Text by Katie Ellis
Ernie and Jarinda Wiechman moved into their 1940s cottage 11 years ago and quickly filled their 2,500-square-foot abode with personality—and five delightful granddaughters.
While their three-bedroom cottage is quite cozy and charm-filled year-round, it’s during the Christmas season that the home’s everyday décor and color palette simply shine. As an interior designer, Jarinda has an appreciation for all decorating styles, but when it comes to her own space, she gravitates toward a warmer, homey, traditional style. “I’m pretty traditional,” she says with a laugh. “In jest, I tell people it’s kind of ‘granny chic.’ I just love old things.”
That love for aged wares is translated into her holiday décor in a scheme Jarinda says is both personal and nostalgic. Special memories are the cornerstone in the Wiechmans’ holiday home as the living spaces are laden with fresh greenery, a live tree, and a combination of both white and colored lights. “I don’t follow any kind of guidelines,” Jarinda says of her seasonal decorations. “I just add ornaments and décor that are special to me.” And while nostalgia is key, she notes her décor changes year to year.
Depending on what’s available to forage from their yard, the family’s tree gets a fresh twist on tradition each year. “I love having a little bit of nature or a natural element in my home,” Jarinda says. “There were years where I had ivy in abundance growing in my yard, so I would make garlands out of ivy and put them in my tree. Or I would spray clippings of magnolia cut from my yard gold. So it just changes every year.” This year Jarinda had just finished working a wedding and had dozens of gorgeous red flowers left over. She added them to her tree topper and then in stylish boughs throughout the room.
The Wiechmans’ master suite underwent a recent renovation that, while fresh in looks, is rich in antique history. By removing the wall that separated their tiny bathroom and small alcove sitting area in the bedroom, they were able to create a large master bath that better fit their lifestyle. “Although I liked the alcove, I really didn’t use it, so I decided to take in that space, and [then] created a large master bath with a tub and vanity.” The sliding doors are from 1904 and were salvaged from a nearby school. Their hardware and rollers are from France and date back to the 1800s.
The combination of treasured old pieces styled in a unique new way make the halls of this cozy cottage swell with love as they showcase a storied past—all while Ernie and Jarinda make room for new memories with friends and family. “We use every bit of the house,” Jarinda says. “We have anywhere from 20 to 30 people at our house at Christmas—the more, the merrier.”