Musical Holiday: A Playlist of Holiday Decor

All right, so I know I skipped November's musical playlist for entertaining, but I hope this playlist will make it all better. This time around, I asked the editors of Apartment Therapy LA to weigh in on their favorite holiday numbers, and it was surprising to see which ones made the cut. Take a look and listen to our 2009 Holiday playlist!

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I picked this one specifically for Gregory, mainly because 1) I knew it would annoy him; and 2) it's just wrong not to include this song. It's literally the only time when high-pitched squeaking is marginally OK. To go with this infamous tune, here's a room that is loud, bright, and almost cartoonish...but still pretty chic. Love the tower of clementines as an affordable centerpiece, and the black Christmas tree is a nice touch. Speaking of, if you're in the market for a black Christmas tree, Beth found this version from Treetopia (and yes, it is named after the damn Twilight series).

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Beth recently posted about holiday decorations that can last year round, and I'm thinking that this bedroom could qualify in that category. This dreamy bedroom uses a shiny curtain of mirrored beads, and it's not overly holiday-ish; it feels like it's more of a nod to winter. For this room, we needed something sultry and jazzy--and who better to do that than Eartha Kitt? Here's one of Beth's favorite holiday tunes:

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On the other end of the spectrum, Beth and Rebecca both indulge in a little Wham! for their holiday merriment. "Not gonna lie," confesses Rebecca, "I am a sucker for '80s Xmas music...It just takes me back!" For the special ode from George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, we've picked this hot pink dining room decorated with silver paper chains. As crazy bright as that table and chairs are, it works thanks to the white floor and muted background.

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We love the mix of classics happening in this dining room: the Saarinen tulip dining set paired with a gothic black candelabra and accented in lime green work harmoniously. From one classic to another, Emily's holiday pick is an oldie but goodie...and speaking of Emily, have you seen her recipe for Baked Apples with Cranberry Sauce? It's truly amazing.

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We're not sure where you'd find gargantuan ornaments like these to hang, but you could probably get a similar look using paper hangings instead...maybe. To go with this edgier holiday scheme, we're thinking that this version of the classic carol might fit the bill:

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Feeling a bit blue this Christmas? We're in love with the paint color of this dramatic dining room--the fruit centerpiece practically looks like a still life for an oil painting. As much as Beth and I both love Elvis' Blue Christmas, I decided to go out on a limb and use this version from up and coming singer, A Fine Frenzy.

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An overwhelming majority of readers voted for handmade being a favorite trend of 2009, so here's a DIY advent calendar where you can fill it up yourself and give it as a gift. As an ode to the little things that matter, this here is one of my favorite holiday songs (even though it's technically not a "holiday" song):

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If there's one thing that we learn from decorating for any season or holiday, it's the concept that it really doesn't take much to give a room a new look. From simple things like hanging red Christmas ornaments from the stair balusters to swapping out red taper candles from white, it's amazing to see what a difference a few changes can make. In the same vein, this holiday song pays homage to a few different classic carols to create a whole new tune. I dedicate this song to AT reader abc123: It's not MFDoom, but hey, Run-DMC ain't so bad.

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Skip the formalities of a sit-down Christmas dinner and try the laid back approach: Casual nibbles with some booze on a low table calls for floor cushions and great conversation (not to mention a rug with scotchguard). From Gregory's list of holiday picks, here's a really great number to keep a party going:

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If you're not sure what to do with all those holiday cards this year, we love this wire heart-shaped card holder. A similar option is available at WireHomeDecor, not to mention wreath-shaped holders and mantle displays. For this photo, we salute one of our favorite holiday movies: Love Actually. Out of all the stories in this movie, the one that really turned everyone to mush was Sam, the little boy who falls in love with the "coolest girl in the school." And who can blame him when she can sing like this? (And yes, that's really her, age 10, singing in the movie; not a studio singer).

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Chalk this up as another decor idea that can work year-round: This wreath hanging above the bed adds some texture to complement the graphic quality of the enlarged book cover poster, creating an interesting dynamic for this bedroom. We're featuring another one of Gregory's holiday picks for this cool yet cozy bedroom...

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Perhaps the most sophisticated winter color palette we've seen is white paired with gold. There's something so classy about it, especially when it's done as beautifully as this (or, if you're a fan of Ab Chao's house tour, check out her amazing White Christmas living room). I love the use of the white and gold with handcrafted decorations, so I picked this pretty ditty from the folk duo of The Weepies:

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If you're in a new home for the first time this year and far away from the rest of your family, it can be daunting to decorate your home for the holidays. But the best part is that you start forming your own traditions and creating new solutions from old ideas. For example: If you grew up always hanging stockings on the fireplace mantle and your new apartment doesn't even have a fireplace, this idea of using a branch instead is pretty cool. In honor of evolving traditions, Adrienne's musical selection is part of the new class of holiday crooners. "As far as I'm concerned," she says, "There's only one album I listen to every year to really get me going..."

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Since we all know that a few of us editors have a weakness for Scandinavian decor, I included this one for Laure. This dining room is vaguely rustic and oh so chic with some added warmth thanks to those woolen pom pom garlands and cozy rug. This light and airy breakfast was actually difficult to pair with a song, until I heard Sufjan Stevens' Songs for Christmas album. While he does covers of traditional hymns and holiday songs, I think the real gems are his originals, like this pretty song with a hilarious title:

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And lastly, both Abby and I agree: The holidays are just not complete without A Charlie Brown Christmas. The epic tale of Charlie Brown's pitiful little Christmas tree is retold year after year to the point where now; whenever I see a tree branch decorated with Christmas baubles, I can practically hear Linus pondering, "Gee, do they still make wooden Christmas trees?"

Hope you enjoyed this holiday-themed playlist. If you've got your own holiday must-have songs, share it with us in the comments! Or if you want to listen to more of playlists, check out the other musical playlists here.

(Images: Living Etc.)

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