From crowded malls to traffic-laden streets, the bustle of people with places to go and family to visit is enough to make anyone long for a tranquil place at home. For many households, the focus for the holidays is on creating that serene space by focusing on simplicity and natural beauty over opulent excess. In this week’s blog round-up, you’ll find simple holiday decorations that make visitors feel at home, easy staging ideas with personality and practical suggestions for staying organized no matter how busy you are this Christmas.
Red and green may be traditional for Christmas, but softer colors can feel just as warm and welcoming. Shaunna with Perfectly Imperfect makes the most of natural textures and soft, cool hues accented with metallics to create a stunning yet simple Christmas look for her home. The spruce greens, fresh winter whites and antique gold tones blend well with the decor she already has and give each room a serene ambiance. If you’re staging a home during the holidays, her sophisticated yet simple palette is a delightfully different choice that will stand out in a sea of poinsettias and evergreens.
Holiday decorations don’t need to be overloaded with glitter and fancy trim to look beautiful. The simple charm of designs that evoke holidays in bygone eras can be just as memorable. These lovely old-fashioned do-it-yourself stockings from Courtney at French Country Cottage are the perfect complement to rustic decor and an unusual counterpoint to sleek contemporary style. Even if you have little time during a busy holiday season, Courtney’s post illustrates how she chose the perfect pastel floral to coordinate with her snowy tree and warm white walls, but when you make your own stockings, you can choose your palette to match your color scheme. Handmade decorations can also hold more meaning than ones bought in the local mall; a stocking made from a toddler’s outgrown blanket or from a favorite flannel shirt is an instant family heirloom to be treasured year after year.
Whether you hang stockings by the fireplace or adorn your entryway with lush garland, you need a way to hold decorations in place without damaging trim or marring painted surfaces. At The Inspired Room, Melissa has tips for how to hang all your Christmas decorations without nails. She uses a mix of modern technology, found objects and string to add holiday cheer to window sills, mantels and more. Her pretty illustrations are an excellent source of inspiration if you’re stuck for ideas on how to add the finishing touches to your holiday decor. Because her decorating solutions are designed to disappear without a trace after the holiday season is over, you can fill every corner of a room with something beautiful.
Simplicity doesn’t have to mean doing away with everything that glitters. Thrifty Decor Chick Sarah has assembled a metallic mantel design that shimmers with holiday cheer yet retains its simple beauty. After finding her usual mantel decorations too much for her streamlined sense of style this year, she chose to make her own from glasses and gilded paper. Her stately assortment of columns, candles and pinecones graced with a few fresh boughs of greenery make an elegant statement that doesn’t take up too much visual space in a clean-lined room. After Christmas is over, her glasses go back in the cupboard or into storage instead of taking up room in the holiday boxes.
Holiday dinner parties also benefit from a simple touch. Sharon at Lilikoi Joy has an excellent post about setting the holiday table. Her dining room dazzles guests with a green, gold and white color scheme that offers a fresh take on traditional Christmas colors. Polka dots and paillettes lend a whimsical air to a sophisticated table. Home staging experts recommend showing a home as it might look at its best, and setting a holiday dining room table with Sharon’s elegant arrangement will make it memorable to buyers. If you’ve already found your dream home and are looking for suggestions for your next dinner party, her table runner and candles will look luminous without getting in the way of conversation across the table.
When aiming for simplicity, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. Blogger and home staging pro Shar Sitter at Rooms with Style has a picture-heavy post detailing a before and after look at a bungalow with good bones yet very little else. She transforms these empty spaces into inviting, exciting rooms with accessories and lighting. You don’t have to be a home stager to learn from her techniques. If you’ve moved into a larger home and have bare spaces to fill, follow her suggestions to inject personality into every room.
Holiday stress can affect anyone, especially when there’s such pressure to put on a grand display. For design bloggers, it’s a particularly busy season, but Shelley and Cason Smith at House of Smiths take readers back to basics. With a simple but elegant tabletop tree decked in silver, gold and white, they illustrate why size doesn’t matter when it comes to holiday cheer. With a pair of old curtain panels, a bucket and some help from her daughter, Shelley came up with a beautifully decorated tree that would fit in even the most compact studio apartment. By going with a smaller tree and using ingenuity to stage her holiday display, she gave herself extra time during the holidays to relax and enjoy.
Myquillyn at the Nesting Place believes that a home doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. Her lavishly illustrated Christmas post is filled with vignettes that bring together charming but imperfect elements that combine to create a perfectly lovely space. She shows how a Christmas decorating theme that looks perfect for the home it’s in can often be preferable to one that takes too much fussing and finesse. From the handmade paper snowflakes on the tree to the whimsical one-of-a-kind art on the walls, her decorations look lovely. She also includes pictures of the things that aren’t perfect, giving her readers a glimpse beyond the blog and into the reality of a busy holiday season.
When holiday stress feels overwhelming, stepping back and paring down can help. Keeping your Christmas organized is a good way to manage clutter and stay serene no matter how hectic the household becomes. Becky at Organizing Made Fun has a comprehensive guide on how to stay organized during and after the holidays.
When you simplify your holiday celebrations, you have more time to appreciate the things that truly matter. After you’ve wrapped the gifts, trimmed the tree and decked the halls, you’ll have time to admire your handiwork and make memories with friends and family. Lavish holiday decorations have their own beauty, but elegant simplicity never goes out of style.
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