Natural Nativity

Bustio elegance defines a Clayton family's home for the holidays.

Photography by Anne Matheis


    Like the first light dusting of winter snowfall, James and Joo Czyzewski’s holiday home may be the fresh and glistening scape needed to inspire your season. The sprawling and intricate décor, designed by Robin Bretz of The Jeweled Cottage in Glendale, is the manifestation of what Robin describes as a few years’ worth of “throwing ideas around and seeing what sticks.” And, as it turns out, sticks stuck, along with other natural accents.

 Robin and The Jeweled Cottage previously worked with the homeowners on their kitchen and bath design, but the Czyzewskis were looking for something special to highlight the most wonderful time of the year. “They were entertaining and wanted to be sure the space looked good,” Robin says. “They liked the store, and we’ve been decorating their home for the holidays ever since.”

    Adorned with glittering fir branches, spun wooden orbs and an assortment of holiday bric-a-brac, the dining room makes for an elegant — and tastefully understated — backdrop for party guests or gatherings at home. Steering away from the typical palette that emphasizes “holiday,” the Czyzewski’s crisp smattering of metallics and natural woods, berries and greenery creates an idyllic wintry wonderland that is both modern and down-home. “We’ve added some things from year to year,” Robin explains, “but the homeowners love natural and kind of glittery. Everything is nature-inspired.”

    Beyond the kitchen, office and dining room, Robin placed special emphasis on the hearth, guaranteeing that all eyes would be drawn to a dazzling focal point. “I love putting the fireplaces together. Everyone spends time in front of them during the holidays.”  And with such a delightfully visual space, it would be hard to tear anyone away.

    If, like many homeowners, you find the trappings of decorating too daunting during one of the busiest times of the year, it may be worth considering bringing in professionals. The Jeweled Cottage, specifically, provides additional decorating on a referral basis, while other interior decorators and firms across the St. Louis area have a variety of services catered to making sure there is indeed no place like home for holidays.