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A Life’s Patina Christmas Blog Series: Part Three ~ The Decor

As many of you know, the Christmas season is our favorite time of the year. As a crisp chilly breeze sweeps through Willowbrook farm, as the winter scarves and hats are brought out, as the aroma of hot cocoa fills the air, as the nostalgia of Bing Crosby’s Silent Night is overheard, we look forward to carving out some time to deck our own halls with boughs of holly… making our homes a true celebration of this joyful season. For truly, “All roads lead home at Christmas”…


While December is always filled with hustle and bustle that comes along with the gift giving, traditions, and family gatherings, this year has brought us a particularly busier December than most. With an unexpected meniscus surgery as well as several other last minute travel plans having to be squeezed into the schedule, we decided to focus this year’s Christmas décor blog on how even the most simplistic of seasonal décor touches can make a big impact in your home. If you’re tight on time as we are, have no fear! Simplicity can bring warmth and comfort in a sometimes all-too-elaborate holiday season. Alas, below are some quick holiday decorating tips, tricks, and ideas that we used in Meg’s home this year…


Fresh Greens

Fir, spruce, pepper berry, and pine… Boxwood, holly and cedar, oh my! What better way to celebrate winter than by bringing the outdoors in.


Living on the east coast, we’re lucky to have so many stunning winter foliage options to choose from and often right from our own backyard.

Insider’s Tip: For those of you in need of some extra last minute winter greens, we will have some bundles for sale at our Winter Wednesday sale this week on December 14th from 10am – 5pm in our barn. Bundles are $10 – $12 each and well worth it! While you’re there you can also shop the barn for any last minute gift and décor needs as well as grab a complimentary cup of hot cocoa! Click here for more info…


Adding sprigs of fresh winter greens into your normal everyday home décor takes only minutes but transforms what you already have into a seasonal vignette.IMG_2781-1Meg tucked bundles of boxwood behind her collection of vintage dishes…IMG_3079-1So in love with the natural shades of green layered on the vintage hues of blue…IMG_3082-1Adding greens to your bar area can get you ready for hosting holiday gatherings…IMG_2772-1and to the kitchen common areas…IMG_2762-1Fill containers you already have with greens. Meg used small vintage glass cups and a terrarium here. Even though she originally purchased the terrarium as décor for the spring and summer season, it’s transformed for winter by filling it with a winter green such as boxwood.IMG_2751-1Be sure to display your greens out of direct sunlight and away from sources of heat to keep your greens lasting longer. Typically, fresh cut greens will last about 3 – 5 weeks outside in the cold and about 2 – 4 weeks inside. Keeping your indoor greens away from heat and misting with water daily will help your cuttings last as long as possible. If possible, lay down plastic wrap first and then lay your greens on top for this protects your surface from the water.IMG_2965-1

Fresh green can adorn window sills


and they make for stunning gift toppers. IMG_2804-1We then used the wrapped gifts as décor accents for a vignette in the library…IMG_2807

While we do love an intricate homemade wreath, we didn’t have time to make any this year. Instead we used plain green wreaths and hung with jute upholstery webbing. We ended up loving this just as much as a fancier wreath that might take hours to make!IMG_2871-1

We looped the jute upholstery webbing around the wreath and simply used a staple gun to attach them to windows, gates, doors and frames…IMG_2893-1

This jute upholstery webbing is available for purchase at both Michaels Craft Store and JoAnn’s Fabric Store.IMG_2889-1

Meg added greens to liven up her family’s Advent wreath…IMG_2976-1

Adding greens to a chandelier is stunning and so simple!IMG_2993-1


I’m a true believer in working with what you have. If you don’t have time to run out and buy Christmas décor this year, take a look in the collection of Christmas tree ornaments that you already have. Organize groupings of ornaments and balls within the same color palette. Fill any urns, bowls, trays, baskets or containers that you already have with the ornaments and voila, Christmas magic!

IMG_8488Meg’s family room is decorated with rich, warm tones so these copper ornaments worked well…

IMG_3012-1We even used a copper cooking pot as a container here… Work with what you have!IMG_3031-1

As you know, we love vintage blue hues! Meg filled a glass urn with icy toned baubles to decorate her bedroom. IMG_2951-1IMG_8349She also added fresh greens… The layering of shiny ornaments with the rougher textures of the greens makes for a perfectly balanced display.IMG_2911-1Meg added these pretty baubles and a bird ornament in with this arrangement of fresh pine…IMG_2938-1A single ornament in each of these vintage ice cream dishes transforms the cabinet from everyday to holiday.IMG_8508

It’s important to remember not to get so caught up in your holiday decorating and planning that you miss the actual heart of the season… Life dealt us a busier than normal month of December this year but we made the most of it by simplifying our décor scheme and working with what we already had… fresh greens from our farm, old tree ornaments that remind us of years past, and non-seasonal décor elements that we already had in our year round décor scheme. Remember what’s truly important… moments with family, laughter with friends, and making time for self-care. In conclusion, I’ll leave you with this nugget of wisdom that I’m discovering to be more and more true with each passing year…

“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas”

~ Peg Bracken

Stay warm, everyone!

xoxo, Meg and Maggie

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