Three Rooms in One

Three rooms in one make this kitchen the perfect gathering place at Christmas.

By Bonnie Basinger, Lees Summit, Missouri

Kitchen Photo

Kitchen Photo

Good things come in threes, they say, and our spacious threefold kitchen proves that old adage to be true. When my husband, Steve, and I had our custom home built, the floor plan included a bright open kitchen with a breakfast room on one side and a hearth room on the other.

Since the area is accessible from many rooms in the house, it's truly the heart of our home…especially during the holidays.

Bonnie PhotoI chose dominant colors of dark green and burgundy red for the kitchen, so decorating for Christmas is a breeze. Old-fashioned red and green braided rugs enhance the durable hardwood floor. Kitchen stools are upholstered in dark green plaid fabric, and the walls are covered in dark green plaid wallpaper with a playful apple border.

The border ties in perfectly with the apple-themed collectibles I've picked up over the years—a by-product of my teaching background. Before our daughters, Molly and Becky, were born, I taught high school for 9 years.

Come Christmas, the apple accents are packed away to make room for my Yuletide collections of Santas, snowmen, mugs and teacups. Decorating for the holidays usually takes me about 2 weeks. I start by arranging garlands with lights and dark red silk poinsettias on top of our oak kitchen cabinets.

Getting in the Spirit

This time of year, Christmas carols fill the air, putting me in the spirit as I deck every nook and cranny with cheery St. Nicks and roly-poly snowmen.

Table PhotoSantas line the mantelpiece and perch on the raised hearth…snowmen huddle in corners and lean on chairs…my homemade wreaths hang on the walls and windows…green wooden pine trees decorate the breakfast table…and candles in a variety of shapes and sizes flicker everywhere.

A rotating 7-1/2-foot tree in the hearth room showcases my merry Santa ornaments, made from such things as corncobs, gourds, milkweed pods and lightbulbs.Xmas Photo

I love decorating for holidays so much that I take care of the seasonal accents year-round at our church, which is a 5-minute drive from our home.

And when the snow is falling and a fire is blazing in our brick fireplace, there's no place I'd rather be than at home with my family for the holidays.