By Charlyne Varkonyi Schaub
City & Shore Magazine
“The rules are different here,” a 1980s advertising campaign, defines how many of us decorate for the holidays in South Florida. We can go bolder, teetering on the edge of kitschy; use a variety of colors and hike the glam factor.
Designers Cecil Hayes of Parkland and Keith Carrington of West Palm Beach illustrate their unique decorating styles in the new book Christmas at Designers’ Homes Across America (Schiffer Publishing, $45) by former South Floridians Katherine Kaye McMillan and Patricia Hart McMillan. The locals are among 25 designers featured.
“My look is the way I feel about Christmas here,” Hayes says. “I am always looking for something different and things that make me smile.”
For Carrington, “I think Florida is more forgiving in term of color because the sun is so bright,” he says. “More is better. We can get away with a lot more glitz and glamour. Let yourself go at Christmas. Have fun with it.”
Patricia Hart McMillan says it took almost three years from starting the book to publication.
“Many of the designers knock themselves out doing their homes for the holidays and it’s not being widely enjoyed except by family and friends,” she says. “Now the rest of us can see how they decorate for Christmas. I don’t call it our book; it’s theirs.”