Thanksgiving is behind us, which means the holiday season is now upon us. While the stresses of complicated family visits and long shopping lists aren’t always the most enjoyable thing there’s always something about this time of year to appreciate. From the first snowfall of the season to ice skating on a lake, from the holiday music filling the air with memories to the wonder on the faces of children that brings you back to your own childhood, the holidays have a little something for everyone. And the best way to get in the spirit is to decorate your home. You’re probably still a few weeks away from putting up the Christmas tree, but until then you can certainly have fun decorating the rest of the living room for the holidays. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started.
Part of the appeal of the holiday season is the variety of smells it brings to mind. Cinnamon, vanilla, and potpourri are all fantastic scents to introduce to your home, but the piney smell of a proper wreath is probably every family’s favorite. You can start with a fresh wreath on the front door, but consider placing additional wreaths on living room shelves, in the windows or above the fireplace. If you find some truly beautiful options, a larger wreath within a wooden frame (with the glass removed, of course) makes a great centerpiece to focus the room around.
Pine-cone garlands are another beautiful decorative detail for the living room. This is a great way to get the kids involved as well. You can always buy pine-cones at design shops, but if you live in a part of the country where they occur naturally send the kids out to forage for supplies. The child that comes in with the most pine-cones can win some kind of award. Then all you have to do is drill a small hole through the top and string them together to create a garland of any size you need. They’re beautiful on the fireplace, as long as they are pinned high enough to not be in any danger of lighting up. They’re beautiful when hung on windows or in doorways or simply placed in candle holders on the table.
Natural lighting is beautiful all year round, but especially so during the holidays when there are fewer hours of sunlight. Brighten up the darker evenings with tons of candles. Place small groups of pillar candles at the edges of mantles or on end tables. White candles are classic and beautiful but consider long green or red taper candles to create the proper holiday mood. Silver and blue work as well if Christmas isn’t your holiday. Just make sure that you place all candles out of reach of any small children.
Instead of purchasing decorations for the holidays, consider making your own out of natural materials. Pine boughs can be laid out on the coffee table, and their scent will fill the air. Red berries on stems placed in glass vases will fill the room with the holiday spirit, as will clippings from juniper trees. Just make sure you clip smaller branches so you don’t damage the tree.
If fireplaces are the focal point of your living room, it all comes down to the stockings and garlands. You’ll have no shortage of options, so choose either the classic, red and green stockings for a traditional look or any color combination that matches the rest of the room. And remember the grownups this holiday season as well. Place a beautiful, silver server of mulled wine on top of the mantle with small holiday cups. It’ll warm you up after a day of decorating and make for a perfect nightcap at any holiday gathering.