But before I get too engrossed in the novel, let’s talk about the Christmas decor. I’m not going away for the holidays this year, so I decided to decorate “for reals.” Only I wasn’t in the mood for a tree. Trees are big, and my living room is small; plus, trees have the unfortunate habit of dropping dried needles everywhere. And I always feel kind of bad chopping down an entire tree just so it can bring me Christmas cheer for a few short weeks. On the other hand, I still wanted lights and greens and that wonderful piney smell.
So I put on my thinking cap and came up with some fun, treeless decorating ideas. Then, between my box of Christmas decor and a few supplemental trips to the store (or, rather, stores plural — I hit up the Merrifield Garden Center, Home Depot, Michael’s, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Crate & Barrel, and the Harris Teeter grocery store), I was able to bring my ideas to life.
I started with the balcony because I knew it would be the least practical and, therefore, the most fun. Except for a few hardy perennials that will withstand with winter chill, my pots are empty and bare — I had a clean slate! I started by running a 25-foot garland of white pine boughs along the balcony railing and filling the pots with pine cones to cover the bare dirt. Then I dressed up the wreath and the spruce with some nature-inspired ornaments — bright butterflies and miniature cardinals — as well as some traditional glass balls and a giant velvet bow. Finally, my favorite: two little lanterns with pillar candles inside to give a warm and homey glow after the sun goes down. A perfect finishing touch!
|Turns out the only pine cones available for sale are
cinnamon-scented. So with five bags of pine cones, my balcony
is more fragrant with cinnamon than ever I’d expected!
Moving into the living room, I focused on decorations that were both minimal and yet high-impact. Over the sliding glass door, an artificial garland with little white lights, red beads, three mercury-glass ornaments, and the stocking that Lady made for me when I was little.
On the couch and chair, I changed out my Turkish pillow covers for more festive red and white covers. The red ones are knit, so they feel like a sweater; and the white ones are a basic off-white linen that matches perfectly the oh-so-soft faux sheepskin throw that Heather sent as a “hug” a few years ago.
Lastly, on the end table, I placed an arrangement of clipped boxwood, a Danish soldier that was a gift from my Granny, and an aromatic oil diffuser (it’s the “snow currant” fragrance from Pottery Barn, and I absolutely love it).
Over the WC, I added a bow to Mr. Rhinoceros and a potted cyclamen. The flowers remind me of visiting the Bellagio in Las Vegas with my parents.
That’s all for now. I’m still waiting for another garland that I’ve ordered for the bedroom, so once that comes I may update with photos of that room, too (assuming I can figure out how to photograph that room in a more or less flattering way — I tell you the lighting and angles in that room give me fits).
I hope you had as much fun decorating your place for the holidays as I’ve had decorating mine!