Winter White Decor
Decorating away the post-Christmas blues
The house feels so empty once all the Christmas decorations come down. To combat those post-Christmas blues, I decorate with winter white decor. As with New Year’s resolutions, white feels like a fresh new start to the year in anticipation of the rebirth of spring. The days are getting longer and the rainy, grey skies of November and December are a thing of the past. On the coast, we sometimes even get a January snow shower which lasts a day or two.
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 pillows 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?” A shell garland is another way to bring winter white decor into your home.
While the mantel takes centre stage during Christmas, it can be decorated more subtly with winter white decor.
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. If you’re not lucky enough to have pussy willows growing close by, these faux ones are lovely too.
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 my winter white decor is more than enough to chase the winter blahs away as I patiently wait for spring to arrive.
There are lots of great white decor items to choose from at retailers now and best of all, most of it’s on sale! Have fun chasing away the winter blues for yourself.