“My glue gun is
perfect for me
because, if I
want, I can pull
Though always unexpected, her holiday
decor boasts a measure of consistency.
Layla keeps things classic, adding pops
of red to her crisp, clean backdrops.
“Some people may go away from red at
Christmas, but that's my one Christmas
tradition,” she says.
Simplicity is key. She doesn't fuss with
dramatic garlands or trees decorated to
the hilt. And everything is done on a small
to nonexistent budget. The little packages
between tree boughs and on the dining
table and mantel? They're gelatin and
medicine boxes wrapped with newspaper,
sheet music, and scraps. “I try to use
things I have around the house,” Layla
says. “I'm really a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-
Her laid-back approach yields a home
brimming with character. Although Layla
shops discount stores for ornaments,
they're filler to set off her make-in-
minutes decorations. She whips the dining
table into holiday mode by adhering felt
poinsettias to basic napkin rings and
cutting runners from red-and-white
gingham fabric. Twine is her go-to for
texture; she wraps it around cardboard
cones to make tabletop trees and uses it
to embellish four stockings—for Layla,
Kevin, their dog, and their cat—that hang
on the pine mantel.
Layla, a photo stylist and blogger for
the couple's website, theletteredcottage.net,
suggests studying photos in holiday
magazines and on websites for inspiration.
“If you look at all the little elements in one
of my rooms, you'll notice that the pot for
a poinsettia is actually a kitchen bowl. A
piece of art is framed wrapping paper or a
Christmas card,” Layla says.
10 better homes and gardens | celebrate!
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