Simple And Natural Holiday Décor

Ever since I can remember the Christmas season was a wonderful time for decorating.  As a child, I can remember watching my mother decorate and then as I got older I enjoyed helping.  Our yard was the source for most of our holiday decorating.  We had a huge Magnolia tree in our backyard that my mother and I used to clip beautiful branches from.  We also had numerous pine trees (we had six planted in the front yard alone – one for each of us siblings) and Holly bushes laden with red berries.  With all of these items collected, we would spend hours decorating the fireplace mantle, the front doors and the dining room table.  I loved all these found things from our yard and I also enjoyed the collecting and decorating we did with them.  But, I viewed this part of  holiday decorating as a quick, simple and inexpensive plan – after all we only needed to step outside to collect natural elements for free!  Once I had my own home I realized that the most beautiful holiday decorating comes from natural and found things.  You sure can’t smell artificial greenery!

Carrying on the tradition

So, throughout the years my home has traditionally been decorated with much of the same things that I grew up with.   Greenery comes either from the yard, leftover trimmings from the tree or from the woods.

When my children were young we used to love to sit in the evenings together watching Christmas specials and movies like “Miracle on 34th Street” while we strung popcorn to use as garland on the tree.  Talk about memory making – a slow, relaxed evening stringing popcorn as a family can’t be beat!  And, who cares how much popcorn you eat along the way!

Year after year my three children traditionally hunted (yes, Sammi did, too) during Turkey and Deer Season.   No holiday season was complete without them returning home with mistletoe they had shot down from the trees for me to hang.  It was a wonderful holiday tradition they enjoyed.  What memories we all have of them bringing the mistletoe home to me and then hanging it in the foyer as a symbol of love in our home.

As you can see, using elements of nature in my holiday décor is important to me.  This makes my home beautiful in a non-commercial way!  And, I love the smells, the freshness and the feelings natural decorating gives to my homespace.  Why not incorporate some natural decorating in your own home this year?

Ways to go natural

Here are some simple suggestions that you can use either decorating alone or making it a family affair for building memories and traditions:

  • Use fresh greenery from outdoors to grace your front door, staircase, mantle, dining table or coffee table.
  • Gather found things in nature like dried pods, dried wildflowers, dried hydrangeas, pinecones and twigs to artfully arrange in baskets or as part of your garlands and centerpieces.
  • String popcorn and cranberries and use as garland to hang on the Christmas tree or as part of your fireplace garland.
  • Decorate lanterns with nuts or cranberries nestled around a large candle.
  • Surround a grouping of candles with fresh greenery with red berries or other found treasures of nature artfully arranged throughout the greenery.  A grouping of candles looks beautiful on a console table, mantle, coffee table or any other space you can safely allow candles to be placed.
  • Make a centerpiece for an occasional table with a small log.  Cut the log in two.  (Plan to use the cut side on the table with the uncut side facing up.) Using a circular saw cut three holes in the uncut side of the log and place small candles or votives in the holes.  Nestle the log on a bed of fresh greenery.
  • Artfully stud oranges with cloves and place in a wooden bowl as a centerpiece for your kitchen table, coffee table or hearth.
  • Hang Mistletoe in doorways or from your foyer chandelier.

Whatever style home you live in, whatever décor you enjoy- you can incorporate nature in your holiday decorating.  Go outside today and pick from nature’s bounty wonderful things to grace your home with.  And while you are there, breathe in the glorious fresh air!

Happy decorating…

Be sure to check out Living in Perfect Harmony’s Facebook Fanpage each day of December from Dec. 1- 24 for daily decorating tips and helpful hints for the holiday.  Enjoy the season!

Bring The Glory Of Autumn Inside

Fallen leaves

Photo credit: Susan Muehl

By now if you have been reading many of my posts on this Blog, you know that I place tremendous emphasis on nature.  Almost without exception, each of my posts speaks to not just the beauty of nature but also, the absolute necessity to connect with it.  Time after time I remind anyone that will listen (or read) that as part of humanity we must both singly and collectively connect with nature.

As an Interior Decorator and a Homespace Coach, my goal is to bring nature inside and bring interior spaces alive with all that it has to offer season after season.  In one of my summer posts, Celebrate Summer And Bring It Inside, I gave my “Helpful Hannah” tips on how to do this.  The season of fall offers just as many wonderful ways to bring nature inside.

Bring elements of nature specific to the season inside

Wonders of fall

Photo credit: Susan Muehl

I love all things found in nature.  I would much rather grace my homespace with “found things” than anything I can purchase in a store.  Just recently I put away my collections of seashells and starfish to make the transition for my fall décor.

What I enjoy so much is not just the fun of decorating but, the fun I get out of immersing myself in nature in order to collect fall’s treasures.  Being outdoors in any capacity feeds my soul and getting to bring into my homespace what I find in nature is what I call more toppings on the ice cream sundae of life!

Here are a few of the “found things” that  I have used to add natural beauty to my home:

Sarah, Ellie and Whitt Shrader

Sarah, Ellie and Whitt Shrader

  • Pinecones (placed in fun baskets)
  • Varying colorful leaves (placed on table tops after being pressed)
  • Dried grasses (used in floral arrangements)
  • Acorns and other nuts (placed in a glass bowl for display)
  • Fallen tree bark (hot glued onto candles)

Of course, the obvious things like pumpkins and gourds are also part of my fall décor.  But, instead of purchasing them from the store I have gone right to the source and enjoyed the fall excursion.  Why not do this for yourself or as a family event?  There is nothing like a trip to the pumpkin patch for memory making.  Year after year I enjoyed this with my children.  Hay rides, apple cider and pumpkins make for a wonderful day!

Make autumn come alive

Exploring autumn

Photo credit: Susan Muehl

As with every one of the seasons, the sky is the limit to how you can bring nature inside.  One of my favorite long lasting ways to do this (that can be enjoyed year after year) is to take an annual photograph of you and your family specific to the season outdoors in nature.  Then, every year you can bring the past season’s photo out to enjoy and thereby create a family tradition called “The seasons of life”.  What fun to watch the yearly changes in these family photographs each changing season.  What better way to make autumn come alive year after year?

Get out there and explore.  Hike, bike or simply stroll through the wondrous beauty our earth has to share with us this fall.  Then bring it inside!

Enjoy the color…