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» Christmas Decorating: Rustic

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Christmas is a time of excess. It’s a time of family fun and a house filled with people. We all enjoy adding little touches that make it special and ornate decorations to welcome our guests to our home. Everyone has their own style, and those styles seem to evolve don’t they, from one year to the next.

My own began as somewhat country style, and evolved as we changed homes and moved into a very large Victorian house, to old Victorian, and then again, to a rustic taste, as we moved from Pennsylvania to Nebraska, a pioneer state, and a newer state, whose history is somewhat different.

Today I tend toward a combination of several styles and they co-mingle quite nicely, as your can too.

There is a lovely new way to preview your tree available to you on the Better Homes and Gardens website, which lets you Decorate a tree virtually and preview your holiday tree. When you’ve decided what style decorating you want, it might be worth your time to visit Better Homes and Gardens and try out that feature.

Here are a few ideas in text and photo, for each of the decorating styles, to help you plan your own holiday decor, and make the most of your holiday home.

The Rustic Home: Rustic decorating, as most of us know, is the age old woodsy theme, that draws from our inherent pioneer spirit, the raw textures and earthy colors that appeal to the most basic parts of us, making us long, even if we live in the city, for the crisp frosty fall night and the scent of the soil and decaying leaves.
It is a style that can be at home anywhere, from California to Scotland, and mingle well with even more ornate decorating schemes.
Rustic incorporates natural items, such as birds, dried flowers, bark and grape vine. Berries, plants and perhaps an antique copper bowl, filled with greenery and artificial red berries. (We loved the idea and purchased an antique copper bowl online at Copper Gifts.com and the price was incredibly reasonable at just 7.00 USD.

We then filled it with greenery and added a few small touches such as berries, bows and some cinnamon sticks to add texture and the warm scent of cinnamon to the centerpiece.

Rustic also incorporates a great many high textures, which if you like, can co-mingle with other textures or plains that may not feel like something that would work with it.

I’ve found that using satin or velvet pillows on a twig sofa offers a delightful sense of the unexpected and brightens the room, adding a bit of softness to what is traditionally a”harder” style.

In the same way, a tree that is decorated with grapevine ornaments and candy red apples, could benefit from a couple lace hearts filled with potpourri, or a red velvet ornament with some amazing bead-work on it.

Things like the bird here, or the grapevine wreath are textured elements of rustic decorating style, and are easily accomplished.

The bird is a simple design idea and while this one is feathered, it could just as easily be cut from felt and then stuffed with batting, and stitched around with a blanket stitch in black embroidery floss. You could make it very easily to be used either on the tree, or no a wreath, or for a grapevine centerpiece for your holiday table.

the little touches, extra things we do that are unexpected, add a bit of whimsy or quirky style are the things that get your holiday decor really noticed. A copper tea kettle filled with dried flowers or an old cowboy boot with a glass inside, holding pine boughs are both ideas that could fit into your rustic decorating theme.

Add a wooden peg to your wall or door and drop a wreath on the peg, or hang hand dipped candles on one of the pegs and tie a bow around them made of burlap or some type rustic materials.

A few other ideas you might try:

Wrap ground pine on your fencing posts and top with a bow of red plaid, or burlap.

Twist some leaves such as holly into a swag using florist wire and use them to green up the banister or mantel, and add a few artificial birds or dried oak leaves. Toss in some acorns that have been suspended from wires, Make your bows of the wide array of home spun fabrics that are out there for quilters.

Rustic decorating for the holidays can take such smaller strange paths as dropping a grapevine wreath over the post of your chair, or using a straw one for a centerpiece, fitted with candle-holders and greenery.

Milkweed pods, dried thistle, oak leaves you’ve dipped into paraffin to preserve them, as well as nearly any other aspect of the outside world. If you find it outside, use it, and in this type decorating, it will fit.


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