Custom art prints can be found at HERE. a pop up shop. This print if from artist Kim Hovell.

When you think of Annapolis, you probably think of your favorite shops and restaurants nestled in a waterfront colonial setting. When you tour the historic homes of William Paca or the tenement house of Historic London Town & Gardens,  you can imagine the glow of the hearth on a dark winters night. The hearth was our original gathering place, where families congregated to find warmth, share a meal, and rest at the end of the day.

Hearth and Home

Now we have the luxury of turning on the thermostat instead of building a fire to find relief from the cold, but you may find yourself congregating with your household this season more than years past. With everyone staying home for virtual learning and telework, this is definitely the year to make your home extra festive and cozy to enjoy the coming holidays. 

This hearth-warming garland can be found at HERE. a pop up shop. Image courtesy of HERE. a pop up shop.

Luckily there is no shortage of treasure to be found in Annapolis that will ensure your home sparkles the whole season through. As one of my favorite designers Nate Berkus says–

”I believe your home tells a story about who you are and who you aspire to be. We represent ourselves through the things we own. I don’t believe in trends.”

I believe Nate’s philosophy is only amplified by the holiday season. Whether you are into funky, colorful lights or classic white, an artificial tree or live, grandma’s vintage bulbs or the snowflake you made out of popsicle sticks when you were 10, we curate and collect artifacts that reflect the story of our families year after year. Whether you’re looking for a more traditional Miracle on 34th Street style or an endearing Griswold-ian Christmas Vacation approach, here are some small businesses that will help you craft the perfect holiday home.

Deck the Walls

If you are looking for a piece of art that captures the peace of a first snow or the excitement of City Dock twinkling with lights, consider artist Christine Chapa of Landmark Renditions. She combines her artistic abilities and architectural training to create dazzling renderings of Annapolis and nearby cities like Washington D.C. Her Christmas collections showcase dynamic views of Annapolis with all the trimmings and lights that make Annapolis irresistible this time of year.

Landmark Renditions specializes in custom personalized art as well as iconic landscapes of Annapolis. Image courtesy of Landmark Renditions.

She has shown her work with Maryland Federation of Art, whose gallery is located on State Circle and never ceases to amaze. You can also find her art at Annapolis Arts Alliance who, after many years of seasonal pop-ups, now has a dedicated full-time gallery space on West Street, and Local By Design, who is known for their great variety of unique gifts with three locations throughout Annapolis. Between Christine’s online shop and the virtual/in-person offerings of these great galleries, you’re sure to find something that speaks to your heart for years to come.

A homemade Annapolis, MD ornament makes the perfect gift to give and receive. Quirk n Bach pottery ornament available at Local by Design and their Eastport studio. Image courtesy of Local by Design.

Crafty Ornaments

Wall art is just the beginning. Your hearth, windows, and the tree itself need love, so a trip to HERE a pop-up shop is in order. From their very popular driftwood trees–perfect for a clean, coastal, but festive look– to darling pom pom garlands, HERE is always bursting with cheer. If you are looking for a cheeky timestamp for this (I never want to hear this word again after January) unprecedented 2020 year, you will crack up at their artisan made ornaments. There’s always a wonderful selection of Maryland pride ornaments and decor if you prefer to go that route.

2020 is definitely a year for the books, commemorate it with an ornament that speaks to ‘unprecedented’ year it was! Image courtesy of HERE. a pop up shop.

Santa’s Not the Only One With a Workshop

For the crafty homemaker, you may feel inspired to make your own wall art or decor. If you want to feel the zen of a paint brush in hand, Wine & Design  has in-person and virtual offerings this month with lots of fun holiday themes. My favorite is this swirly, magical Christmas tree canvas.

An art kit from Wine & Design is a great way to add some holiday flair to your home. Image courtesy of Wine & Design.

If you’re looking for a cozy blanket to cuddle up with by the fire, why not try an AR Workshop kit? You can make your own painted ornament or wooden sign at home with the family, or pick a socially distanced appointment time to get in the studio for a hands-on workshop.

AR Workshop offers take home kits of all shapes and sizes (like do-it-youself ornaments) to larger classes, like their holiday sign workshops. Image courtesy of AR Workshop.

Last but not least, the teachers at ArtFarm are bringing you a FREE weekly feature DIY video for you to get crafty at home. Just subscribe to their mailing list and a new video will be delivered to you every Monday from now until Christmas. Check out their first episode, showing you how to make a tree topper from found objects, here.

This holiday season may be unlike any other, but there are still ways to support small business, enjoy time with your family, and love the walls of your own home like never before.

Lindsay Bolin Lowery

Lindsay Bolin Lowery is an illustrator and writer whose work is informed by her love of food, culture, and landscapes of the Chesapeake Bay region. She is owner of LBo Craft, studio manager of Art at Large, Inc., as well as a teaching artist for public art organization Future History Now. She has been a blogger with Visit Annapolis since 2015. Lindsay enjoys walking her dog in Quiet Waters Park, eating a crepe from Sofi's at City Dock, and grabbing a cream ale at Sailor Oyster Bar. You can find Lindsay's work at