In this post: Want a bit of understated elegance in your holiday decorations? Here are ideas for using greenery and organics in your Christmas decor. ⇒
I like an abundance of holiday decor but I like it to be understated.
Sound like a contradiction?
Well, not entirely. If all the components add up to a cohesive whole that says ‘casual elegance’, your home can be both fully decorated and at the same time be understated.
The key is in using elements that feel natural and connected, such as seasonal greenery, neutral tones and organic materials. Let’s look at decorating the family room with Christmas decor that suits these goals.
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Rustic Inspired Christmas Decor
My objective is to ensure the family room feels cozy for the winter temps while maintaining the light bright look I gravitate towards. I also want my holiday decor to work with the organic decorative pieces I just added in recent months.
I used lots of greenery to accent the foundation of winter whites mixed with the natural tones of rattan, burlap and wood. I stayed decidedly away from bling in any large measure, and let my aged gilt pieces recede into the background like a stately matriarch judiciously presiding over a family gathering.
Following are the essentials for putting this look together.
Simple Green Wreath
The most important consideration when using faux greenery is just how lifelike it actually is. If you can find something that not only looks realistic but feels so, as well, you’ve made certain progress.
This particular wreath, above, is one of my faves for its simplicity in design, its perfect mid-range size and its uncanny realism.
And the beauty of faux is that you can toss it among the pillows without creating a mess. In this case I used a pile of nubby sweater knit pillows for a textural punch that invites you to nestle in.
After last year’s lush draped garland, I wanted to continue the uncluttered greenery look on the mantel, but with longer tendrils dangling down the sides.
This time I worked with two different pairs of true-to-life garlands, layered on the mantel top and tucked under a vintage garden planter at the center. They drape beautifully over the mantel sides.
Tucked in between the branches are my favorite chippy candlesticks, featuring a mix of antique with reproduction pieces.
Ornaments in a Wood Bowl
This is the closest I came to holiday bling in the room, with a huge wooden bowl full of Christmas ornaments, but I took care to choose the most vintage looking ones I could find, so they didn’t fight with the pared back look of the raw wood.
The green ornaments mirror the greenery in the room. The result is just festive enough without being over-the-top.
Paper Whites in a Vintage Planter
I love to collect vintage French garden pieces and this planter is one of my favorites. It’s well-proportioned to make a statement without being uncomfortably large and I was able to tuck in two little pots of faux paper whites for a pretty winter display.
The ornate detailing is lovely set against the painted white backdrop, creating the perfect homage to quiet elegance.
A Sumptuous Faux Fur Throw
Could anything be more toasty than a fluffy faux fur throw? Especially this long haired one? How utterly cushy and cuddly!
This wrap will be on the sofa well past the holidays and throughout the winter, inviting all who pass by to sit down and snuggle.
Mini Tree in a Zinc Bucket
I find the base of a Christmas tree the trickiest to decorate, with tree skirts looking barren and collars looking uptight. Yet I just love the look of a small tree in a planter.
A vintage zinc bucket is reminiscent of an outdoor garden, or a rattan pot works equally as well. Whether real or faux, a diminutive tree served up in a planter is a wonderful holiday accent for any corner of the room.
White Floral in a Rustic Planter
In tune with the outdoorsy theme, I included a second cast iron planter, this one curved like a shapely urn. The simple floral arrangement blends crisp white hydrangeas with seeded eucalyptus and is punctuated with white berry branches.
I like the inclusion of fresh flowers with the other organic elements, and the clean white palette fits ideally in the mix.
Naif Village Houses
These charming white houses create a sweet little village on the tiny side table. I kept the corner neutral using pieces from my ironstone collection on the lower shelves. The tole and crystal candelabra is shaped like a tabletop tree, but it actually sits here all year round.
Greens in a Floor Vase
I enjoy softening hard furniture edges with pretty floor vases overflowing with blooms. For this room, the obvious choice was a bit more greenery, once again a plush mix of two very realistic faux styles, drooping and draping over the bulbous urn.
That’s a good bit of decor when you list it all out, but a step back reveals a pretty understated room. It’s festive and cozy, as the season requires, but not all that different than its usual look.
It remains light and bright, yet rustic at the same time, with elegant pieces that peacefully coexist.
And at heart, it’s a place you can curl up in to while away the winter.
To get the look, click on the items below for direct links to the products. Where actual items were no longer available, I’ve provided similar options. If an item is out of stock but may be restocked, I left it on the list.
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