A Gleaming Gem

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Delicate glows and refined rows: unwrapping the subtle splendor of this holiday-infused home.

Story by Ann Butenas      |      Photography by Matthew Anderson

In this warm and inviting Olathe, Kansas residence, the magic of the holidays comes alive in the home of Michelle Morris and her family, as every corner glimmers with a festive spirit.

Nestled in the heart of Johnson County, this residence embodies the warmth and joy of the holiday season. Each year, Michelle makes every possible space come alive with her undeniable artistic touches. (And apparently, this penchant for holiday decorating runs in the family. Michelle’s sister, Melissa Morris, is featured in this issue as we also showcase her holiday decorating spirit and style.) 



Michelle has always held a passion for home decor, particularly during the festive season. In the 17 years she has been married to her husband Jeff, her zest for decorating for the holidays has certainly gained notable traction. Plus, as she has no shame in admitting she also discovered the Home Goods store, which she claims has further enhanced her talent and style in the decorating arena. 

As for her personal sense of style, well, Michelle is drawn towards classy items that exude luxury but won’t burn a hole in her pocket. Her palette? Classic neutral shades of white, cream, champagne, silver, and gold. This choice gives her the flexibility to incorporate a pop of any color she fancies, be it a fiery red or a calming blue. 

“That allows me to have variety in different rooms,” she shared.



Inspiration for Michelle’s decorating adventures often comes from a single item she falls in love with. Be it a plush pillow, a mesmerizing painting, or a delicate  candle holder, she crafts an entire room’s look around it. She admits to being meticulous, too.

“I typically take everything out of the room and start fresh with new designs and arrangements,” she emphasized. The entryway, kitchen, and living room are her priority zones, as they represent the heart of her family’s home life.



The foyer serves as a gentle introduction to the home, exuding an aura of calm elegance. Anchoring the space are two inviting blue chairs, their deep hue reminiscent of a serene twilight sky. Positioned between them, a sleek table showcases a graceful deer sculpture, its poised stance paired with a few thoughtfully placed ornaments, adding an air of sophistication. Behind the table, a large mirror amplifies the space, reflecting the gentle nuances of the room. Each chair is adorned with a soft pillow, embroidered with the word “Joy,” serving as a welcoming sentiment and a subtle reminder of the happiness within the walls of the home.



The living room is warmly lit, welcoming Christmas in subtle elegance. A tall tree stands proudly in the corner, its branches dressed with decorations in soft shades of beige, cream, and blue, giving it a calm, neutral appearance. Nearby, stockings in matching hues hang neatly by the fireplace, adding to the cohesive look. The gentle glow from the fireplace adds a cozy ambiance, making the room a comforting space to gather and celebrate the season.

The kitchen warmly embraces the festive spirit. The island, as its centerpiece, is adorned with simple greenery and a sprinkle of ornaments, bringing a touch of holiday cheer. This subtle theme extends to the perimeter cabinets, where matching garland and ornaments are lightly draped. The overall effect is a cozy and inviting space, ready for seasonal gatherings and holiday meals.



Reminiscing about her early married days, Michelle indicated how initial budget constraints influenced her decor choices. Instead of accepting furniture hand-me-downs from her parents and in-laws, Michelle had the grit to save up for pieces she truly cherished. Despite the early challenges, her perseverance has paid off over the ensuing years, as evidenced by the classy style portrayed in her home today.

Additionally, photos are timeless treasures for the Morris family. Every holiday season, Michelle prints out snapshots from prior years, weaving those precious memories into her festive designs. As an artist, Michelle also has paintings that adorn her walls, offering fresh perspectives, as well. Her skills don’t end at painting, however; she’s also an adept seamstress crafting curtains, pillows, and blankets that echo her decor vision. 



While Michelle wishes her family would share her decorating fervor – blasting music as a fun bribe – she chuckles that the effort usually fizzles out after an hour. However, they are always awed by the final masterpiece.

“Their gratitude makes it worth the time required,” she reflected.

However, Michelle did once indulge in hiring professional help for outdoor lighting, something she had always desired to do. But, on other occasions, she’s been the dedicated decorator, fearlessly doing the job herself, even during a pregnancy! 



As for her overall style, Michelle describes it as a harmonious blend of elegance and modernity with a generous sprinkle of sparkle.

The festive season for Michelle is more than just about the elements of décor, however. It’s about cherished moments with loved ones, baking cookies, impromptu kitchen dance-offs, and hearty laughter. The kitchen, being the hub of these memories, naturally receives an extra dose of holiday spirit. And, in true festive style, the house boasts two to five artificial trees, ensuring each level is graced with at least one.



Beyond the realm of holidays, Michelle is a dynamic entrepreneur, model, and fitness enthusiast. The joys of her life are her two incredible daughters. 

“They’ve made me a better person,” she expressed. Her girls are multi-talented, too, juggling dance, cheer, soccer, and more, always keeping the family on their toes.

In wrapping up this tale of holiday spirit and family bonds, let’s tip our hats to Michelle and her beautiful home. Every decoration, every tree, and every room are a testament to her love, dedication, and the joy of the season.

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