Rustic Christmas


Every year I pick a Christmas decorating theme drawing inspiration from everyday items or materials from the garden. For instance, in 2010 I went all orange and chartreuse using tons of clementines and this year old fashioned tin ornaments will be my guide. One of my favorite muses was a magnolia leaf. The glossy green top and velvety brown underside sparked the idea to decorate in chocolate browns, white and silver.

Every year I insist on cutting my own fresh tree. The prerequisites are it has to be really large and evergreen. Sometimes getting it from the driveway to inside my back parlor gets a little tricky, but once it's up I can't wait to get started decorating it.

Brown is one of my favorite colors to start the palette when decorating my tree. It is a natural color that blends well with the colors of my cottage. This year I chose white, silver and gold to highlight my tree.

Huge brown velveteen ribbons, silver starburst and beads, glittery snowflakes, golden glass pinecones and homemade white salt dough ornaments lend a rustic feel.

Three silver glass trees highlight a collection of natural evergreens, pinecones and glass ornaments on my buffet. A wooden bowl with ivory candles and green apples intertwined with silver beads rests on my coffee table.

Magnolia leaves with their dual coloration are a beautiful display in a silver vase.

Brown pine cones, silver beads, and frosted ornaments in an antique dough trough add visual interest and carry the theme through to my dining table. It's a great conversation starter for my guests.

How do you decorate for the holidays? Do you stick with a time honored theme or do you change it up every year?

22 Responses to Rustic Christmas

  1. Dolly Sarrio says:

    I love this. It is beautiful!

  2. Mary says:

    Love the draping quality of your tree, Allen. My theme is “woodland”. Palette: white, green, brown, burgundy, metallics. Determined not to spend a dime on any new decorations, I spraypainted twigs, leaves and hydrangea white, cut branches from the weeping cedar, pulled and out all my old metallic ornaments. Now all I need are some candles.

  3. Kathy Gibb says:

    Gorgeous. Love the brown. Truly inspiring.

  4. Lydia Seibert says:

    Beautiful. What a lovely change from all the garish decorations out there. Nature gives us the best. And the price can’t be beat. I love my Magnolia grandiflora ‘Edith Bogue’ Some silver glitz is a wonderful accent and the lush velvet bows add the final touch. Very well done.

  5. George says:

    I really like the melon prints in your Living Room on your blog post. Can you tell me where they are from?

  6. Julie Mannon says:

    @George, if you’re referring to the pumpkin and gourd art, I believe Allen painted them himself. They are spectacular in person! I went to the Tale of Two Farms event at Moss Mountain last year, and I’m certain that’s what we were told.

  7. dotty says:

    Beautiful as usual Allen. I’m putting up 2 trees. On one of the trees i put all very old ornaments and on the other i’m using browns and red with forest animals.

  8. Margaret says:

    As always – Perfection!

  9. Linda L. says:

    Your Christmas trees are always beautiful. I am so glad to see these photographs. I collect “Snoopy” and have a Peanuts-themed tree each year. My collection goes back 40 years, so not everything makes it to the tree. The rest of my house has a more traditional Victorian theme.

  10. Cindy Menn says:

    So lovely…brown is an under-appreciated color. It is warm and the perfect foundation for the silver. Opposites work so well together like fire and ice; only in this instance, it is earth and moonlight.

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