Text by Tovah Martin
When floral designer Sandra Sigman weaves holiday décor into her clients’ homes, she takes cues from each room’s color palette and style. But after she creates the last wreath for customers at Les Fleurs, her flower and gift shop in Andover, Massachusetts, Sandra turns her focus on readying her own home for the holidays. She doesn’t think twice about what color palette will prevail in her Christmas décor. “I always go for green; nature is my inspiration,” Sandra explains, referring to neighboring scenic Lake Cochichewick and its surrounding woodlands.
At home, Sandra specializes in creating simple beauty. In 2008, not long after Sandra and her husband, Scott, bought their house, they became immersed in a two-year kitchen renovation that began with adding a bank of windows to bring the outdoors inside. For the wall paint, Sandra selected a glowing white with the New England winters in mind. “We have many gloomy days in winter,” she says. “I wanted a bright, happy kitchen that would draw in the whole family.” To contrast the white backdrop, she anchored the room with a charcoal-colored floor, “so the kitchen doesn’t feel like it might float away.”
On Christmas Eve, Sandra’s entire extended Italian family is invited to a feast with bountiful food spread on the counters and homemade limoncello poured freely. But on Christmas Day, brunch is reserved for her immediate family, including her five sons who all come home for the holidays. And that’s when the genius of Sandra’s decorating style comes to life. Framed by a series of wreaths, with simple fresh topiaries and plants creating an indoor garden, the family basks in the warmth inside the home while rubbing shoulders with gathered mementos from the outdoors. “Everywhere you look, there’s a treasure from nature,” Sandra says, describing her style. “But I never want things to collide, so I surround everything with space.” Acorns, berries, pine cones, or a poignant evergreen sprig are placed where they will be noticed, meaningfully and memorably.
Even the plates and serving dishes on the table are grounded in nature. For chargers, Sandra sets her dishes on slices of wood upcycled from fallen branches. Nothing is wasted; everything is uplifted. Taking cues from the woodlands all around her home, Sandra mingles textural layers. Unique desserts, like individual Bundt cakes by SusieCakes, plus aromatic evergreens wait at each place setting.
After living in Paris for a couple of years, Sandra still returns to France as often as possible to collect Provençal antiques for her shop and home. Beyond the typical gathering baskets and ceramic pitchers, she also purchases handmade linens, vintage flatware, and antique ribbons. Past is layered with present while the domestic scene is paired with natural gleanings to set the mood for her holiday celebration. Serenaded by a crackling fire, the family enjoys a meal that tingles all the senses to make it magical.
Sandra is hoping that wherever her family finds themselves for future holidays, they will see shades of green or smell a freshly cut sprig and think of home.
For more, visit lesfleurs.com.