Courtesy of Susan Montagna

InStyle partnered with the State Department to decorate its Diplomatic Reception Rooms for the holiday season and the results are stunning. “[The rooms] are one of the hidden gems of Washington, playing host to Presidents and Prime Ministers from around the world and showcasing the best of our nation’s heritage,” said Ambassador Capricia Penavic Marshall, Chief of Protocol of the United States. InStyle brought in famed event planner David Stark to come up with elegant holiday decorations. “The rooms have historical significance and are highly utilized so it was important for us to enhance the beauty already there,” InStyle editor Ariel Foxman said. “David created a gorgeous, modern winter wonderland that is both stylish and functional. It’s a living, breathing project and so much more fulfilling to know it will be enjoyed by others.” Stark used everyday materials like ribbon and wrapping paper to design extraordinary decorations like the wreath and archway (right). The rooms are open for public tours, but in case you don’t have a chance to get to Washington D.C., click on the gallery for an exclusive sneak peek. Plus, get tips from Stark for ways to incorporate these décor ideas into your own home this season!

—Cheryl Brody Franklin