With the uncertainty and instability brought on by this year, this holiday season has taken a more important role in bringing a sense of peace, hope and well-being into our lives. I love that this year we'll be able to focus on slowing down, celebrating the small things, and enjoying a more intimate holiday than ever before. Here are three holiday decor ideas I am considering while making my own home extra cozy and welcoming this year.
English Country Christmas
Christmas in an English country house is decidedly cozy, and if this is your style inspiration, it’s not the time to practice restraint. The look is marked by tradition — think strings of popcorn and cranberry and loads of classic holiday colors like red and green. Bring the outdoors in with plenty of greenery and use fruits of the season like citrus and pomegranate to add color. English country interiors are known for cozy layers, and the style is a great candidate for a charming, colorful scatter rug such as the Madison.
Design and photo by Ben Pentreath
English holidays are centered around a cozy fire, so concentrate your decorating efforts on the mantle and Christmas tree, but add cheer to every space -- even the kitchen -- with small wreaths, garlands, and ribbons. I love how The Identite Collective used one of our vintage rugs in her kitchen to add that warm, layered vibe of a true English Country Christmas. Simple details like tiny wreaths tucked in the shelves added so much
Go all out when setting your table and don’t be afraid to load on the patterns. Block prints, florals, stripes, and gingham are all invited. There’s no better time to bring out your grandmother’s formal china, and mixing patterns of flatware and dishware just adds to the emphasis on tradition and history.
Try this: A bowl of clove-studded oranges or pots of forced bulbs such as amaryllis or paper white (plant now to ensure a holiday bloom!) is a simple way to bring English style across the pond.
Scandinavian design is characterized by simplicity and minimalism, and the holidays are no exception. It often involves the use of light and pale colors, plenty of natural materials, and an emphasis on clean lines and functionality. Bring the look to your home by concentrating on a palette of white and silver with plenty of greenery. The subtle color of our tabriz rug, Tannis, would work especially well in a restrained, Scandinavian-inspired interior.
Photo by Francois et Moi
If you are decorating a real or faux tree, look for a shapely variety like a Silver Tip or Noble fir. The region is noted for its handicraft, so consider incorporating handmade elements crafted of paper, clay, or wood. Simple, graphic shapes such as the pine tree, star, and house silhouette can be used to reinforce the theme.
A main tenet of the Danish tradition of hygge — which roughly translates to coziness or comfortable conviviality — is candlelight, which brings brightness into the dark winter. Use plenty of candles indoors, but share that light with your neighbors by illuminating the exterior or adding lights to your windows.
Try this: Extend the feeling of hygge to your neighbors by hanging a paper star in your window.
Modern Parisian Holiday
Inspired by the City of Light, this scheme brings the glamour. Like the others, it relies heavily on fresh greenery and plenty of lights to set the mood. Add fresh flowers to your greenery — especially roses or peonies, if available. The palette is festive but decidedly feminine, so don’t be afraid to use less-traditional colors such as pale pink or icy blue.
Design by Gabby Deeming and Ruth Sleightholme | Photo courtesy of House & Garden
Metallic colors will hit all the right notes, so bring them in with silver, mercury glass, and mirrored surfaces. The French are renowned for their affection for finery, so use the best of what you own on the table. Silver, crystal, china, and fine linens can turn even the most simple menu into a memorable meal.
Photo by Sharon Santoni
Modern Parisian design is about making a bold, structural statement, so consider repeating one design element, such as the lit cedar garland shown here. I'm imagining an all-white space, a sophisticated rug like the Bradford, and miles of white twinkling lights for a perfectly Parisian holiday.
Try this: Make a buche de noel, the classic French dessert.