Holiday Sleigh Ride

Three ways to adorn your famliy heirlooms for the holidays.

By Melissa Mauzy
Photography by Colin Miller/Strauss Peyton


Built for her grandfather Ralph Moberly in 1906, the vintage sleigh is the first and most stunning holiday decoration you see when entering Susan Medart’s home. Positioned proudly on a table in her front hall along with vintage family photos and trinkets, each year the sleigh drums up nostalgic memories of the past. Susan’s great-grandmother was a descendent of the Moon Car Company and had the sleigh made for her son to use in the snow. After her grandmother died, the sleigh came to live at Susan’s home, and she had it restored to preserve its historic qualities.

What family heirlooms do you have to incorporate into your holiday décor? Think outside the box and make the holidays even more about family by adding nostalgic touches. St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles enlisted the help of three design shops to show how you can dress up a family piece into a show-stopping decoration.

Rustic with a Touch of Modern

By The White Rabbit

Rustic yet chic best describes the festive sleigh display by The White Rabbit. The designers went the rustic route to match the vintage feel of the sleigh, but they wanted to add a few modern elements. Santa, in a plaid suit, is the star as he leads his glittered reindeer through the winter night. A silvery beaded swag brings in a modern touch. The designers mixed the natural elements of the greenery, pinecones and berries with softer textures such as the gray knit throw. A reindeer, burlap runner underneath the sleigh adds more texture and further enhances the rustic feel.

Rustic Elegance

By The Porch by Nettie White

A sweet, serene cherub was the basis for the sleigh designed by The Porch by Nettie White. Playing a horn and clothed in a rich, burgundy velvet, the cherub sets the tone of rustic elegance. A crystal chandelier lamp amps up the elegance factor, as do the touches of tassels and burlap in the bows, boxes and pillow. Soft, flickering candles bring an additional layer of style and sophistication to the design. Preserved greens and feathers bring in the rustic element. The designers stuck with creamy, rusty tones so that the greenery pops.

Old-Fashioned Christmas

By Marketplace at the Abbey

The designers at Marketplace at The Abbey take you on an old-fashioned sleigh ride through Christmases past. Vintage-inspired signs and black-and-white ribbon spread cheery wishes of Merry Christmas. The designers wanted to play up the Old World style of the sleigh. A gray-and-brown plaid tree skirt with leather embellishments drapes the inside of the sleigh. Evergreens and red berries bring texture against the soft fabric of the tree skirt and linen, machine-washable pillows. A burlap snowman is tucked into the seat of the sleigh, while a cardinal perches in a tree overhead. And what sleigh would be complete without a string of Santa’s bells?