Sunday, November 13, 2011

Create a Winter Wonderland in Your Home This Holiday Season


Create a Winter Wonderland in Your Home This Holiday Season
By Lauren Flanagan, About.com Guide



Wintery Bird Ornaments
Lauren Flanagan
Those of us who live in colder climates are really lucky – we get to experience the beauty of winter. Sure it's cold and we have to bundle up when we go outside, but in exchange we get pure, white snow; glistening icicles; crisp, cold air and all the other joys that come with winter.

Even if you don't live in this kind of climate you can create the illusion with your holiday décor. Here are some tips for creating a winter wonderland in your home this holiday season.

The Palette

Let the forest be your guide. To create a rustically winter-themed scene stick with a palette of silver, white, green and natural materials like birch bark or other types of wood. Icy blue can also be a great addition. Avoid any strong colors that you wouldn't find in a forest in the middle of winter. No red, purple, orange or hot pink.

Ornaments and Accessories
  • Small decorative trees are a great addition to holiday displays. They come in tons of colors and materials like wood, birch bark, glitter, and more.
  • Garlands are always great during the holidays. Go with natural greens or other natural materials like bark. To up the winter ante you could try a white garland (opt for one with sparkles if you can).
  • Galvanized metal is inherently rustic. Grab a couple of pails and stick some candles in them. Use them indoors or out on your front steps or porch.
  • Lanterns can also work indoors or out. If you want to use them indoors you can display them on their own or tuck them into a garland. Just remember that if you light a candle inside of a lantern be very cautious and make sure there are no fire hazards.
  • A pinecone wreath is the perfect rustic accessory. It's a natural, rustic material, but also sculpturally beautiful.
  • Wood spheres are great for adding a rustic accessory. They're not festive per se, but when you add them to this type of décor they add depth and shape without adding kitschy clutter.
  • Glass is also a great material as it creates a little sparkle and can be reminiscent of ices. A candle flickering in a glass vase is always a pretty and festive look.
  • Decorate with branches. It's cheap and easy. Simply collect some from outside and display them in a clear glass cylinder vase.

Woodland Creatures

One of the keys to creating this kind of woodsy look is to include some woodland creatures. Sparkly bird ornaments, birch bark reindeer, mercury glass owls and any other little animals can be tucked into garlands, displayed on mantles or hung on trees. The key is to keep it classy and not overdo it. Try too avoid anything too cutesy like little stuffed animals. Keep them within the palette and don't stray too far from the other materials you're using.

Where to Shop

Pottery Barn – Pottery Barn is the go-to store for this type of décor. They have all sorts of mercury glass accessories, little woodland creature ornaments, lanterns and more. It's also worth taking a look at the website just to get some ideas.

West Elm – Even though West Elm tends to be a slightly contemporary store, they have tons of silver mercury glass pieces that can contribute to the winter wonderland theme. Check out their little votive holders and owl figurines.

HomeSense/HomeGoods – These stores are terrific for finding these kinds of holiday decorations. This year look for sparkly birds, birch bark reindeer and other such objets. The inventory is constantly changing so check back often.

These kinds of decorations can be found just about anywhere. If you're looking to create this style on a budget you can find plenty of items in the great outdoors. Pinecones, sticks, branches with some greenery – the list goes on. You can also always use household items like cotton balls to create a snowy effect and head over to the dollar store for some silver glitter to add a little sparkle.

No matter how much you want to spend or how far you want to take the look, a winter wonderland theme is a great way to add some holiday flair to your home.

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