When they say deck the halls, they mean it! New photos of Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka’s holiday décor prove the couple is just as serious about end-of-year festivities as they famously are about Halloween. And, amazingly, they pull off much of the magic on their own — during a behind-the-scenes tour of their Harlem brownstone with Architectural Digest, Burkta confirmed they are “very hands-on” when it comes to creating and designing their home’s holiday style.
Harris and Burtka, along with their nine-year-old twins Harper and Gideon, are known for getting into the spirit during, well, every holiday. “On a scale of 1 to 10, we’re an eight-and-a-half to nine with decorating,” Burtka told Architectural Digest, laughing, with Harris chiming in, “We’ve been together for over 15 years, which is a lot of holidays. And every holiday you wind up buying a throw pillow, a new Nutcracker, or something. And we’ve kept it all.”
But the couple admits they really go all-out this time of year — each pulling from their own aesthetics to collaborate. “That’s what I like about Christmas, it is the time spent putting it all together,” said Harris. Burtka concurred, adding, “I’ve learned that I love doing this with you, and I love doing it together.”
In the less formal upstairs living room, an enviable collection of art (Kehinde, Wiley, Banksy) pops nicely next to the family’s stockings, festive garlands and10-foot-tall tree. “We probably spend most of our time there because that’s the central floor of the house,” Harris shared. It’s the space they open presents on Christmas morning.
The high ceilings in Harris and Burkta’s brownstone mean they can accommodate trees of impressive statures, like this 12-foot-tall version from Balsam Hill in the music room. “In Manhattan, it’s trickier to get fresh trees, and to get big, tall ones,” Harris explained of their decision to switch over to artificial.
When it comes to Christmas craftiness, you can’t really beat Harris and Burtka. “We are very hands-on. Neil is an amazing tree builder and light trimmer,” said Burtka. “And I usually do all the garlands, the tablescapes and the flowers.”
When all their holiday entertaining is done — or hey, likely even during — you might just find the couple in their first floor parlor, affectionately known as the Monkey Bar. Mixology is such a passion of Harris’ that his husband gifted him lessons with a master mixologist a few years ago. “It’s sort of like a magic trick to me; I just find it so interesting,” said Harris. “Almost like you’re a wizard.”