At the end of this unusual year, it’s comforting to turn towards the simpler joys of decorating the home with the family. Whether we’re rediscovering old Christmas decor or looking to refresh our style, we can always benefit from a new perspective. Holiday trends often look back as much as they look forward, and this year is no exception. Here are a few new and new-again ways to decorate your house this season!
Vintage decorations have a beautiful mystique; they blend cozy nostalgia and a sense of continuity with the past that many of us long for.
DIY Christmas Decorations
Do-it-yourself decorations often check a lot of the boxes that we care about. They are usually inexpensive and made from natural or recycled materials. Plus, they’re personalized and steeped in memories! If you don’t know where to begin, try starting with some fir, juniper, pine, red huckleberry, oregonia, or cedar clippings. (You can find all of these at our garden centers!) They look beautiful when incorporated into centerpieces, hung from ribbons, adorning your mantle, or wrapped around your family’s gingerbread house. More advanced crafters might make beeswax candles or simple tree decorations. Then, of course, there is the wreath. Besides using evergreen branches for this, try including spruce cones, bundles of cinnamon sticks, berries, or dried late-season flowers. You’ll, quite literally, be bringing the best of your winter garden full-circle!
Vintage Christmas Decor
Vintage decorations have a beautiful mystique; they blend cozy nostalgia and a sense of continuity with the past that many of us long for. Just imagine what Christmas might have looked for the average family one hundred years ago; what do you see? Perhaps some old, exposed wood beams, a wood-burning stove, wool socks over the fire, and perhaps a dusty nutcracker. Maybe there’s an antique snow globe and a music box. Or, imagine yourself discovering your grandparent’s Christmas treasure chest. What do you find? Sometimes, our own box of heirloom decorations already holds that kind of magic. We can easily touch up the ornaments we already have or simply leave them in all of their aged beauty. Often vintage decorations are made from durable materials that age well and are a touchstone to family memories. Vintage decor is always “in” during the holidays, so you can always blend the sentimental decorations you own with new decor pieces that enhance and repeat the antique aesthetic throughout your home.
Celebrate the Sensuous
Minimalism has been a popular trend in home decor for many years. At Christmas, it is often expressed with lots of white alongside trees and ornaments with muted, subdued colors. While there is undeniably something zen about it, this style can become stark and plain, and oddly devoid of life. Today, there is a budding response to regain pleasure in the sensuous aspects of design. That doesn’t mean bringing back the clutter that we stripped away, but rather, beginning to enjoy pleasing scents and colors again. As a gardener, this may sound easy to get on board with. But how do these trends translate into the holidays?
Scents and Aromas
Fill your house with the pleasing aromas of cinnamon, orange peel, and cloves. Whether you’re mulling wine, or hot apple cider, or just wish to bathe your rooms in fragrance, indulge yourself with warming spices like cardamon, cloves, star anise, and allspice. Or, place clippings of fresh evergreen wherever you can to surround yourself with their clean and welcoming scent.
While white, red, and green remain the classic colors of winter, try deepening your palette with dark greens and navy blues that evoke a winter forest or cozy wood cabin. Or, on the other hand, you might brighten your rooms using red and green as the base, while adding ribbons of orange, pink or baby blue, like a sunrise breaking through a winter morning or the brightly painted homes of a Scandinavian village.
Soft to the Touch
We’re all in need of a little extra comfort these days, and cozy textiles have a way of putting us at ease just by looking at them. Old-fashioned cable knit throw pillows, plush faux-fur or shearling rugs, and baby-soft fleece blankets radiate warmth and contrast beautifully with the frosty weather outside.
Whether you’re looking to celebrate the holidays with something special, or wish to keep it simple, our local garden centers in Chicagoland are here to help you make the most of your holidays.
Platt Hill Nursery is Chicago’s premier garden center and nursery.