Holiday decorating for the 2019 Season is upon us. Easy and simple decorating has been appealing to me lately. I have no business blogging about DIY holiday trends today. My family won’t allow any Christmas decorations to be displayed until the day after Thanksgiving. My husband just complained about hearing Christmas carols and it’s mid November. Our tradition is to get the tree the day after Thanksgiving. It used to be cutting it down at a tree farm in the Cascades, but we have simplified that as well. However, I do like to gather inspiration. As I am hauling out less and less of our collected assortment of all kinds of nostalgic decor, I love to be in the know and “on trend” and festive.
This year I am absolutely attracted to simpler ideas. So the emphasis is on simple. I wasn’t trying to find DIY ideas but that is what has been appealing to me. Simple and easy. And I might mention that most are truly budget friendly.
Less is More
Let’s begin by getting rid of all the orange, rusty, fall, Halloween, pumpkin and gourd style decor. Now that the Christmas season is officially here, let’s get a fresh start. It’s time for pine cones, evergreen, holly and red berries. Here are some of my favorite finds and ideas. Popular in the South which I have done for years is a glass vase full of fresh fruit. Layer in-season citrus like tangerines and oranges, lemons, and apples and cranberries and a few sprigs of greenery and voila! And it smells heavenly.
Another absolutely easy centerpiece uses fresh greenery and fruit interspersed with pillar candles. I love to pick up the fallen branches from a windstorm typical this time of year in my nearby Lincoln Park. Think of using fragrant eucalyptus, holly and pine cones. So pretty!
Having picked up those fallen evergreen branches I also look for interesting limbs needing to be trimmed. So many ideas can be crafted from these such as hanging ornaments, ribbon, and positioning where you might desire intrigue. From a window, a ceiling or over a dining table or console tablescape, my friend is invisible fishing line or twine for an organic look. You can use any of your favorite ornaments to develop the theme of your choice. Your all important individual style can so easily be expressed!
2019 is the Year of the Modern Farmhouse Trend. A great segway into this craze is preppy plaids and buffalo check incorporated into the decor. Ribbons, blankets, pillows and even shower curtains for the holiday are all welcome!
Try using pruned tree limbs on the wall and adding ornaments for this organic and simple idea.
Don’t Buy New…Just Yet
Discover a new use for what you already own….imagine the possibilities for that bucket or bowl, or various shaped candles and votives. Consider adding a string of twinkle lights…you know you can never have too many white twinkle lights…to any and all vignettes in your home for the holidays.
Add Natural Greenery!
Some of the simplest, least expensive, but most festive ideas are to just add natural greenery to your place settings, your vignettes, window sills, mantel.
Garlands around doorways and staircases are pretty popular standards because they absolutely make a beautiful seasonal statement of beauty. They do not even need to be elaborate. While I love lighting them up and adding a few adornments, it is not necessary. You can see in this rendition there is little embellishment and the effect is fantastic.
More simple ideas include napkin rings made of natural evergreen ( these are faux from Target but you can make your own easily) or a welcome sprig on the place setting.
The Monochromatic Trend
This trend is not just 2019. Have you noticed that the ideas presented here are not that colorful? One color or a combination of neutrals in different values are fairly predominant. Nostalgic themes will never go out of style and I am guilty of hanging every memorable ornament on my tree no matter what the color. To create a more formal or sophisticated “statement” try using only one hue. Want to express yourself in a dramatic or theatrical sense? A monochromatic theme is individualistic and impressive and can be absolutely stunning. Some of my favorites are shown here.
The Biophilia Design Trend
The idea is to cozy up the winter season, bring the light inside, and embrace hygge (see my former post here ). The Biophilia trend is here to stay and will grow as we have a natural attraction to nature. I plan to write more about my studies in this area soon. The “biophilia effect” describes a number of positive impacts experienced when this affinity is evoked through a sensory experience of nature: sight, sound, smell, or feel. Candlelight, favorite scents, cozy tactile throws and pillows all contribute to a sense of well-being, comfort and joy.
I hope you have enjoyed some of the ideas I’ve shared which tend towards an attraction to simplicity and nature. In closing I share a photo of my own entry to my home from last year. Simple! I can’t wait for next week to start my decorating! Happiest Holidays from our home to yours!
One of my New Year resolutions is to share more of my design work with my readers. This year has been full of refreshments including my bedroom refresh. My husband has had three surgeries to correct his “post-basketball playing days pains”…one ankle fusion and two knee replacements. We’ve had a twin bed in the living room for most of the year so he could avoid the stairs. Consequently our Christmas decorations were simple as carrying up the boxes of decor by myself was not at all appealing. As the holidays are winding down, I will share my retreat upstairs that I’ve had to myself for awhile. I was able to re-carpet, repaint and replace some of the bedding and reorganize. It’s been refreshing!
The carpet was as old as the remodel which was 25 years ago. Replacing it and painting the walls was the biggest improvement. I tinkered with several shades of white and now we have a new Sherwin Williams custom color named “Wright White”!
While looking at the photos, they don’t seem all that different. However, the little details have made such a tremendous distinction in ambience and organization. When we moved my Mother last month, I inherited the marble table and the vintage lamp and it serves as a beautiful vanity. I get to look out to the Puget Sound as I put on my face each morning.
You know when you start redecorating and everything else starts looking awful? As you can see the painted floor I did years ago is chipped. That will probably be “refreshed” someday. We all have favorite items that are irreplaceable. So I firmly embrace the notion Not Shabby but Chic! My collection of Eiffel Towers and hearts were gifted to me and define many moments I choose to cherish with my friends and family. Each has a memory and I am not one to get rid of things too easily. Consequently things tend to look worn before I am ready to replace. Incidentally you probably know that Wabi-Sabi is a hot trend: Philosophy for an Imperfect Life.
C’est La Vie
I succumbed to the animal craze trend. I had to retire my old Zebra print shams so the alternative of a little fur works well!
This little watercolor has a place of importance beside the skirted side table. You can see more of Pat’s art on his webpage.
Finally, I installed the tall sheer draperies to filter the afternoon heat in the summer. (We don’t have air conditioning in our 100 year old house). Consequently, I love the way they flow in the breeze and frame the view.
Belle vue…here is one of the sunset from my little pied-a-terre.. ..once again referencing my affinity for all things French!
As we bid adieu to the holidays, a snapshot of my front door. I actually love the simplicity of our decorations this year and may never again bring all the ornaments upstairs! More »
New Orleans is pure magic in December. Riding the St. Charles Streetcar, I snapped a few photos of the magnificent mansions in the Garden District decorated for the holidays. The route begins at the perimeter of the French Quarter and passes by Tulane University and Loyola to Audubon Park where I run the path around the pond, through the campuses and then to the end of the line where my favorite luncheonette is located: The Camellia Grill. I’ve always met interesting people at the counter and this year was no exception.
I did my best to capture the highlights which is difficult as the streetcar is moving along St Charles Ave!
My favorite restaurant in New Orleans is Commander’s Palace. It is just a block off St. Charles Avenue. Famous for its many chefs who have made names for themselves such as Emeril LaGasse and Paul Prudhomme, my favorite items are the Turtle Soup au Sherry and the outrageous Bread Pudding. Read more about it here Commander’s Palace
On another day a not-to-miss venture is the weekday prix fixe lunch at Antoine’s. Our waiter Eddie allowed us to tour all the rooms of the first French restaurant in New Orleans. It seats 1000 but you wouldn’t know it as the rooms are small and intimate. Service is elegant in every aspect. To top off the extraordinary experience, martinis are only 25 cents! I ordered the Butternut Squash Bisque for my first course. My son exclaimed it as heaven in a bowl!
And a visit wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the influence of New Orleans on the writing of Tennessee Williams. He wrote many plays including “The Glass Menagerie” and “A Streetcar Named Desire”. I leave you with this quote as I return to my rainy city of Seattle for the rest of the year. Happy Holidays!
But wait! There’s more beauty to experience. Later in the Evening a visit to the Roosevelt Hotel is a must see with thousands of lights twinkling on winter branches lining the corridors.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!
It was only two years ago that I wrote about my mission to find the perfect antique chandelier for a client in New Orleans. And I was fortunate to be able to source a few unique items this year again. Reposting today as December Shopping in the French Quarter is just magical. It was a little cloudy, so these photos were as good as any taken this year. December is especially beautiful as the Crescent City is decorated in many unique and whimsical ways. I wanted to share some of my memorable impressions with you. I hope you enjoy!
Shopping in the French Quarter is an amazing experience. Beautiful antique shops are in abundance especially on Royal Street.