Walking down Fifth Avenue to admire the windows has always been a holiday pilgrimage, so is there any doubt that this being the first Christmas for the Beekman 1802 Mercantile that we felt a little pressured to bring this “downstate” spectacle to Sharon Springs?

Because this is the first year of the Sharon Springs Victorian Holiday Celebration, we wanted to think of some twist on the idea of a Victorian Christmas.  So the first thing we had to do was rid ourselves of the notion of abundant colors and gilding.  Because we did not have time to build window shadow boxes, we also knew that this year’s display could not be three-dimensional….or could it?

Using line drawings and etchings from a book of Victorian holiday clip art, we enlarged the images and had them printed on self-adhesive acetate.  We then isolated and cut out portions of the picture that we wanted to appear “closer” to the viewer.  The main image was placed on the window surface and the cut-outs on the glass storm window, thus allowing dimension.  (The interior windows were draped with white plastic table cloths purchased from the dollar store, pulled tightly and stapled to the window frame so that when interior lights are on, the effect is similar to a light box)

To add another layer of dimension, we then printed out line drawings of snowy window frames, wreathes and bows using the local print shop.  We mounted these print jobs on black foam board using spray adhesive and then cut them out.  The foam board is sturdy enough that we could tack the frames onto the exterior of the windows.

As customers walk down the porch of the Mercantile the effect is of peaking into someone else’s private world—and that always makes for the best holiday windows.

The entire project cost us approximate $600.  Most of the labor came in the form of wielding an exact-o knife to cut out the various shapes and pieces.

We carried this idea of a Black (and White) Christmas throughout the Mercantile, using black and silver to create an unexpected but beautiful holiday feel.

Black satin ribbon is wrapped around squares of straw to be used as display surfaces for products throughout the shop.

We carried the theme into our 2010 signature ornament, the Black Ice Icicle. (Click here to purchase.)  To display the ornaments, we stripped all of the needles from a blue spruce, primed and painted the trunk and limbs using a matte platinum spray paint. (We’ve used this idea of a “naked” Christmas tree before.  To see how, click here)

To bring out the silvery tones in the tree and in the ornaments, we “planted” the tree into a shiny tin container using cement mix.  We then surrounded the base with pine cones dusted with silver glitter.

We then picked up the silver tone in displays throughout the rest of the store.  It may be a bit dark and brooding, but it’s also deeply romantic.

The store is open daily from 10-6 throughout the holiday, and you are always welcome.  4:00pm-6:00pm is the best time for window viewing.

To get a glimpse of how we decorate Beekman Farm, take a look at our Christmas in the Country.  Click here

Celebrate right along with us.  Watch The Fabulous Beekman Boys’s Fabulous Holiday Special.  For more information, click here

by Josh and Brent

Reader Comments

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I’d like to see ore photos of the INTERIOR of you MERCANTILE shop! Your creative marketing techniques inspire me and amuse me… thanks!


My favorite part of the decorations have always been the 3d bows. How stunning your windows are! You made your store very magical! Thanks for sharing! I feel like I was there looking in the windows.

traci sabia

such wonderful decorating ideas. so simple to do. this is why u both r fabulous. looking forward to the new season and will be visiting the store soon

Brad Anderson

I was so hoping to see Josh dressed as Mrs Claus and John,the goat keeper as Santa with Brent dressed as an elf ,Love the show! Its a Hoot!You guys are ok!

Mrs. D.

After seeing the windows in person last weekend, the photos really don't do them justice. In person they have so much depth and are simply gorgeous!

Jon & Pat Ives

You did a beautiful job on your windows! They are so dramatic and imaginative! We love them!

Maybe treat us to more B&W scenes all year through!? So classy!


Absolutely stunning! I have been hoping to see some pictures of the store. Thank you!

Karen Brudenell

I love the black and white…I want to be brave enough one year to change from the traditional to something stunning!


Oh, that was such an imaginative idea, using clip art !! The results are almost as fabulous as you two ! Wish I could travel cross country to see it all in person.

Are you sure those aren't Blaack icicles ??

Kathy Bunting

OMG! You are amazing. I want to be there on that porch peeking in the windows. Thank you for all you do. Can't wait to be there on the 4th and be swept away again to another era (even though it's temporary) Beautiful!


Visited the mercantile today. Admired your decor and bought a few things. I came with my daughter who lives in Wyoming, my niece who lives in Colorado and my nephew's wife from Maryland. We also drove by the Beekman on our way into the village. We are all looking forward to the new season and will share the fact that "we've been there" with everyone who watches with us. Best wishes for continued success.

Patricia Swanson

I swear, you two are brilliant! That decor is so right for your space. I used to work in a "mom and pop" jewelry store in Ames, IA, Gilger Designs, and our windows were the best part of the experience. Way to go!!

Kathy Cassidy

Stunning, and since it's Beekman Boys, of course it would be blaak and white and brilliant! 🙂

The decor is truly elegant in its simplicity and a perfect fit for Sharon Springs and the upcoming Victorian Christmas. And the black ice icicles are fantastic. Your photos perfectly captured the way they gleam in the light.

Thanks for sharing your creativity.


i am speechless. the windows are gorgeous. a time of innocence remembered. i am sure Santa would love some cookies and milk at The Beekman 1802. And there will be no coal left in stockings here. A truly lovely display of holiday joy and traditions. May your Christmas be as splendid and filled with love, as the decorations and windows.

you are both an inspiration. you are loved by many.


Absolutely stunning!!!! You boys never fail to bring out the best in every thing you do. Your fans appreciate it…..such ideas….

Kathy Bliss

Brent & Josh,

You both are truly FABULOUS. Love the window displays, and other decorations. About 60 miles south of where I live in Houston,– Galveston Tx does "Dickens on the Strand" and you would fit in perfectly there with your store and decorations.

Happy Holidays to all. Love from Texas.

Kathy Bliss


Is this Christmas decoration ORIGINAL, or what?!?!?

The Mercantile looks great, guys!

I can't wait to come and see the windows and the Mercantile all dressed up for the Christmas Holidays……

Merry Christmas, Josh and Brent!


Hahaha…Sarah from Syracuse! I had the same laugh! That is straw….not hay!! Our sheep would never eat that, but they'd surely enjoy laying in it!! The Mercantile looks amazing! Brilliant job, as usual!

teri tighe

I absolutely LOVE the decorations, especially the windows. That's one of my favorite things, to see into the lives of others on Christmas, especially during the Victorian era.

Like Kenn, I was expecting lights or something. Either way, I knew it would be beautiful because you guys don't do crappy stuff. I can't wait to see it in person.

paige sprenkel

i so love this type of decorating!!!!!!! wish i were close by so i could peek in those windows. i had to shop the "online store" instead.wishing you both everything wonderful!paige


Wonderful decor.. and not at all what I would have expected! Love the cut outs. Foam board is always a trusted decorating friend!