This week I share 5 easy steps for decorating your Christmas mantel; if you don’t have a mantel, this approach works well for a coffee or sofa table display, or the top of a hutch or sideboard as well.Read More
At this time of year time seems to shrink as our ‘to do’ lists grow. Completing our Christmas décor can be an overwhelming and daunting task, especially when we see the beautiful rooms displayed across social media, our fav décor websites and the magazines teasing us at every check out. My team of elves have moved out and started their own traditions and while my everlovin’ tells everyone that he is a consultant with Simply Swank Deccor, he isn’t the festive decorating type ;) So ….
...if you are short on time or inspiration, one of the quickest and easiest ways to bring a festive touch to your home is with the use of natural elements. These are plentiful, easily accessible, and a simple but charming way to add festive touches throughout your home. Natural elements do not require a lot of time and creativity to make a delightful display for those of us not inclined to compete with the Griswold’s and are not expensive, in fact most of them are free. Read on for some of my fav ways to decorate for Christmas using nature’s gifts!
Pinecones are plentiful in the fall, are readily available and perfect for Christmas decorating. I love a bowl or small wooden tray of pinecones mixed with some small grapevine stars, cinnamon sticks and even a few stones. Hurricane vases of varying sizes filled with pinecones, nuts and cinnamon sticks also make a beautiful display and can be used as a centerpiece, mantel display or on a coffee or side table. A small bowl of mini pinecones combined with nuts and a few cinnamon sticks also makes a lovely addition in your bathroom or guest room. Nestling a jar candle or glass votive among the pinecones adds additional light, depth and texture and the candlelight provides a warm, soft glow.
Stones work any time and in any décor – no vacation is complete without me finding some interesting stones or rocks that just have to come home! Stones bring an earthy, informal vibe to our rooms and I love displaying them in a dish, shallow wooden bowl or tray or a hurricane vase surrounding a candle and mixed with pinecones, nuts dried cranberries and cinnamon sticks. A few coloured glass pebbles adds sparkle among the stones and brings beautiful texture to the mix. A small wooden tray or shallow wooden bowl also makes an interesting and simple container for displaying these items and is suitable as a centerpiece on the dining table or coffee table.
Today grapevine is available in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Not only does it come in the form of wreaths of all sizes but also in the shape of deer, stars, etc. Grapevine stars look festive hung from the light over a dining table or from cabinet and drawer knobs. They also add a cheery note when set on the top of a basket of napkins or simply set along a window ledge.
In our home, one of the first signs of Christmas is a beautiful yet simple red glass bowl with gold leaf embellishments that I fill with clementines - it provides an eye-catching splash of colour. When our girls were growing up, the appearance of this bowl with the clementines signaled the start of the Christmas season and a time of excitement! Pottery bowls or wooden trays are equally striking when filled with clementines, oranges, apples and/or nuts and can be placed on a dining table, kitchen counter or coffee or side table.
Fresh greenery, in particular pine boughs and dried dogwood branches, are very popular at Christmas and can be used both indoors and out. Fresh boughs are readily available at any Christmas tree lot and there are some excellent imitation pine boughs available today that are less messy and do not require care to make them last through the holidays. Dried dogwood branches can be found at farmers markets, craft stores and even some of the larger grocery stores.
The greenery and dogwood can be equally elegant in a tall glass vase with some sprigs of red berries with mini pinecones or stones in the bottom to anchor them. Also consider laying the greenery on a dining, side or coffee table interspersed with sprigs of red berries and/or the dried dogwood and pinecones and nuts or fruits tucked among the boughs. Ribbon wound through the branches adds depth and colour and adds an element of softness to the look.
As you start to decorate for Christmas I hope these ideas prove helpful and provide the inspiration to make some beautiful but simple and easy additions to your home for the holidays. Share your pics – I love to see how you’ve decorated. Cheers!
For additional ideas and inspiration, connect with Simply Swank Decor at :
Like many aspects of design and decor, there are lighting “rules of thumb” to ensure rooms are comfortable and functional. These 3 tips will help you ensure the correct type and level of lighting in every room.Read More
You will no doubt have noticed the trend in metallic finishes with gold, silver, bronze and platinum leading the pack. But metallic finishes are now available in a whole range of other colours! Think metallic and pearlescent finishes in various shades of blue, yellow, red and green.Read More
I love this time of year and wait eagerly for the announcements to see what colours are going to inform paint, furnishings and decor accessories.Read More
I have finished adding a few touches and displays to my own home and these fall styled vignettes will work well until it’s time to decorate for the holidays – my fav decorating time of the year!Read More
What I love about this centrepiece is that it’s small enough that it does not need to be removed when the table is being set for dinner and the colours work beautifully with my dishes and linens so I have a coordinated look with little time and effort.Read More
I have been very fortunate this summer to have escaped not once but twice to cottages. Nothing like a change of scenery and pace to make you truly appreciate down time and summer!
The cottages we rented were beautiful and well equipped which made our stays comfortable, with lots of seating areas perfect for a calm cuppa in the a.m. or a peaceful sip of something delish late in the afternoon. The serenity is addictive and it’s always so hard to leave these places!Read More
If you’re like me, at this point in the season (any season) you get restless and tired of your decor and want to hit reset. This week I did just that!Read More
I am so excited to share my July Guest Blogger post with you. As with so many of us, Kim Converse is a creative who has always pursued her artistic side but as a hobby. She is now able to do what she loves full time but her current creations are quite diverse from her original textile artistic productions.Read More
The weather is perfect and the salt air is rejuvenating and crisp. The location is a perfect backdrop for this month’s guest blogger, an artist from Cape Cod who came to carving from a very different first career.Read More
The talent and creativity of people never ceases to amaze and impress me and stay tuned for June’s guest blog post that will be out next Wednesday – I am totally IN LOVE with my guest’s creations!!!Read More
While we are anxious to spend as much time as possible outdoors we still want the inside of our homes to look stylish but desire decor that is simple and easy to maintain.Read More
As with so many of us, pursuing her creative passion is an encore career for Mary. Read on to learn more and be sure to check out her website.Read More
Along with the arrival of spring and a change of season comes the motivation to make updates to our homes. I’m not talking major renos, although I know some of you are doing that, but rather simple, easy updates that will make your home feel lighter and brighter just like the weather outside.Read More
Elizabeth Hesp of Elizabeth Hesp Fine Art, like many of us, is pursuing her passion after working in an unrelated career. And we are glad she is! Enjoy the interview with Elizabeth and I know you are going to be captivated by her work.Read More
I know a number of you plan to paint and it truly is a quick, economical and relatively easy way to update and refresh your homes.
I say relatively easy as a trip to the local home improvement store for paint can mean you are faced with A LOT of questions and decisions. The first involves the type of finish you want: matte, eggshell or semi-gloss? Next is the type of paint: alkyd, latex, oil? Read on for time saving tips.Read More
I love this time of year when we transition to spring decor. With a few simple and easy changes to your rooms, you can have a fresh new look that will take you well into the next season. Read on for some ideas and tips for updating and refreshing your rooms.Read More
This month’s guest blogger is a unique company that not only produces furniture and decor that are works of art but that bring a whole new meaning to ‘upcycle and repurpose’. Mike and Carolynn at Craviations, use repurposed helicopter parts to create designs that “reflect your love of aviation and showcase your sense of adventure.” (www.craviations.ca)Read More
Not sure if it was the weather or the time of year when we’ve been indoors A LOT and look around our homes and think, “Yep! It’s looking tired, time for an update.” Whatever the reason, they got me motivated and energized to make some small updates to my home too.Read More