Samantha Varvel, a social media influencer and lifestyle blogger, is our next feature in our holiday Tastemaker series. Samantha launched a lifestyle website under her own name in 2020 as an aside to her career in finance in New York City. What began as a passion project intended to be a destination for colorful, classic finds across interior design, travel and fashion for women and children, ultimately became a full-time pursuit. Samantha now has two young children and lives in Connecticut, documenting the little things that elevate and celebrate daily life on her website and her social media accounts.
Dogwood Hill artist Gina Langford created the beautiful watercolor artwork that is featured in Samantha’s colorful holiday tastemaker collection entitled Jardin.
“I adore Samantha’s aesthetic and have been following along with her precious family for a few years, so it was truly a dream to work with her! She had two main visions for her holiday card – the first in blue tones inspired by some beautiful images of her family in France and some of her favorite patterns and motifs,” Gina said.
According to Gina, Samantha also envisioned the idea of something more colorful including a variety of fruits and flowers mixed together, which coincidentally, Gina absolutely loves to paint! Gina’s favorite turned out to be the fruit-covered Christmas tree.
Continue scrolling for a preview of the Jardin Collection (the entire collection can be shopped here) and to read our Holiday Q&A with Samantha. We have also included some of our favorite snapshots of Samantha’s lovely home at the bottom of the post for you to peruse.
What is the inspiration behind your holiday suite?
I drew inspiration from the patterns of my favorite dresses, favorite fabrics, wallpapers and floral arrangements.
What was the process like designing your holiday suite with the Dogwood Hill team?
The Dogwood Hill team was so great to work with – Gina is such a talented artist and didn’t need any help from me! It was amazing to see what beautiful watercolor designs she came up with from my simple snippets of inspiration!
What do you love most about the holiday season?
Spending time with family and creating special memories for my little ones!
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
We have loved spending Christmas in Provence with my side of the family the past few years since my mom renovated a house in the region.
What is your most memorable holiday and why?
The first Christmas with our baby Peter was magical. Everything is more special when you get to relive it through your children’s eyes.
If you had to pick one holiday movie to use as inspiration to decorate your own house, what would it be?
Iris’ cottage in The Holiday, of course!
What is your favorite holiday song?
The entire Celine Dion Christmas album!
What is your go-to holiday hostess gift?
Anything from Berner & Co – the most whimsical selection of tableware!
What kind of holiday shopper are you – Black Friday, Christmas Eve or year-long stasher?
I do as much as I can on Black Friday, but there are always one or two tricky ones that I procrastinate, though maybe not quite until Christmas Eve!
What (if anything) brings you a sense of calm during the busy holiday season?
Remembering to slow down and enjoy the little moments like reading Christmas storybooks with my kids!
Are you team real or faux tree? Real – always!
Are you team white lights or colored lights? I actually have a place in my heart for colored lights when done right – they can be so fun and feel very vintage.
What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Tarte Tatin that we make in Provence from the pears in my mom’s orchard – top secret recipe :).
Card Photography: Mary Margaret Smith Photography
Home photography: Samantha Varvel