I just returned from the Christmas Tour Of Homes In Madison, Georgia, and my head is spinning from a whirlwind tour of Victorian cottages and Greek revival antebellum mansions! This is one of my favorite things to do…peek into other people’s homes…with their permission, of course! I will show you more of the homes themselves later. I have learned to take at least one good decorating idea away with me each year. And this year I found several! These are not necessarily new ideas, but I did find a little different twist or a reminder of something I had forgotten! I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did!
The first is using fresh greenery in your Christmas decorations. One of the homes we toured had only fresh greenery in the house and what a difference it made! Now this may not be news to you, but in my home with my staff who will eat anything, it was so pleasant to see and smell the real thing! I especially loved this gorgeous centerpiece that also used artichokes, key limes and cranberries threaded on a wire as picks! Isn’t the cranberry idea ingenious? I will definitely try this!
Along the same line, they used paperwhites or narcissus as a part of their decorations. The smell brought back memories of my grandmother’s home in South Georgia…coming through the door for a Christmas visit and being greeted by the their fragrance from her hall table. I found an article on how to force them to bloom (click here) and discovered that it’s not too late to have blooms for Christmas since it only takes about three weeks! And yes, that’s their fabulous pool you’re seeing through the window!
Another of the homes used dried flowers, fruit and nuts in many of their decorations…beautiful! The garland made of pecans strung together in an interesting pattern was fascinating! And I loved the idea of the dried hydrangeas in the Christmas tree! I don’t believe that the little apples are real in the bottom photo, but those are real chestnuts…so Christmasy! However, we tried to figure out how to string nuts together and decided that you might have to drill holes in them. What do you think? Has anybody ever attempted this one?
I was also excited to see several dough bowls decorated for Christmas, since I have been planning to use the one that was my grandmother’s as a part of my decorations. Pinecones, nuts and berries along with a few wooden stars seem to be key ingredients.
Of course, candy and cookies fit right in to Christmas decor…especially in the kitchen! The little gum drop tree would be fun to make with children. I may have to try that one with my grandson! But my favorite is the gingerbread family going for a sleigh ride! Hmmm…I wonder if that sleigh I saw in Hobby Lobby half price is still there?
Using children’s toys as Christmas decorations is very traditional, such as little trains around the base of the tree. But I loved the idea of putting a bow on an antique child’s rocker and incorporating it as well! That Tinker Toy Christmas tree is my favorite of the bunch…so clever! I found directions here. And the felt Nativity figures glued on blocks of wood give a child a way to act out the Christmas story without any fear of breakage! I found that exact pattern which can be ordered for $10 by clicking here. My grandson always loved his Playmobil Nativity set and we kept it out as part of the decorations.
And finally, this one isn’t related to Christmas, but I loved it anyway! The owner of this home used antique letters and notes as art. She even had a tiny doll hand lying on an antique note written on a scrap of paper as a little vignette on her secretary. A little creepy or very interesting? It certainly caught your attention, I’ll bet! Now I’m thinking about letters written to me by my French friends and trying to figure out how to tea stain them and make them look old without ruining them. Hmmm…
So which ones have I tried? I did the easiest one first…cranberry floral picks! I simply threaded fresh cranberries on a bamboo skewer and added them to some greenery from the yard. I love this idea because I keep my holly cut back so much that it’s hard to find any berries. I also brought the last of my knockout roses into the house since we had a hard freeze last night. So far, the staff has not seemed interested in any of it! Keep your fingers crossed!
I am seeing a pattern in all of my favorites..are you? I didn’t realize it until I was re-reading my post. I seem to be drawn to simple, natural decorations this year. All of my big, shiny garlands are still in the attic. Is it the economy or am I getting older and simplifying my life? I have noticed that some of you are feeling the same way. What do you think?
Thanks so much for stopping by! Please head on over to Mary’s at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday to see one of her beautiful mosaics and to find a list of this week’s participants. You will be treated to some wonderful photos from some very talented people!
Next, be sure to visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday where you can get a peek at her gorgeous home and see what sorts of changes she is making, as well as find out who else is playing along! I’m betting there will be lots of Christmas decorations!
And then on Tuesday, please join Susan at thoughtsfromovertherainbow for Deck the Halls! We will be showing off our Christmas decorations every Tuesday between December 1st and January 5th, so come get in on the fun! Thanks again for stopping by! See you next time! A la prochaine!