White 01 Benjamin Moore
Intense White Benjamin Moore
Fresh pine, cedar, and balsam garlands (lynchcreekwreaths.com) make for a warm winter’s welcome at the 1850s saltbox-turned-farmhouse.
Lori sells similar vintage Christmas tree toppers in her store.
Harwood Putty Benjamin Moore
The Christmas tree and collection of vintage ornaments are at home among natural elements like the antique pine armoire and coffee table, pieces Lori found on picking journeys for her shop.
No matter the season, Lori Guyer typically has visions of Christmas dancing in her head. As the proprietor of White Flower Farmhouse (@whiteflowerfarmhouse)—her long-standing Southold, New York, vintage boutique—Lori has become known for her festive and retro holiday displays, decking out the North Fork favorite with old-timey Christmas decorations she hunts down year round. “I’m up in attics in the middle of summer when it’s 100 degrees, pulling down the ornaments at estate sales,” she says. “Then I pack it all away and bring it to the store so that the day after Thanksgiving, all that vintage Christmas is ready and waiting in the shop.”
A similar scene plays out every year at the shopkeeper’s home in the centuries-old maritime village of Greenport (population: 2,230). It’s here that Lori showcases her personal collection of vintage glass ornaments and hard plastic Santa Claus candy containers from the 1940s and ’50s among a more evergreen assortment of ironstone and antique furniture. “I like to collect Christmas items because I can enjoy them for a few weeks and then put them all away,” says Lori. “Because I spend so much of my day surrounded by stuff at the shop, when I’m at home, I like to keep things serene and simple.”
Lori and her husband, Stephen, bought their circa-1850 saltbox-turned farmhouse in 2014 and enlisted local contractor Stephen Owen of Red Barn Woodworking (516-242-2258) to help them renovate. As with her approach to Christmas decor, Lori was passionate about maintaining a vintage feel inside the 2,600-square-foot house, which sits on a quarter of an acre just three dwellings down from the water. The Guyers’ main goal was to keep or repurpose as many of the existing materials as possible. “Almost every bit of old wood was reused or made into something inside the house,” Lori says, noting that the original attic floor was used for a number of things, including the fireplace mantel. “We peeled this house back layer by layer,” she says.
Made-to-order stockings (nofoknits.etsy.com) add homespun texture.
A pair of sconces (barnlightelectric.com) flanks the brick veneer fireplace, which is coated in Romabio’s Avorio White limewash (romabio.com). Lori added a splash of nautical flair with an antique life preserver adorned with a festive bow.
White 01 Benjamin Moore
Fresh pine-and-cedar garland and an antique Santa pop in the all-white space. The island (an old German baker’s table found at Brimfield Antiques Show) doubles as a wrapping station beneath a cluster of industrial pendant lights Lori “won” on eBay.
Among the layers, the Guyers happened upon a delightful gift—to a home renovator, at least—beneath the downstairs flooring. When Lori ventured to the basement and looked up, she discovered pristine raw pine that had been hidden upstairs beneath worn carpet and layers of wood flooring. Rather than stain the pine floors, she left them their natural color, then lightened them, just slightly, with bleach. The floors are now her favorite feature in the house.
The original house also came with low ceilings and dark interiors. To open up the space, the Guyers removed layers of Sheetrock and plaster from the downstairs ceiling, leaving the rafters exposed. They also coated the walls in varying shades of white—five hues are on display within the footprint—each one carefully chosen for the space. For example, in the living areas, Lori opted for Harwood Putty by Benjamin Moore, a shade that was inspired by limewashes used in 18th-century Colonial Williamsburg. “It’s so soft and neutral and my favorite of them all,” says Lori, whose love of neutrals even extends to her all-white candy canes.
Lori crafts a wreath at a pine table surrounded by metal “Schoolhouse” chairs (restoration hardware.com). The 12-foot-long apothecary cabinet once resided in an ice-cream parlor and is one of her favorite finds. “I dragged it out of a barn and painted it,” says Lori. “I had to take all the drawers out and bring it home in pieces.”
Paperwhites are Lori’s go-to seasonal bloom. The “Erika” chandelier is by Thomas O’Brien (circalighting.com).
Decorator’s White Benjamin Moore
After finding the cabinet at one of her favorite local antiques stores (Beall & Bell; 631-477-8239), Lori painted it white and topped it with vintage putz houses and an antique German feather tree. The distinct banister is original to the circa-1850s home.
Exposed rafters complement the antique pine armoire and nightstand as well as the simple Christmas tree. “I don’t like a lot of contrast—light pine paired with white makes a room feel peaceful,” says Lori.
The pristine palette provides the perfect backdrop for an array of rehabbed vintage furnishings—many of the items are large-scale pine pieces that complement the pine flooring. And to honor the home’s maritime village locale, the lifelong Long Islander incorporated nautical elements, including a hand-carved sailboat topping an antique pine cupboard in the master, antique anchor-shaped andirons flanking the fireplace, and antique ship lights mounted on the living room ceiling. (A life preserver above the fireplace doubles as a clever wreath come December.)
Both the snowy whites and the rustic pine furniture play nicely with Lori’s vintage Christmas collections, and she mixes her estate sale and flea market finds with homemade tree trimmings, locally sourced handmade stockings, and natural elements such as pine cones, cut holly, and juniper berries brought in from the yard.
The “fresh from nature” theme continues with the Christmas tree, which the Guyers cut down on their annual trip to the local tree farm (see Shop Local, previous page). Lori has a knack for seeing the potential in trees that other shoppers have missed. “I’m not super picky about the tree we choose because I always give it a good haircut when I get home,” she says. “I like it a little airy and a little imperfect.” It should come as no surprise that Lori likes her Christmas trees like she likes her houses.
White Dove Benjamin Moore
Lori favors vintage gift wrap and brown kraft paper ($12 per roll; amazon.com).(PILLOW, DAVID HILLEGAS.)