Decorating with natural elements is my favorite trend for 2015 – and always!
You can’t go wrong with organic design and nature inspired holiday decor. It marries seamlessly into any interior style, it has tactile and aromatic appeal, it is really hard to overdo, and in New Hampshire or Maine – much of your props can be gathered in your own back yard!
This year, keep your holiday decor closer to nature for an elegantly simple and wildly organic atmosphere.
Start by collecting lots of plant material and the like. Take a walk in the woods, and for what you don’t find there, pay a visit to your local garden center. Look for anything that could serve your decorating needs: abandoned birds’ nests, acorns, balsam wreaths, berries, birch bark, boxwood, cinnamon sticks, dried fruit, holly, mistletoe pine cones pine or evergreen garland, poinsettia, or twigs. Consider poinsettia or fresh flowers like amaryllis, carnations, paperwhites and roses in crisp reds and whites as complementary accents
Around the house or at your local florist, gather the tools you’ll need to tie it all together: burlap, fabric ribbon, jute, natural fiber cloth, paper, raffia, wire, and wood. As you prepare your designs, remember mixed media adds interest -don’t be afraid to cleverly combine things in unexpected pairings, such as distressed wood, rusty metal and blown glass.
And for goodness sake, light it up! I’m serious. If you can illuminate it – do so, with LED string lights and candles, lanterns and lamps.
Enchanting Entries – Nothing is more welcoming than a lush and fresh balsam wreath on your door. Keep wreath decoration simple with natural elements such as pine cones, feathers, dried fruit or berries. Cinnamon sticks not only look seasonal, but their pungent fragrance is a nice complement to balsam. Consider adding small twigs and sprigs of variegated holly or boxwood for more contrast. For an authentic organic look, add a burlap bow or intertwine the boughs with loosely draped burlap ribbon throughout.
No matter how you choose to embellish your wreath, it is sure to be received as a friendly symbol of good holiday cheer. But why stop there? Add wreaths or swags to your windows or fencing, fill your porch with decorated potted trees and wrap columns and railings with evergreen roping. For containers, we like Dwarf Alberta Spruce.
The Mantel – The hearth is the heart of the home and this is never more true than during the holidays. As the focal point in the room, it is tempting to drape the mantel in greenery. With safety in mind, never place combustible materials near a working fireplace. Instead, opt to fill your mantel with the glittery things that will catch the light from the fire, but won’t ignite.
Try filling multiple glass containers of different sizes with fresh flowers in water, shiny or colorful ornaments, pine cones, cranberries, seashells or whatever fits your theme, and then place led candles in the center. Accent with fun and unexpected metal items like holiday baubles, woodland animal statuary, lanterns, orbs, signs or rusty vintage toys.
Trim The Tree – The tree is the center of your festivities, its place emphasizes generosity, giving, and the gathering of your loved ones. I am an advocate of decorating a living tree for the holidays. For budding families, using a live tree and planting it afterward is a great way to teach children about sustainability and retain the memories of Christmas past right in your own backyard.
If a live tree is not practical, choosing a cut tree that is locally grown will ensure the freshest selection. Balsam fir is native to the Northeast and is a popular choice. Visit us to explore your live tree options and for more suggestions on how to choose a great cut tree, check out the National Christmas Tree Association’s selection tips.
Add natural embellishment to your fresh tree with berries, birds’ nests, dried fruit, fresh flower blossoms, sprigs/twigs, pine cones, seedpods or hips. Add small stacks of white birch logs tied with burlap or ribbon and potted poinsettia at the base of the tree and around the room to add to the outdoor atmosphere.
Grace Your Table – The holiday dinner table is where old memories are recalled and new ones are made. Invite your guests to linger at the table with an unforgettably festive table setting. A table cloth always makes dinner feel extra special, but don’t be afraid to show off the beauty of natural wood. Begin with a fabric runner down the center of the table to protect the finish from scratching or water rings. In the middle of the table, showcase a long and low seasonal fresh flower centerpiece. Flank either side of the centerpiece with fresh greenery down the length of the runner. Place multiple candles and randomly place small natural adornments throughout the greens. The idea here is a “freshly fallen” look, so don’t be too concerned with placement.
Tie linen napkins at each place setting with raffia or jute and embellish with a small sprig of holly or berries. Vintage or antique items and all shades of white will go well with natural elements to achieve a classic and understated look.
Most importantly, take pleasure in your holiday decorating and your guests’ enjoyment in your cheery organic environment.
Want To Learn More About Holiday Decorating & Design?
Learn how to create your own custom floral design for your holiday gatherings with instruction and guidance from our pro staff. Plus, learn tips for decorating and setting your most gorgeous and festive table from Amy Parker of Parker House Designs! Amy is a Certified Redesign & Home Staging Professional.