Styling your home for Christmas using nature as your resource.
Instead of just automatically getting out the same box of decorations every year and putting everything in the same place, mix it up!
Start by going outside
Take a look in your garden: gather greenery – lleylandii, ivy, hydrangeas, anything with berries on it, eucalyptus, bay, – any herbs
Go for a wintery walk in the woods: gather moss, pine cones, deciduous branches, evergreen branches – there are lots on ground now following recent storms.
Perhaps followed by a hot whiskey by the fire in your local pub!
Create an atmosphere in your home….
Cosiness: Warmth from an open turf fire and from candles about the place.
Twinkly lights: tealights & fairy lights everywhere and anywhere
Aromas: Christmas oil – dropped on to pine cones & herbs used as greenery. Mulled wine or cider simmering on the hob. Stick cloves in oranges wrapped in velvet ribbons.
and then a feast for the eyes with these decorative details…..
I found this copper bowl in a charity shop in Brighton for £4, I have filled it with pine cones dabbed with aromatic oil – a kind of modern day pot pourri!
Choose your colours, this year I am focusing on greens, greys and copper, keeping it wonderfully simple
Wreaths are not just for the hall door
they can be hung in front of a mirror
at end of a hallway
or in a window
Play with scale
You can make tiny wreaths – with rosemary or buxus or any other greenery with small leaves – for backs of chairs or again hung around the house – see here how to make this one above.
I also made this HUGE Lleylandii Wreath – using just greenery – simple simple.
I used a hula hoop bought from my local toyshop for a couple of euro and wrapped it in masking tape and added branches of lleylandii – which is great as it floppy! I love the simplicity of this – but sadly it is too big for my house!!
(all branches were scavenged from recently felled trees that greatly improved the views from upstairs)
Choose your colours, this year I am focusing on greens, greys and copper again keeping it wonderfully simple
Bring in your lanterns from the garden – line with moss – mini cones – grey candles
I gathered some branches with tiny cones and dabbed some gold paint on them
Another idea is to get an antique plate or a tray and line with moss, place one or ideally a number of candles within this and dot a few small baubles and pine cones nestling on the moss. This would make an impressive centrepiece as it will sit low on the table.
I dyed an old cream linen tablecloth to black – the perfect backdrop for all the coppers and moss greens and twinkly lights
tea towels and linens for napkins – folded with string and decorated with a nature detail
all images by Niamh Mac Gowan except the photograph of the marvellous Jerusalem Tavern