Before & After: Holiday Contest Finalists

The holiday break is almost upon us, and I am ashamed to admit this, but I have been so busy with work and battling a cold that I have yet to hang a single ornament or bulb. My only consolation is that, thanks to this Before & After Holiday Contest, I’ve been able to vicariously enjoy dozens of holiday celebrations as I sift through your incredible submissions. Today we’re thrilled to share the top finalists for three categories: (1) trees, (2) mantels and (3) miscellaneous decor (we didn’t receive enough table or exterior submissions to warrant keeping those categories, so we combined them into one miscellaneous category).

Check out the finalists and cast your votes below, and thanks again to all who entered. Your homes look warm and welcoming and have filled me the holiday spirit. Voting will close this Sunday at midnight EST. Good luck to the finalists, and please be sure to cast your votes! — Kate

{UPDATE: The results are in! The winners are: Amanda Moore – Miscellaneous; Jessica Decker – Tree; Colin Barrett – Mantel. Congrats to the winners and thank you to all who voted!}

See the finalists in all three categories and cast your votes after the jump . . .

Category 1: Trees

Ana Perez — Ana handmade many of the gem ornaments on this lovely decorated tree.

Aimee Aikens — Aimee created a dramatic starry backdrop for her tabletop tinsel tree by hanging a large sheet of dark gray felt and cutting small slices to feed the lightbulbs through.

Jessica Decker — Jessica put her giant embroidery skills to work, turning this little corner into a festive and modern holiday spread with brightly wrapped gifts and a large cross-stitch tree!

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Category 2: Mantels

Colin Barrett — Colin turned this mantel into a warm holiday hearth with bright red accents and cozy knit stockings.

Melissa Lee — To transform her mantel for the season, Melissa created a snowy village tableau with gold and white accents and used a vintage gilded frame to display a holiday greeting.

Amanda Gibson — Amanda wanted to keep her decor minimal but also add a hint of colonial charm with a trio of chunky gold candleholders and a thick red ribbon holding the wreath.

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Category 3: Miscellaneous Decor

Adrienne Clarotto — Adrienne fancied up her dining area with this beautiful winter tablescape. The mix of metallics, greens and creamy whites make for a beautiful snowy scene.

Amanda Moore — Amanda owns two dogs with a penchant for wrestling, so she decided to put her holiday decor up high to avoid any potential disasters. The result is a lovely festive garland that can be admired from all angles.

Angela Tullier — Angela transformed her living room into a holiday wonderland by adding charming and inventive touches to the existing decor: swapping in flannel pillows and throws on the couch, tying adorable scarves onto the wall-mounted animals, hanging skates and other holiday decor items on the wall and creating a festive centerpiece on the coffee table.

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Trees: Are you kidding? No contest. That Jessica Decker lady is the obvious choice!!


The Ana Perez tree is the OBVIOUS choice! It’s a real tree with handmade ornaments!


Real schmeel. Think outside of the box, maybe?
The O B V I O U S choice is the ONLY person who didn’t decorate a green pine thing.


Are you kitten me?! Jessica Decker knows her way around a cross-stitch needle.


Ooh, I think Angela actually has the best tree.
Why is she in the miscellaneous category?


That giant embroidery is Lovely isn’t it! And the gem decorations are super cute. My favourite ones are the ones where they’ve have made stuff themselves.


I like how 90% of the comments are obviously from people who know the contestants, including myself…


Love the design and color scheme of Ana Perez’ tree! WOW! Handmade ornaments!


Yes, I have fond memories of my childhood, waking up on Christmas morning and rushing downstairs to see which presents Santa Claus left for my sister and I underneath the cross-stitched tree…..

Marjorie King

Amandas mantle is just enough to catch the eye but not over done. I think hers is the best.

Patricia Johnson

Ana Perez’s tree is not just beautiful in its hand made ornaments anf color scheme, but it gives a comforting and «welcome home» feeling! I vote for Ana’s tree.


LOVE Jessica Decker’s embroidered tree and Angela Tullier’s room. So cozy! I love the scarf on the deer head!


Love Aimee’s tree! Feels very “Charlie Brown Christmas” and yet classy at the same time.

Mark Wator

I like Derek’s comment. Elizabeth’s comment reached me. But the Tullier room decor knocked me off my non plastic loving feet.


Ana’s tree is so lovely!! I love the multiple colors of the ornaments and that trunk! So cute!


Jessica for the tree and packages (very creative). They definitely, make you wonder what lovely gift is in them. And, I like adore the backdrop of Aimee’s but the tree is so, so.
Amanda, I love your garland – will do something like that next time to display my ornaments.