Forget the winter blues and go for winter whites
How to decorate post Christmas
I love to decorate for every season. It started off when my children were young as they got so much enjoyment from it. But now I do it for myself with the sophistication level stepping up more than a notch. When the Christmas decorations come down on January 2nd and the house feels so empty, up go the winter whites.
With a subtle wintery feel to them, this decor is a hint of winter rather than so in your face like Christmas decor can be. It’s a simple process which involves not just the colour white but also texture. Out come the faux fur throws, the fuzzy pillow and natural elements such as branches and pinecones.
An off white vessel, real pinecones interspersed with some mercury glass ones set the tone on the kitchen counter. The pinecones add the natural element while the mercury glass ones add a bit of sparkle and reflected light for these dark days.
Next come some white oyster shells from my beach, some birch logs and a fluffy white owl. I usually keep playing with the decor, moving things around during the season. Perhaps adding string lights to brighten up a darker corner. The little owl just makes me smile. While we don’t have Snowy Owls in my neck of the woods, we do often hear the Barred Owl at night with its distinctive call, “Who cooks for you, who cooks for you?”
On the mantel, I’ve laid out some branches with lichen and some birch bark with string lights on a timer. I found these branches on the beach and dried them out. I love the gray-green tone of the lichen. The string lights really set it off.
A white deer is added to the mantel as well, over seeing the entire scene. The white of the birch bark, again foraged from the beach and dried adds a texture to what could otherwise be a bit barren mantel. Walking the beach after a winter storm reveals all sorts of new finds, including beach glass.
This poor guy was found in the ditch. Some bleaching cleaned him up nicely. That’s the one thing about living on the edge of the wilderness. We’re constantly finding bones washed up on the beach and sometimes even entire seals or sea lions. The eagles make short work of the carcasses showing the cycle of nature and how each living thing is dependant on another. We can tell when a dead seal has washed up just by the number of eagles in the area.
One of my favourite harbingers of an early spring are pussy willows. Just a simple grouping of them in a white vase is sometimes all that’s needed to lift my spirits. Or I may add them in with some bought tulips (in white of course). I was lucky to find these growing naturally on a recent beach walk. Keeping my eyes on more than just the view always reveals new finds, whether birch bark washed up, pussy willows or beach glass. And of course I always pick up any plastic that I find. Luckily it’s not that much.
Scent is a critical component to relaxing at home. I love the scent of Thyme’s Frasier Fir candles. While not cheap, they do seem to burn forever. The holder that it comes in is so pretty, reminiscent of a birch tree. It makes you feel like you’re deep in the forest. I even like to have these candles out when unlit as the scent will still waft through the room. It’s another way to bring the outdoors in.
I put up wreaths every season. This one made from branches cut on the diagonal adds the natural feel that picks up on some of the other natural elements in the space. Repetition is the key to interior decor, with an item or colour appearing a minimum of three times. The birch bark and branches, and the pussy willow branches all create this repetition. Not to mention the log walls of the house.
A wreath made from shells is an easy way to keep the beach chalet looking beachy yet works equally well with the winter white theme. This wreath stays up year round. It was easily made from a bought straw wreath on which I used a glue gun to affix shells that I had found. What could be simpler?
And yes, sometimes I do resort to buying a wreath from Homesense rather than making my own. Can’t be handy all the time.
It might not look like a lot, but it’s more than enough to chase the winter blahs away as I patiently wait for spring to arrive. But winter storm watching is FUN! And discovering what’s been deposited on the beach is always interesting.