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A Designer Brings Hygge to the Holidays

Designer Denise Ashmore’s home from last year’s Kids Help Phone Homes for the Holidays was made for snuggling up by the fire with cocoa and cookies.

For designer Denise Ashmore, decorating her home for the holidays isn’t about just one day—she wants a design theme that really embraces winter. “It’s really about the whole season and the nesting aspects at that time of year,” she says. “You just want to be cozy.” When she and her team from Project 22 Design took on the challenge to transform her home last year for the Kids Help Phone Homes for the Holidays tour, the idea was to make things feel like a work in progress—a celebration of all those moments leading up to the actual holiday. Cookies were in the process of being baked; garlands were being strung. “We wanted it to feel like you could come in and help be a part of things—it was Christmas in the making.”

This year’s Kids Help Phone Homes for the Holidays Tour takes place November 24 and 25. For more info, visit

Designer Denise Ashmore replaces her chandelier with a handmade design of willow, magnolia leaves, eucalyptus and twinkle lights for the holiday season. (Photo: Janis Nicolay)
Icing sugar piled in a jar with gingerbread cookies has the look of a snowy village. (Photo: Janis Nicolay)
Wool dryer balls stand in for snowballs on a side table. (Photo: Janis Nicolay)
Sarah Lillos, a designer on Ashmore’s team, made the advent calendar with leather straps (below), and now sells them on Etsy under the name “ForbsandClover.” (Photo: Janis Nicolay)
Ashmore loves Charlie Brown-type trees, so she chose a trio of skinny alpine firs. Her team hand-strung faceted wooden beads to make the garlands. (Photo: Janis Nicolay)
Presents are wrapped with Japanese washi tape, twine and kraft paper, contributing to the au naturel vibe of the design. (Photo: Janis Nicolay)


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