At Home for the Holidays with Ciara Richardson
On creating a home and traditions that support Ciara and her family.
Photography by Ciara Richardson
We fell in love with Ciara’s beautiful photography and clean, classic style the moment we first saw it. Then we instantly wanted to know how she manages work, home and family all while keeping her creative spark--and her home garden--thriving. We loved chatting with Ciara and learning about how she’s created a home and traditions that support her and her family, especially during the holiday season.
Will you share with us a little about your career, home and/or family?
I have four beautiful children with my husband Brett. My photography business has become more of a part time gig for me as my family has grown over the years. We are in a very busy stage of life with an 11, 10, 5 and 3 year old and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I love to be creative and since I don’t have that outlet as much through photography right now, I have put those efforts into my home and other hobbies, such as gardening.
How do you find balance between your work, home and personal life?
During the busy season, I usually carve out time in the evenings to buckle down and get things done. We will do family dinner and then I have a few hours of uninterrupted work time.
I’m very much a homebody and I love to be with my family. If I have a sewing project I want to work on and the family is watching a movie, I bring the sewing machine to the dining room which is basically an extension of the living room. Or if I am working in the garden, the kids naturally gravitate to playing outside or picking the strawberries while I weed. It’s a two birds, one stone type of scenario. I get to be with my family while still enjoying the hobbies that help me recharge.
And then there are times Brett takes the kids all out for a treat so mom can have some much needed alone time and still enjoy the comforts of home.
How does your home reflect or support your lifestyle?
I gravitate towards neutral, earthy colors. It helps me to have a calm environment to retreat to after being out in the crazy, hustle and bustle of the world. Nothing in our home is too precious that our kids can’t be kids. They make forts in every room, using all the pillows, cushions and chairs.
I strive to fill my home with things that stand out to me and that I love, whether it is on trend or not. In my opinion, it not only makes it beautifully unique, but I feel it really helps in creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.
What is your holiday decor strategy?
Decorating with the intention of creating joyful moments and memories is what I try to do in my home all year long but especially during the holiday season. During the holidays I like to add whimsical touches to our home decor. I amp up the color in my usual neutral palette with fun textiles and ornaments as well as candy for decorations.
Any specific home items you rely on to create the feeling you want in your home?
I want our home to feel warm, inviting and make you want to kick up your heels and relax. Having plenty of comfy pillows and throws to go around and cuddle up in are a must.
Favorite holiday items?
I love Christmas stockings. They bring a warm and cheerful touch to the mantel, just waiting to be filled with goodies.
What rituals or traditions do you enjoy in your home for the holidays?
Each year I like to add to our ornament collection. I look for ornaments that are unique in design and color as well as ones that remind me of a fun memory. I have done a few “I Spy” games with the ornaments on my tree and it's always a fun time. Also, my children love putting the star on the Christmas tree and they all take turns with the job. I think it will be a joyful memory they will look back on fondly.
What are some everyday home items you rely on to support or reflect your lifestyle and taste? How do you make them unique to your home?
I love to garden and during the winter I try to get by by bringing a lot of greenery inside. I like to plant paperwhites and amaryllis bulbs in beautiful vases and even kitchenware. A lovely flower sprouting in a pretty, elegant teacup is so delightful.
What have been some silver linings for you this past year (with all the time spent at home)?
My garden for sure. It was a project we knew we wanted to do for a while now and with all the downtime we were able to finally make it happen. In turn I realized how therapeutic it was for me to be out working in the yard. And with the year we have had, I needed a lot of yard work.
Best way to start the day: With a house that was cleaned the night before! It frees up so much time.
Currently reading or watching: Great British Baking Show and The Repair Shop (I’m a sucker for British shows.)
Go-to holiday recipe: Linzer Cookies
Favorite music to set the mood at home: Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker soundtrack and of course Bing Crosby Christmas Classics
Words to live by: “You get what you focus on, so focus on what you want.”
You can find more of Ciara's work here!