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Jamie Laubhan-Oliver’s Tips for Dallas Gifting and Holiday Decorating

D Home's editorial director loves "beautiful essentials" and going overboard.
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Collage by Emily Olson

Jamie Laubhan-Oliver’s Tips for Dallas Gifting and Holiday Decorating

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When it comes to holiday gift giving, I have one rule: The item must have a purpose. I’ve always been a fan of what I call “beautiful essentials,” and these are the things I love to give as gifts. There’s no reason the functional pieces in your home shouldn’t also be lovely, so whether they’re for a friend, family member, or hostess, my go-to gifts are useful items that have the added bonus of being delightfully designed.

Among the treasures that caught my eye this season is a set of metal straws from Patina Green that have the best name ever: This Is the Last Straw You’ll Ever Buy. What’s more functional (and environmentally friendly) than that? I also fell in love with CB2’s ode to Joy of Cooking. In this version, the classic cookbook is bound in black Vachetta leather, adding a modern touch to a kitchen staple. I can’t wait to try out some recipes from the book this Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“This Is the Last Straw You’ll Ever Buy,” available at Patina Green Home and Market in McKinney

If you’d like to experiment with my brand of gift giving, Dallas has some wonderful retail shops where you can find pretty (and practical!) presents for everyone on your list. Grange Hall, Amy Berry Home, and Ellis Hill are just a few of the locally owned boutiques that will never let you down. (Click the slideshow for a full selection.) 

Jamie’s Tips for Holiday Decorating

The Oliver’s WInnetka Heights home, photographed by Cody Ulrich

Choose a tree to fit the vibe of your space. At Jamie and her husband Larry’s Oak Cliff home, the oversized entry is the perfect place for an over-the-top tree moment. “We fill our flocked tree with clear glass balls of varying sizes to add shine and then punctuate it with white and silver,” says Jamie. “The process takes an entire day. I counted over 500 ornaments to fill the tree. The first 50 are fun.” However, at the lake, they opt for a more casual tree in a pot that they can plant after Christmas. “That is the tradition we plan to do there,” Larry says. “In Dallas, we always wanted to do it, but our landscaping was more planned and it never really fit. At the lake, the more trees the better.”

Think about complementing colors. You don’t have to always go with red and green or traditional flowers like poinsettias. “We love natural objects and greenery,” says Jamie. “Green is the only color that you will see in our house throughout the year. Personally, I’m more of a branch girl than a flower girl. I’d choose an olive branch over a rose any day.”

Choose one thing and commit to it. “My best holiday hack when decorating,” says Larry, “is finding one classic item and going overboard with it. Tiny trees? Layer in 100 of them. Glass balls? Completely saturate a space with them. The multiples provide visual interest and an artful installation, and because they are not varying in color, it adds elevation to any space.”

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