They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. I love it when someone is bold enough to ask… “May I copy this idea”? I get inspiration from many different places and sometimes I will find my ideas glossing the front of a decorator’s magazine. No, I don’t do this for a living…that would take the fun out of it.
However, I do occasionally find an idea in a magazine that is irresistible. Take for instance my new favorite magazine, Hoffman Media’s Country Journals, published four times a year and by far the Christmas edition 2012 ( Christmas Cottage) was outstanding! Inspired of course by the amber bottles, I carefully selected three of my own and inserted dried alders and red berries to mimic the picture (shown). It created exactly what my mind envisioned (sometimes my mind plays tricks though and the finished product falls short of the inspiration).
Whatever inspires me is what I end up going with. This year I was just too knackered to substitute all of my ‘seaside’ themes out for the Christmas look. So I cheated. I threw in a few ‘red’ accents here and there and ended up with a ‘Seaside Christmas’. It was great time saver. Time…that priceless commodity that this generation can never seem to find in abundance. So, a few slipcovers (and believe it or not these are so simple to do) and 6 pillows of different sizes were pulled together with a common theme…red/white/taupe coastal. A sofa and three occasional chairs became a grouping worthy of long fireside chats or cuddling for the Christmas movie marathons.
I love old ships’ wheels. I moved one from our summer sun-porch into the great room and with a simple glass hurricane, candle, sand and star fish, it became the centerpiece for the season. After Christmas, all I had to remove was the miniature red balls I had plopped into the sand for color.
I have a wonderful bulkhead above my kitchen cupboards and for years pined for a Christmas village to put up there. Well I have the village, but again, went for the simple look. A ditch filled with these glorious alders was just what I was looking for; simple and uncluttered (well compared to a village anyway)!
My piece de resistance was definitely the dining room centerpiece. Again I cheated. I knew what I wanted but ran out of time (and patience) to put it together. So off I trotted to a local florist, driftwood in hand and a borrowed black lantern. Explaining in great detail what my ‘vision’ was, the florist did not disappoint, the finished product was spectacular! The dining room this year was decorated in red/black and white. The red was to honor the “Depression glass” dessert dishes inherited from my parents. They were a wedding gift circa 1940’s and I treasure them. Juxtaposed with the ‘old’, the newer pieces took on a look of their own like they too were around for decades. The wine glasses were found in several different places, mostly Winners and Homesense and luckily were approximately the same size. The liqueur glasses were dollar store finds! The Christmas tree side plates were from Zellers many years ago and the Santa Reindeer butter knives, white dinner plates and black chargers were from the Superstore. The red glass bread and butter plates were flea market finds. Placemats and matching napkins were from Pier1 and napkin rings were silver decorations from Canadian Tire. Christmas dinner was the only thing missing from the photo!
Outside of course is always a challenge living by the water. Winds here can gust up to hundreds of kilometers and therefore everything needs to be tied/nailed down. I water my urns once they are filled with greenery so when they freeze I can guarantee they will last at least until after Christmas. My back deck (picture below) has a collection of driftwood, telephone wire spools, and crocks filled with dead tree branches or pine cuttings. Adding a colorful bow, they instantly become festive.
A hollow tree stump washed up on the shore years ago is a perfect holder for a charlie brown tree with red branches! At night they are illuminated by a flood light. An antique pair of skates and old snow shoes complete the winter display. Using a hanging pot from summer, the shepherd’s hook boasts an arrangement (purchased at Sobey’s). The birds might not be happy about this, but I will make it up to them when the season is done.
I couldn’t possibly put everything in this one blog, but suffice to say; the de-decorating did not take as long this year. The outside decos will stay until the climate is a bit warmer, but inside it is definitely time to purge, and return to minimalist. I always look forward to this time as with the New Year becomes new promises…to live with less.
Until next year, happy decorating and don’t forget to be on the lookout for those treasures cleverly disguised as ‘junk’!