The holiday season is sure to look different in 2020 than in years past, but rather than let that get us down, we are focused on making it a special, memorable time. The opportunity to be safe at home with our immediate family this year, without the stress of travel is the bright side of the holidays amidst a pandemic. As you are preparing and decorating your home, we have curated some inspiration to take a simple, nostalgic approach by focusing on lots of greenery, adding plenty of cozy textures. Use this year in particular to appeal to each of the five senses, crafting a cozy, festive atmosphere at home.
Design by Teressa Johnson
Perhaps most obvious way to indicate the holiday season is by bringing plenty of greenery indoors through garlands, wreaths, and trees. Whether left natural or adorned with lights and baubles, little else signals the season better. We love garland on a stair rail, over a window or doorway, and -- of course -- draped on a mantel. Firs, pines, and cedars are traditional choices but don't overlook Magnolia, which has an elegant sculptural quality, or even eucalyptus or olive branches for a more modern take. Going back to Alessia's Italian roots, we were particularly excited to see garlands of olive branches throughout The Identite Collective's holiday home tour this year.
A wreath is a welcoming sight outdoors, but consider hanging on an indoor mirror, bookcase, or the window over your kitchen sink. A small potted tree (either in addition to or in place of a large decorated tree) that can be planted outdoors and enjoyed for years to come after the holiday season, depending on your climate. It makes the season feel even more natural and cheery as we head into a cold winter.
Photography by Jaytta Elamaa
Photo by NORDIC DESIGN
The design of this tree is so simple, but the effect is anything but. The addition of yards of ribbon tied in long strands is easily executed -- and probably with supplies you already have available. If not, a trip to the craft store (in person or virtually) will yield plenty of options. We have collections of vintage velvet finery that would be put to perfect use this way.
A perfectly matched ornament scheme can be lovely, but we opt for the collected feeling of this tree. A combination of vintage, new, and handmade ornaments feels just right in a year where we have all learned to let go of unrealistic expectations of perfection. But of course, ribbons could also be used to reinforce a color scheme or tie the home's palette into the tree decor.
Photo by Andrea Whalen
It's not too late to build anticipation for the big day through an Advent calendar. The charming one above could be used year after year, but even a simple paper calendar clipped to a length of twine or ribbon will suffice. Fill each day with a small treat, a note of inspiration, or a simple idea or activity to celebrate the season.
It simply won't feel like the holidays if we can't tie on my apron and spend some time in the kitchen. Why not bake something that doubles as decor, such as this lovely gingerbread house? Even the simplest architecture is impressive when rendered in gingerbread and adorned with white royal icing. And as a bonus, your house will smell delightful while it bakes. With the kids eager to help, this is the perfect way to spend a long afternoon mid-snowfall.
Creating a warm, festive environment isn't just about holiday decor. Celebrate the season by offering up plenty of cozy textiles that invite curling up next to a roaring a fire. Velvet, wool, and faux furs bring an indulgent feel to your space, and are practical as well. Our designs always include layers of texture and natural materials, but we hold nothing back as we style for the season.
If you still need a few festive touches, look to the outdoors. An antique bowl full of pinecones, or a single pine branch in a piece of vintage stoneware bring a simple, wintry feel that is appropriate even beyond December 25.
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