquired last year. I have a friend who collects art from all over the world and to visit with him is a delight for the eyes and heart. He introduced me to the work of South Carolina artist Claire McElveen and I fell in love. I was able to bid on a few of her original pieces on eBay and have started a small collection of my own.



Well, of course when the pieces arrived I couldn’t find a suitable place in the house to display them. Such loveliness requires just the right setting, no? Like precious gems. That was when I decided I needed to paint all the dark woodwork white and create a blank slate. It’s so much brighter now and it feels roomier to me. When the walls and woodwork were done, my furniture looked out of place, so I decided to pickle my home office cabinet. You know how it goes, if you give a mouse a cookie … Then I had to do the chairs.


The entire project took quite a while due to working around the busy schedule (who decides to re-do a room the same time their book is released?). In truth, it was only the threat of holiday visitors that propelled me to finish.




It was quite a playdate. Amazing what a little paint and some elbow grease can do :). What do you think? Do you like it? Aren’t the paintings lovely? I’m still pinching myself every time I stand in front of them.



Thanks for letting me share a little of what is making my heart smile on this cold, snowy morning.


  1. says

    Beautiful transformation. And stay warm!! It’s cold up here too, with a dusting of snow yesterday, and my family of origin celebrating Russian Orthodox Christmas today so it is indeed a White Christmas. Blessings in this new year, Laura. 🙂

  2. Lynn D. Morrissey says

    Oh I love your write Christimas….right there in your house. Though I use a lot of color in my house, I do find this inviting and refrehsing. I can see why you, with your gentle and pristine personality, gravitate to it. The theme of my Christian women’s Christmas luncheon had to do with having a white Chrismtas in Christ. I love how you go to Him daily in that quiet, sacred place you have created. He is blessing the outcome of your playdates with HIm in profound ways, Laura. Happy New Year.
    PS My husband will NOT allow me to paint our house. Smart man!

    • says

      I bet your house is full of lovely, lovely color, Lynn. I love that theme–a white Christmas in Christ. Such a wonderful image. And, BTW, after I finished this project, my husband forbade me to ever re-finish furniture again. It’s such a long, laborious project with all the stripping and sanding. I needed his help to recover the chair seat fabric because I wasn’t strong enough to make the staple gun work. Ah, live and learn. Love to you, lady.

  3. says

    Editing Joanna Gaines’ columns, watching her in “Fixer Upper” and now interviewing her, I have a whole new appreciation for white. You’ve done it here. And she’s also taught me the importance of beauty in a home so that it’s a place of refuge for you and your family.

    P.S. I missed you this year, too! I hope I can get out and about a little more in 2015. I need friend-hugs!

    • says

      Ooooh, lucky you to get to interview a fixer upperer :). I could have used some expert advice in the midst of this project. Why do things always take longer than I think they should? I’m not doing the one word or even resolutions this year, but I have been trying to be more deliberate about making the home a refuge, as you say. It doesn’t come natural for me because it’s not something I had growing up, but I see the difference in my guys when things are well tended. It helps us all relax more.

      I need friend-hugs too!

  4. says

    I love what you’ve done in your dining room! While I love color, I’ve gradually made the living room, dining room and kitchen walls and floor coverings neutral colors, then like you, added color with pillows, dishes and decorative pieces. The neutral colors makes the room(s) feel more comfortable and inviting.
    Good job Laura!

  5. says

    Bravo on the painting – I like the finished product of a redone walls, but I’m a most horrid painter. Unless it’s finger-paints. And your new artwork is very likable indeed. 🙂

    Recently I read about a new way to look at downsizing and minimizing — instead of focusing on what you don’t need/use, focus on what you love – keep that and toss the rest.



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