Text and Styling by Charlotte Safavi
Four years ago, Anne Marie Hauer, her husband, Steve, and their children, Garren and Callie, found the property of their dreams. “The tiny house was built in 1901, but that isn’t what drew us in,” says Anne Marie. “It was the land: 4 acres surrounded by stone walls in the heart of Virginia’s horse country.”
The couple bought the farmhouse, renovated it, and added a two-story wing, including kitchen, dining room, and mudroom on the first floor and a master suite on the second. Anne Marie, an interior decorator and marketing consultant, oversaw the process with Clites Architects and SNL Construction, and then furnished the home in a welcoming modern farmhouse style fit for a young family.
Though picturesque year-round, the crisp white farmhouse is especially idyllic when festooned with natural greenery and berries around Christmas. “For us, the holiday season kicks off with the Middleburg Christmas Parade in the first weekend of December, with the running of the horses and hounds. The children love it, and it’s become our annual tradition,” says Anne Marie.
“When trimming the tree and decorating for the season, I like to forage our land, sourcing fresh, natural elements,” says Anne Marie. “This year, we actually found a bird’s nest in the tree. So, I incorporated other nests that I’d found elsewhere into my holiday décor.” Anne Marie also harvests dried hydrangeas and magnolia seedpods from her property specifically for the season, spray-painting them gold.
“The seedpods look so uninteresting, but when you spray them, they reveal this amazing texture,” she adds. These elements are tucked into the tree, which is further trimmed with fairy lights and gold ribbon as well as glass and gold Christmas balls and a few red ones. “I’m not a big fan of red,” she says, “but for the holidays, it does add a pop to my more neutral palette.” Red is also found in the native bittersweet vines that grow in the wild. “I love how [the vines] grow everywhere and entangle everything. I like to weave them into my swags and wreaths,” she says.
The greenery that Anne Marie uses—fir and pine—is cut from her trees or those of nearby friends. “I went a bit Scandinavian this year,” she adds. “I hung brass-ring wreaths with greenery, feathers, and candles in the dining room windows. They light up pretty at night.”
Her holiday tabletop takes cues from the rest of the farmhouse—favoring a clean, natural palette. “I also love layering,” Anne Marie says, “so I use a mix of vintage dishes and silverware. Nothing quite matches on the table, but it’s perfect for us.”