Text by Charlotte Safavi
Marly Dice has had no problem rolling up her sleeves and doing it her way when it comes to DIY-ing improvements and decorating the 1970s colonial brick home she owns with her husband, Jason, in Ijamsville, Maryland. The couple have lived in the French country-style home—what Marly calls “casually elegant, where it feels nice to be in but not so nice that you can’t sit on the couch and put your feet up”—since 2013. They share the home with their daughter, Hannah, and their dogs, Sadie and Max.
Unsurprisingly, Marly’s approach to holiday décor is similarly hands-on. “I wanted to create a cozy and chic white Christmas on a budget, like how we renovated our home,” she says. “My goal was to use lots of fresh pine elements and create several ‘snowy’ looks in the home without spending a lot of money.”
Marly purchased and DIY-flocked two faux Christmas trees that sit on either side of a tall hutch in the dining room. “I bought the flocking powder on Amazon and followed the directions. It worked great, and the best part is I’ll have these snowy trees for years to come, as the flock sticks to the branches as well as it does to the costlier pre-flocked trees,” she says.
For the main tree, however, which is set up in the family room, the couple always opt for a real tree. It’s been a tradition since they got married to go to a local Christmas tree farm and chop down a fresh tree the weekend after Thanksgiving.
“Hannah was born in 2016, and we’ve continued the tradition with her. She loves seeing all the trees and picking out the perfect one for our home,” Marly says. “We spend most winter nights as a family curled up by the fireplace, so being able to see the real tree branches and smell the fragrant pine only adds to the beauty of the holiday season.”
Other than fairy lights, which Marly uses on all her trees, and choice ornaments in neutral white, silver, and taupe to match the home’s décor, the family room Christmas tree was flocked in a unique, economical way. “I created this ‘snow-filled’ Christmas tree by tearing open some old pillows and adding chunks of the stuffing throughout the tree. It was quick, easy, free, and ultimately created the look of a snowy Christmas tree,” she says. Additional pillow stuffing is paired with mini trees to create a festive centerpiece on the dining room table, creating a snowy landscape of sorts. Once the places are set, the effect is magical.
Throughout the home, Marly also layers in burlap ribbons, loose pine cones, sprigs of eucalyptus, birchwood accents, candles, and ornaments. Similar to her everyday décor, the home’s holiday palette is a blend of neutral hues, resulting in a rustic elegance that leans French country style.
See more of Marly’s cottage style on her blog, abrickhome.com, and see the full home tour in our Country Cottage Christmas issue, on newsstands now!