Merry + Bright

Settle in and grab your hot cocoa, because we have a fun story and tons of beautiful photos to show you!

Last holiday season, Kelsey collaborated with Against the Grain on a hand lettered wood sign, it was bright and colorful and of course, Marissa bought the sign for her home. This is where it all began, that is how we connected through social media. Fast forward to Summer when Marissa and Kelsey teamed up to execute Marissa’s Fourth of July set at Creative Space Studios. The conversation of designing mini sets for the Holidays came up, so this has been a long time in the making. 

In August, Janea, owner of Creative Space and photographer of the 4th, BTS and RainBOO Halloween asked House Of Fete to design a mini Christmas set to be booked by local photographers. The answer was obviously YES, and we couldn’t get enough when she asked for something fun and bright. 

It only felt right that we took inspiration from the Oh What Fun Against the Grain sign that brought them together. Janea had added a faux mantle and ship lap wall to her studio so we worked with these two items to create a colorful, cozy mini set.

We didn’t have to source much for this, the look we were going for is basically our Christmas esthetic at home. We dove head first into our bottle brush tree collection (which is a lot), used our own stockings and other colorful touches we love. 

Where to begin…

The Mantle 

We wanted all the layers, garlands and whimsy. Bottle brush trees were a no brainer, but we needed more. We called our girl Lu of Life’s Frostings to create a couple of wreaths to hang on the ship lap. We already had a faux deer head dripping in garlands, the wreaths just added even more Christmas Magic! Lu even incorporated our signature disco balls! 

The deer was adorned with amazing garlands by our favorite Pearl and Jane and acrylic lights by Modern Birch. He obviously needs his own pompom as well. Eliza Mac Co created the most luxurious giant pompoms and one hung perfectly from his antler.

We used some of our favorite Anthropologie stockings from over the years, they are all different and textured which fit right in. Each stocking had an acrylic hand lettered tag by Chalk Designs by Me, who also did the ADORABLE rainbow Merry and Bright sign on the mantle.

Can’t forget to fill the stockings, we wanted the scene to feel customizable for our kids and look like Christmas morning. Each stocking was filled to the brim with a Cuddle and Kind doll. These dolls are a favorite in both of our house holds. They are handmade, super snugly and for every doll you purchase, C+K gives 10 meals to a child in need. Come on, dream company. The kids were thrilled to actually get a little something at the shoot! 


The Tree

The mantle came easy, but we obviously needed to add a tree. When we started planning we had just designed the pencil fringe with Glam Fete, so we thought using fringe in an unusual way would be fun. We called on Bri of Glam Fete, quickly made a sketch and she was totally on board.  

Being that this set would be popular amongst kids, we wanted the tree to be interactive. Modern Birch and House of Fete joined together to design acrylic ornaments that would CLIP to the fringe. It is such a cool concept to have a fully decorated tree that the kids can easily do. Modern Birch made words, stars, ornaments and even candy canes to adorn the tree.

What is a tree without presents underneath? Oh Happy Day Party Shop has to most fun color blocked wrapping paper we used to wrap GIANT packages! We used Chalk Designs by Me tags that Kelsey helped design a few years back! These made for the most fun props for the kids.

The Sugar

When we showed up to our Raiboo Halloween shoot, Nicole of Danville Cheese surprised us with House of Fete cookies by The Sugar Bug. To be honest, we were kind of obsessed with the concept of branding our shoots and the cookies were a perfect way to do that! So, we called on the Sugar Bug for Christmas because we needed a House of Fete gingerbread house (OF COURSE). She didn’t stop there, Tracy created cookies for Santa to match our set, cookies to look like our plates, sparkly reindeer, house of fete ornaments and even, the invitation.

House of Fete bracelets by @theryancrewco

The Flat

That brings us to the Flat lay. It has become a fun tradition to start every set with a flat to show off all the special details you might not notice in the set. We  love doing an invitation as if you are invited to a real party! So, The Sugar Bug made an invitation out of a COOKIE, she even did cookie stamps! We are OBSESSED, could you imagine getting that in the mail? How dreamy. 


In addition to the cookies we added the kids accessories, bottle brush trees, garlands and LOADS of confetti. The other mandatory flat lay item, a Kiss You Co wand. Hand made by our friend Kate, this giant pompom ornament wand was a MUST for our shoot. It looked absolutely perfect and it was so fun to play with and stick in the stockings for added whimsy!

The Kids

Of course, the House Of Fete kids attended the marketing shoot to give the best visual of how people can shoot with in the scene. We dressed them all in different Christmas Pajamas. It felt organic and super sweet!

We added some sweet accessories to the girls to fit into the set! Ray wore a vintage reindeer necklace by Honey and Gray and Merry Christmas Bow by Zozu Baby. Denver wore the CUTEST pompom hair tie and Baby Brennan had tiny holy berries from Fancy Free Finery that complimented her Elf Pj’s, (CAN YOU EVEN?).

All the kids wore the most adorable glittery antlers by Little Blue Olive to mimic our table setting. They all ran around the ‘living room’ snuggling their Cuddle + Kinds, the giant pompoms and trying to tear into the presents. They really had the best time!

The Table* 

Last but not least, in true House Of Fete fashion we set a table. No party is a party without it. We worked in a little of our rainbow magic with solid Oh Happy Day plates topped with their adorable bonbon plate. We made sure to set the table for nine, one for every reindeer obviously. Modern Birch made reindeer name plates and the milk and cookies we adorned with all the details. 

Down the center we pilled on the poms, confetti and garlands. We added in a tiny cake stand and the cookies that matched our plates. Right in the middle we had the show stopper disco ball tree that Marissa built. It was so much fun and whimsical. 

*(table is not available in the mini set)

This set is available to book at Creative Space Studios from November 5th – November 15th. We had such a blast creating this Merry and Bright concept for CSS and we cannot wait to see your families enjoy! 


K + M

Interested in booking a set design? Click HERE!


Set design @house.of.fete for
Photographer @janeagreenecreative and @ambusheedwithboys
Fringe Tree @glamfete
Acrylic @modernbirchco
Party supplies/ wrapping @ohhappydaypartyshop
Cookies @thesugarbug
Dolls @cuddleandkind
Chalk signs / tags @chalkdesignsbyme
Wreaths @lifesfrostings
Garlands @pearlandjane
Antlers @littleblueolive
Confetti @shopstudiopep
Pom hair tie and Necklace @honeyandgrayshop
Oh What Fun sign @againstthegrainhc
Poms @elizamacco
Flag @tingstationery

Published by houseoffete

Party Design | Set Styling | Planning | Consultations

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