Amanda Layton rings in the holidays in simple, refined style.
Meaningful family traditions and simple-but-beautiful decorations give Amanda Layton a sense of peace when Christmastime arrives. The Oklahoma City home stylist starts decorating for her favorite holiday in November and focuses more on adding natural winter touches throughout her home rather than a big splash of extravagant decorations.
“I keep all the same things out, but I just add the winter greens to it. It’s really easy and inexpensive to make it feel festive without buying a bunch of Christmas stuff. I love Christmas. But I like simplicity,” Layton said. “I do tend to keep it more minimal because it’s just so overwhelming.”
A bowl of pine cones. Simply decorated trees with lights in different rooms. Old garlands spruced up with living greenery to add a fresh smell and a fresh look. Spruces of greenery placed on a tray on a table. She especially enjoys an undecorated Christmas tree adorned with white lights.
“To me there’s nothing better at Christmas than coming home, [and] lighting a fire with the Christmas tree on. That’s my favorite Christmas thing ever.”
Her Christmas reflects the home she has lived in for the last eight years with her husband Dustin and their two boys, ages 9 and 13. Early in her career, Layton was a licensed professional nurse and then a registered nurse. But with young children and a husband who traveled extensively for his work as a cattle auctioneer, she found it too hard to maintain a grueling and somewhat unpredictable nursing schedule. She ultimately returned to doing what she realized came naturally: transforming homes.
Growing up, Layton was always rearranging her room, saving her money to buy furniture or items for her room and making sure her living spaces looked just how she wanted them. Her sister, Layton said, is artistic and can draw and paint, talents that Amanda said she didn’t have.
“My passion was always decorating,” Layton said, adding that her mom would always tell her she was artistic in her own way.
In 2017, Layton was painting trim in her home and visiting with her neighbor, a realtor, who asked her to help stage a home she wanted to sell. A “lightbulb went off,” she said, and a new business was born — Layton Designs. Today she helps builders, home flippers and others stage homes, and she works with individuals who are remodeling or building. At the time, there weren’t many home-stagers in Oklahoma City.
For the last eight years, one of her projects has been her own home, one element at a time. When the Laytons bought the house, every room was a different color, and there was a lot of it — plus, it was decorated in a unique style that didn’t match her family’s, she said. Over the years, the Laytons transformed their 4,000-square-foot, four-bedroom home in Edmond’s Cumberland Crossing subdivision into one filled with natural materials, calming colors and a lot of memories with their boys. She’s in the process of doing it again, as she and her husband are currently transitioning to a new home.
“My life is so crazy in general, and that’s why I like simplicity and neutrals,” Layton said, explaining that neutrals “are calming. My mind goes thousands of directions every day, and I like it to feel serene.”
She accessorizes with fun finds from everywhere — antique stores, national retail chains, online ordering and more. She loves a good deal and likes to shop in thrifty ways.
Wherever the Laytons lay their heads, Amanda said she’ll still keep things simple and natural throughout the house. Her husband, however, gets to do what he wants in his office, and those decorations include the over-the-top Clark Griswold ones he enjoys.
“To me, Christmas is pretty personal,” she said. “I’m all about decorating where it looks good, but it’s easy.”