, I’ll Be Home For Christmas

, I’ll Be Home For Christmas

Sarah Macklem invites us into her beautiful home for the Holidays.


“It was a builder spec home,” designer Sarah Macklem says of her two-storey home. She and her husband Mike, a commercial banker, fell in love with the house’s buttery yellow Cape Cod style. Since they bought the home in 2003 Sarah and Mike have added custom touches and upgrades to the interior. “Our goal was to pack charm and character into each space while maintaining a fresh vibe.”

, I’ll Be Home For Christmas

A soft flannel gray outfits the interior walls, providing Sarah with a neutral foundation. “It is easy for me to change the accent colors. When it comes to Christmas, I use a lot of red”.  Sarah confesses, however, “My heart beats fast for traditional design. But trendy accents provide the perfect balance of old and new.” She advises that trendy can be added with inexpensive elements such as table accessories, a throw or pillows.

, I’ll Be Home For Christmas

Planning ahead is prudent when decorating. “Most of the red Christmas balls used on the tree and mantle greenery were collected at thrift shops, garage sales and discount stores over years.” Family heirlooms are also part of Sarah’s design. She mixed her husband’s grandmother’s milk glass with the décor. “Filling Grandma’s milk glass bowl with Christmas ornaments is a perfect way for us to remember her during the Holidays.”

, I’ll Be Home For Christmas

The home’s colors and textures are echoed in the furniture and accessories. In the dining room, the first room seen when entering the home, Sarah combined graphic elements and a high contrast color palette to create a whimsical, sophisticated look. She says “I used a palett e of black and white with pops of red, warmed with golden lights.” Reds, grays, blacks, checks, boxes, writt en script, oversized stars, and antlers are some of the recurring motifs. “I love to repeat design elements. It creates a sense of fl ow.”

, I’ll Be Home For Christmas

The home’s accessories and furniture have quiet tête-à-têtes sharing textures, colors, lines, sheen, shapes, and boldness. In the dining room, for example, a bold black mirror brings quiet spectacle to the room, balancing the dark hues of the table and chairs, lamps and rug. Red ornaments and accessories along with bevels and curves embellish the room’s linear elements while creamed porcelain heightens the wainscoting.

, I’ll Be Home For Christmas

In the living room, the fi replace expresses Sarah’s love of neat, clean, symmetrical and simple spaces. In this space she chose one main focal point; the fi replace. “Instead of using a lot of items, I went with key pieces that were large in scale”. She notes that the solid white of the living room sofa and the black and white drapery gave her the freedom to experiment with patterned area rugs, toss pillows and wall décor.

, I’ll Be Home For Christmas

Mike jokes that because Sarah is so oft en redecorating their home that it is ever-changing, and refers to it as living and breathing.

, I’ll Be Home For Christmas

Their children Hannah, Cameron and Max, as well as their dog Murphie, love when the home is dressed for Christmas. Sarah remarks “My family appreciates the sense of magic it brings to our home during our most favorite time of year.”


Text by J. Lynn Fraser


Space Designed and Photographed by The Yellow Cape Cod

Dining Room with Christmas Tree; Faux Tree, Balsam Hill 

Pinecone Picks, Black White Deer Ribbon and Flocked Animal Print Gift Wrap, Hobby Lobby

Buffalo Check Ribbon, Show Me Decorating

Oversized Glittered Star Ornaments, The Merchandise Outlet

Living Room: Black and White Deer Silhouette Ribbon on Tree and Zebra Chair, Thrifted Find, Upholstery by Hobby Lobby

Ceramic Garden Stools, Sam’s Club

Red Velvet Pillow and Chunky Knit Throw, Pottery Barn

Reindeer Pillow, I Screen You Screen

Faux Garland and Faux Tree, Balsam Hill

Barrel Tree Stand and Antler Stocking Holders, Ballard Designs

Black and White Ribbon, Bordines Nursery

Candle Sconces, Uttermost

Red and White Christmas Ornaments and Red Tree Topper Star, Joss and Main

Large Scale Art Over Mantle, The Yellow Cape Cod

Shelf Décor: Nativity Set, The Yellow Cape Cod

Buffalo Check Gift Wrap, Zazzle

Large White Vase and Red Boxes, HomeGoods

Basket and White Wooden Snowfl ake Cutout, Pottery Barn

Dining Room: Kirsten Arch Mirror, Wayfair

Lamps, HomeGoods

Striped Tote Holding Poinsettia and Black and White Ribbon, Hobby Lobby

Red Dinnerware, Joss and Main

White Wooden Chargers, Pier One

Houndstooth Rug, Surya

Table and Chairs, Value City Furniture

Flooring, Sam’s Club

Red Linen Napkins, Pottery Barn

Breakfast Nook: Table and Chairs, Crate and Barrel

Rug, Surya

Chair Pads, Ikea

Red Dishes, Joss and Main

White Wooden Chargers, Pier One

Striped Place mats, Hobby Lobby

Plants and Red Ribbon, Bordines Nursery

Chandelier Shades, Ballard Designs

Red Linen Napkins, Pottery Barn


, I’ll Be Home For Christmas

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, I’ll Be Home For Christmas

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