Wrap the holidays in farmhouse décor
A crackling fire, hand-stitched stockings hung from a pine-adorned mantel, twine-tied packages, the scent of a farm-fresh tree … there’s nothing more appealing than the homespun simplicity of a country Christmas.
The good news is you don’t need a farmhouse to create the warm and welcoming glow that comes with farmhouse décor.
Begin your holiday decorating by borrowing from nature. Bring the outdoors indoors with fresh foliage, berry sprigs, vines, cones and pods. Replicas of hens, roosters and barnyard animals add to farmhouse appeal, especially when gussied up with twinkle lights, tinsel or ribbon.
Strengthen the country mood with textured or patterned fabrics in red, green, blue, and neutral tones. Craft stockings from felt or swatches of vintage grain sacks. Wrap packages with burlap. Remember, part of the appeal of farmhouse décor is its power to evoke childhood memories. So dust off the vintage gameboards, bring out the old-fashioned Santa mugs, and sharpen your skills at stringing popcorn and cranberries.
From the porch posts to the mantel, the allure of farmhouse décor starts with greenery. Garlands, sprays, wreaths, swags; the more the merrier. When possible, use freshly clipped material. It adds fragrance, and gathering it gives you an excuse to walk in the woods and stroll through the garden. Best of all, snippets of pine, cedar, holly and other evergreens are readily available and easy to work with. (See the suggestions below.)
• Wind vines into wreaths. Lay them on tabletops to encircle candles, or hang them on doors, door handles, gates, or anywhere you want a festive accent.
• Wrap posts and railings with cedar, pine, holly or other evergreen foliage. Tie it in place with burlap ribbon. Add string lights. Repeat the décor indoors on banisters and balcony railings.
• Use galvanized buckets to display greenery on decks, patios and porches.
• Showcase a rosemary topiary or a Norfolk Island pine in a small pail. Display the small trees on countertops.
• Fill a stoneware crock with a bundle of logs and holiday tree clippings. Add berry sprigs for color.
Farmhouse décor transforms even the sparsest holiday tree into the center of attention. Start the transformation by using the ideas below.
• Crown the tree with a rustic tin rooster tree topper.
• Display the tree in a galvanized tub, wooden crate or large basket. Skirt it with burlap.
• Decorate the tree with homemade ornaments. Kid-friendly projects include felt stars and fabric- or paper-covered Styrofoam balls.
• Embellish the tree with hand-strung garlands.
• Increase the nostalgia with old-timey lights and ornaments.
• Fill a red wagon with holiday packages. Park it under the tree.
The simple charms of farmhouse-styled holidays might also include:
• A personalized message written on a chalkboard.
• Sleigh bells, string bells, cow bells, or any metal bells dangled from wreaths, doors, gates, or posts.
• Holiday cards hung on a string.
• Tabletop displays compiled of collected items such as white shutters with peeling paint, well-used dough trays, wooden cutting boards, wooden candlesticks, and re-purposed wooden windows.
• An antique doll or teddy bear posed in a child’s chair.
Once the decorating is done, it’s time to sit back with a mug of hot cocoa, soak in the ambience, and let your mind wander to Christmases of yesteryear. The slow pace, warmth and simplicity of a farmhouse-inspired holiday provides just the right setting to recall old memories and build new ones.
Unless otherwise noted, the images were taken at homes featured on previous CASA of the Pines Annual Christmas Tour of Homes, an annual fundraising event held in Lufkin, Texas.
CASA of the Pines is a social service organization that trains community volunteers to advocate on behalf of children in crisis. (All images by Diane Morey Sitton.)