Everyone is busy and merchandise is scarce, but we still want December to be festive. Is it possible to create fond memories and a sense of genuine joy with a minimum of fuss?

Yes, says Nicole Wear, an interior designer from Portland, mother of three and wife of Calle Holmgren, who is also her business partner in Friday and Company, a real estate, design and home staging company.

“Decorating for the holidays doesn’t have to be an all-day event,” says Wear.

She won’t give up on the fun and vibe of the season – “my family takes this very seriously,” she says with a smile – but adding a few simple, sentimental touches can help get everyone in the mood. holidays.

She focuses on the rooms where her family spends most of their time together in winter – the living room, dining room and kitchen – lighting up spaces with natural greenery, candles and a selection of whimsical holiday pieces. and significant.

Wear’s year-round design approach, which it calls “Scandinavian Zen,” is to create spaces rich in textures, friendly and convivial with a feeling of light and luminosity. Think: washable white walls and comfortable upholstered furniture. She wears this aesthetic in the holidays.

She and Holmgren, whose motto is ‘Do it with passion or not at all’, have been involved in hundreds of home renovations, from classic to ultra modern.

The guide to timeless design? Be true to the heritage of the house, says Wear. But that still leaves plenty of room to make a place easy to live with with a smart floor plan and upgrades that improve convenience.

When renovating a space, think about long-term livability. “It really is a great way to make thoughtful decisions that stand the test of time,” says Wear. “If in doubt, stop and think: Would that have worked 50 years ago? And in 50 years?

Wear and Holmgren’s 1927 English Tudor Revival Cottage in South East Portland’s Eastmoreland neighborhood is a prime example of a home of taste and timeless design.

Just look at the warm and welcoming living room where it seems at least one family member can always be seen relaxing on the comfortable, padded window seat. “This is exactly what we hoped for when designing this piece,” says Wear.

The large bay window and high ceiling in the living room allowed Wear and Holmgren to install built-in shelving that incorporates the window seat with storage space below.

With home improvements, it’s all about priorities, perspective and selective pinching, says Wear. An Instagram post from NicoleWear shows how she used $ 10 worth of gold markers to add visually interesting scribbles and scribbles on cream-colored wallpaper.

Over the past two years, the family of five have spent a lot of time at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Wear marked the occasion on Instagram of her family’s 536 days “together in our little bubble”, before her older children returned to a full day of school.

During their time at home, they discovered that the dining room became the place to sit, eat, work and relax. Here they play board games, add a piece to a puzzle, or just look out the large window.

For the holidays, a fresh floral arrangement decorates the table.

Wear’s tip for a stress-free season? Keep the tchotchkes to a minimum.

“As we’ve always lived in smaller homes, our vacation aesthetic definitely resembles our everyday design philosophy,” she says. “We aim to create a living space that is fun, happy and tidy. “

Now is the time, she says, to slow down, fire up the fireplace, and cook to the continuous Christmas music.

Here are Nicole Wear’s five tips for easy holiday decorating:

Nicole Wear has placed a garland around the window frames and patio doors in her kitchen. “Nothing more than garlands” transformed the look, she wrote.Friday and Company

Decorating for the holidays means adding even more greenery to the home in the form of garland, garland and more garland, Wear says. The fresher the better.

Wear posted on Instagram before and after photos of evergreen branches hanging from window frames and patio doors in her kitchen. “Nothing more than garlands” transformed the look, she wrote.

The various lengths of fresh Western Red Cedar, Douglas Fir, and Noble Fir garland available at the Portland Nursery also allow it to drape greenery over the fireplace and shelves.

Nicole Wear, an interior designer from Portland, mother of three and wife of Calle Holmgren, who is also her Friday and Company real estate, design and home staging business partner.

The dining table is set with an Advent candelabra and a flower arrangement.Friday and Company

Embrace the seasonal darkness using soft candle lighting, Wear says. She loves the simple, individual candle holders that she arranges in small groups on window sills, tables and other safe surfaces.

“We also use an Advent candelabra to mark the four Sundays leading up to Christmas,” says Wear. “I am particularly drawn to the carved wooden candle holders of different heights and wood tones. “

Nicole Wear, an interior designer from Portland, mother of three and wife of Calle Holmgren, who is also her Friday and Company real estate, design and home staging business partner.

The shelves contain colorful items.Friday and Company

Bookshelves are an essential part of family living spaces; books are always front and center, says Wear. For the holidays, she sparingly adds colorful holiday-themed items like mini Christmas trees and nutcrackers.

The century-old fireplace in the family home was damaged and poorly repaired long before they moved in. They have since restored the fireplace to its original appearance, featuring traditional plaster framing and a hearth with ceramic tiles handcrafted in Portland by Pratt & Larson.

During the holidays, the children’s stockings hang over the fireplace. Cool garlands and wooden candle holders decorate the fireplace.

A fresh Christmas tree is the centerpiece of the living room, and a variety of Christmas tree-shaped objects in different shades and textures are displayed on shelves and tables.

Candle-lit ceramic white houses and handmade Swedish Tomte elves under pointy red hats are also part of the scene.

– Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

[email protected] | @janeteastman

More vacation ideas:

• What you need to know about shopping and shipping this holiday season in Oregon

• Worried about shipping delays for the holidays? Buy local at these Oregon pop-up events

• Gifts made in Oregon are for sale on Etsy, eBay and Amazon