Friday, January 4, 2013

In The Bleak Midwinter...

Christmas is over.

This is a rough time of year for me.  Right around this time, the weather shifts from moderately cold to downright uncomfortably freezing here in central Ohio.  I look ahead to at least a few more months of the frigid weather, and on top of those things, I now "have to" take my warm and festival and glowing and cheerful Christmas decorations down.  ("have to" in quotes, because I do know people who leave them up for a significant amount of time longer, but generally and socially speaking people start taking them down about now)

Winter is a difficult time for homes to look enchanting.  When the snow is coming down it can be magical, but soon the snow turns to slush, gets dirty, half falls off into frigid heaps.  Ninety percent of the plants in the garden are nestled under their blankets of mulch and snow and hibernating until spring, so you're left with very little to adorn your house's exterior besides a few empty urns, trellises, bare arbors.  Taking down the garland and Christmas wreath, it can be hard to decide what if anything you can put up in its place to give yourself at least SOME kind of festive feel during the bleak months of winter.

My goodness I sound despairing.  My point is one of comfort though...because just because you have to take down your decorations, it doesn't mean your house has to look plain and cold.

The basic concept is simple, and I mentioned it previously in my post on wildcrafting: take down the overt Christmas stuff...the red glass balls, holiday lights, ribbon, light-up candy canes...and leave the greenery where you put it.  The holidays may be over, but the beauty of evergreens against the white of snow can be enjoyed all winter long.

This excellent blog post from Nell Hill's, one of my personal favorite sources for interior decorating ideas, gives a few more wonderful tips.  For instance, she nestles a gazing ball above a bed of evergreens inside a planter or urn for her front porch.  Simple, magical, wintery.

I may not have an entry this grand, but the basic look is inspiring...a great example of a beautiful, wintery and not at all Christmassy entrance.

Another great article on Midwest Living about winter decorating for your home's exterior.

This idea intrigues me especially....I have no idea how easy or hard it would be, but isn't this lovely?  A fruit mosiac in your birdbath...

I also love this arrangement with soft bent willow branches and pine cones in the center.  The base is a planter turned upside down.

I like this example of a front door arrangement that's magical, wintery, and not Christmassy.

If this looks too green for you, you could celebrate the starkness of winter by putting bare branch items on your front porch too.  Here's a lovely example.

As far as the inside of your house is concerned, it's amazing how taking down Christmas decorations that were only up for a little over a month can suddenly make your house look so much emptier.  But, again as pointed out by the Nell Hill's blog, you can turn this negative into a positive by looking at it as an opportunity to look at your decor in a new light.  Change things up, move things around, create new arrangements, even shift some furniture!


Before I go, I have to say a most overwhelmed and wholehearted THANK YOU to everyone who responded to my previous blog post with  my goals for 2013.  I do feel that as I move forward with the eventual goal of creating a hub of a website, I will have all of you there to support and encourage and assist me!  Thank you so much.



  1. Lovely ideas! Eons ago when last I had my own place, I used to hang juniper and bittersweet around, and keep pots of fruit peels and spices simmer on the stove to counter New England winters. (Tomorrow I finally shake my transient status and move into a GORGEOUS apartment of my own, so I suspect I'll be doing these things again rather soon.)

    Hope the new year is wonderful for you!

  2. I was about to say when reading the first part of your post, there's no reason you can't keep up the greenery! It's just the same as decorating for fall. I'm sad I don't have my parents' woods nearby full of cedars so I can harvest some greenery for my house. But I do have an enormous holly tree in the back yard. That will do just as well.

  3. These are beautiful, and I wholeheartedly agree! I've been 'wildcrafting' for years, but my arrangements generally end up being big and simple most of the time, which i suppose is sort of odd for me. I want to try some of this more intricate stuff! Thanks for the inspiration, love!

  4. Melissa, I keep forgetting to consider the SMELL of winter warm welcome. I need to try spices on the stove too! Thanks :)

    Grace, you read my mind!! Your plans sound beautiful.

    Linds, I love your arrangements that I've seen! <3