How to have a very Hamptons-style Christmas with Melinda Hartwright

The interior designer shows us how to make the classic blue-and-white look work for Christmas day decorating and dining.
Melinda Hartwright Christmas TreePhotography: Louise Roche

At Home Beautiful we love the festive spirit so we sat down with five of our favourite interior designers, stylists and experts to watch as they deck the halls with a wide range of decorations. We asked Melinda Hartwright to show us how to style our homes with a Hamptons twist this silly season.

The queen of Hamptons style has to be interior designer Melinda Hartwright. The classic white and blue with elevated details is what she does beautifully all year round, particularly in her former home in the Southern Highlands of NSW and now in her new abode, nestled high in the Noosa Hinterland. She was our go-to to demonstrate how to make it extra magical at the most wonderful time of the year.

We chat to the mum-of-three and founder of Melinda Hartwright Interiors about her Christmas traditions, decorating must-haves and her festive menu.

A Christmas tradition in your house is…

“Since our eldest Charlie was a baby we have always cuddled together in bed as a family and read The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve after putting out the treats for Santa by the fireplace. Even now as teenagers they all love getting the book out and each of them takes a turn to read a page.”

Melinda Hartwright Christmas Tree
Melinda’s toy Cavoodles, Winnie and Ruby, sit beside the tree. Artwork from Cafe Lighting & Living. (Photography: Louise Roche)

Do you celebrate on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

“Christmas morning, and thankfully as the kids get older it doesn’t start pre-dawn like it used to! The festivities begin with sacks and stockings brought onto our bed with the dogs and we take turns opening a present, before we start the day with pancakes and croissants.”

What are your favourite decorations?

“About 10 years ago, I bought silver photo frame ornaments from Pottery Barn, which I had engraved with our names. They always take pride of place on the tree, along with the silver-painted wooden initials of each family member.”

Melinda Hartwright Christmas Decorating
The tree is covered with decorations from Melinda’s brand and mini pagoda and ginger jar tree ornaments from Hutch Table Accessories. (Photography: Louise Roche)

What is your table decorating must-have?

“Crackers, greenery and lots of candles. I have made crackers with leftover wallpaper, too.”

“Blue and white with touches of gold and silver look best in our home.”

Melinda Hartwright Christmas Decorating
For a festive Hamptons table, add white and blue Christmas crackers. (Photography: Louise Roche)

Formal or no-fuss?

“We like a more formal and traditional style Christmas simply to make the day more special and appreciated. Everyone likes getting dressed up.”

Melinda Hartwright Christmas Table Decorating
Coastal touches like coral, shells and fish ornaments are perfect with the Hamptons theme. (Photography: Louise Roche)

What’s on the menu?

“Traditional fare and all the trimmings. My grandmother has always made a delicious sweet potato bake that has melted marshmallow on the top; it is a spicy Caribbean dish and is a lovely complement to the turkey.”

Melinda Hartwright Christmas Decorating
Pavlova is a Christmas day classic. (Photography: Louise Roche)

What dinnerware do you use for your Christmas table?

“We received a Royal Doulton dinner set when we were married, white with a silver trim, so that is always used for the table along with our proper silverware and silver embroidered linen napkins.”

Melinda Hartwright Christmas Table Decorating
This Hamptons-style table setting created by Melinda Hartwright features elegant items from her homewares range along with a tablecloth, napkins, placemats, tumblers, a white dinner set and pagoda lanterns, all from Hutch Table Accessories. (Photography: Louise Roche)

For Christmas, there’s no place I’d rather be than…

“With a glass of champagne in my hand, a pretty dress on, turkey in the oven, watching the joy on our kids’ faces as they open their presents. It never gets old.”

Melinda Hartwright Christmas Decorating
The blue and white palette also extends to the wrapping paper. (Photography: Louise Roche)
Want more Christmas decorating inspiration? See the other expert homes in the series:

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