We all have decorating traditions at Christmastime. Our at-home holiday transition begins with a dangerously tall ladder, garland, floral wire and red ribbon on the front porch. Next, each fireplace is transformed with everything from garland and white roses in silver julep cups to candles surrounding a nativity scene and, of course, the stockings. Several years ago, I broke with our tree routine, however, when we happened upon an irresistible combination of ornaments in Charleston, South Carolina. Once I went down this path, a decision had to be made—use the red and green ornaments mixed with children’s crafts or go with my new monotone approach built around a collection of silver stars and my new grouping from Charleston—so now I do two trees! One is “casual,” and one is “formal.” Problem solved!
Tradition is what Christmas decorating at home is built upon, but a new element or two each year is always refreshing. There are so many amazing ideas generated by decorative artists and floral designers in Memphis. Here are some of the inspiring vignettes and ornaments we have noticed while shopping for the 2013 holiday season.
Red dogwood branches grouped together make a colorful statement that can be casual or formal depending on the container you choose.
An amazing display, centerstage at the Garden District. Tall branches covered in white “snow,” paired with large pinecones.
This oversized hurricane vase filled with red berry branches will add Christmas green to any corner or table. The red dogwood branches shown above would also be perfect for this quick yet grand arrangement.
Add a touch of Southern tradition to your home this season by decorating with garland made from cotton bolls. Perfect on the tree, on the mantel or at the base of an arrangement.
Here’s a clever decorating element at Le Fleur: sticks intertwined to create a canopy hovering above the shop entrance. These white sticks are also used on a Christmas tree, overlaped throughout the tree, adding a modern design element to traditional ornaments.
With the same overlapping pattern approach, Le Fleur uses cylindrical bark on this holiday tree. The white sticks are not for sale (I asked!), but these tubular bark ornaments are … great idea!
Candy canes are a traditional favorite to decorate with, and my red and green “casual” tree is always covered in them. If you like the candy cane approach, think about where a few big couture candy canes might work . Perhaps hanging from the fireplace mantel, or loosely placed on the rim of a large vase or planter.
These colorful glass ornaments displayed on tall silver tree branches at the Garden District have fresh contemporary appeal. A grouping of these would stand out mixed into your Christmas tree or stand alone as part of an independent arrangement.
These jute Christmas balls take your decor in a different direction: the neutral, natural look. Combine some with pinecones in a bowl for a whimsical tabletop arrangement. Warning: Don’t let the cat find these or he will swipe one.
Huge gingerbread men … add a few of these smiles to your traditional tree.
Again, a neutral and natural yet dramatic approach. We found this combination on one of the trees at Le Fleur.
This absolutely clever Christmas mannequin, designed by Carol Furr and made with burlap and pine branches, welcomes customers to Kittie Kyle in Chickasaw Oaks Village. Do you have a little girl who might enjoy a similar craft?
These sophisticated Santas in velvety brown will be an instant holiday lift for any mantel or side table.
This wooden nativity is oversized, neutral and, because of its abstract shapes, modern—a vignette that will make a tasteful, grand statement on a large tabletop, chest or pedestal.
Almost all holiday arrangements call for seasonal ribbon. Adding new ribbon is a great way to freshen up traditional decor that is showing its age. Catch a glimpse of the ribbon assortments we spotted at Social, Garden District and Le Fleur.
Social has a variety of whimsical pottery and serving pieces from France in holiday colors. They also have an inspiring display of formal tableware for your Christmas place setting. Have fun browsing—I did!
Candles in all shapes and sizes that smell and look good for the season. Discovered at Social, Lavish, Garden District and Le Fleur.
Fresh and Simple
Do not underestimate the impact of simple combinations. A collection of ferns or poinsettias in the right container is seasonally decorative, especially with a bit of holiday ribbon added. This is a perfect way to give a quick nod to the holidays in casual areas so you can get back to more elaborate tasks in the main rooms of your home.
No matter how locked into a Christmas decorating routine you are, it is fun to stay alert and creative. Observation is a major step in the creative process. You may be in the market for a big change, as I was at that quaint shop in Charleston, but simply adding just an ornament or two or even an up-to-date simple accessory to your repertoire each year will keep the season fresh and memorable.