December 6, 2011

Keeping it Simple

Kumquats in a footed vase make the perfect floral frog for camellia branches with more kumquats wired to them. A cake loaded with fruit carries on the yellow and orange color scheme. For a similar cake, try this orange yogurt one from Martha Stewart HERE. I've made it dozens of times. It's fast, easy and always gets me lots of compliments!

Christmastime is getting into full swing: family visits, sparkling decorations, twinkling lights, nativity scenes...  the shopping, long lines, traffic and headaches too. Amid all the ho, ho, ho sometimes its hard to find a little quietness to think about the sweet baby in the manger, the coziness of the season and adored friends and family without whom the holidays would simply not be the same. Don't mistake me: I love the enormous lights displays, glittering ornaments, lush mantels and over-sized nativity scenes. But there's also something about very simple seasonal appointments that appeal to me. They let my eyes and mind rest, and they make my heart smile because they offer lots of festive impact without a large investment of time or money. I don't think I have always agreed with that quote about simplicity carried to an extreme becoming elegance, but in the case of simple Christmas adornments, the beauty of natural elements available this time of year do really speak for themselves and require little embellishment.

A triangular container holds white tulips readily available at a great prices at warehouse stores like Costco & Sam's. Rectangular containers like this can easily be found at a hardware or craft store and covered with a pretty piece of fabric. Candles glow behind creamy white translucent glass holders. I have covered glass candle holders in translucent vellum purchased from a craft store & secured on the back with double-sided tape for the same effect. They look fantastic with the added benefit of being changeable when you're ready for a change of color. The evergreen branches are pretty and soft and add texture and color. If you don't have branches available, Christmas tree lots often have loose branches. This year when I bought my fresh Christmas tree, I was given as many loose branches as I would take, for free.

This arrangement of mini cedars are planted in moss in silver goblets with lady apples scattered around. This idea is beautiful and practical. The cedars can be planted outside later. This could be done with small boxwoods or any other type of evergreen.

This mantel garland is pretty and lush but fuss-free. Added to the garland are apples, pomegranates and pine cones.

A garland of bay leaves can be purchased pre-made or you can craft one yourself. HERE is a short instruction video for making a similar one out of seeded eucalyptus stems which are equally pretty.

Boxwood wreaths-- I can't get enough of  'em. So simple, so pretty and if you have boxwoods at your house, nearly free to make. All you need besides the boxwood stems are a wire wreath frame, floral wire and the fabulous instructions from the blog Cottage & Vine HERE.

At the blog The Dandelion Chronicles, there's a great post on rustic Christmas decor. Check it out HERE. Vintage iron rosettes hang with a simple stem of seeded eucalyptus. Now here's where I could agree with that quote, "Simplicity, carried to an extreme, becomes elegance."

How cute is this? A ribbon tied onto a plain pillow makes it present perfect. This would be super cute on a kid's bed too.

A tiny dwarf alberta spruce is secured to a taper candle holder.

Feathery greenery paired with a candle votive and sconce bring on the festive cheer.

For a natural and deceptively inexpensive display, a basket is filled moss, white stones, Granny Smith apples and pine cones. It would also look pretty to substitute the stones for pomegranates, oranges or other colorful fruit.

A bundle of twigs, a sprig of eucalyptus and a ribbon & voila-- instant decoration for a door or wall.

Dry twig-wreaths hung over the bed, above, and small boxwood wreaths accompanied by white roses and satin ribbon hung at the ends of beds, below, extend the holiday loveliness to the bedrooms.

Christmas decorating, large or small, grand or simple, keeps the Grinch away, I like to think.

Peace and cheer from my home to yours!
xo Keri

Photos: 1-4,6-7,15-16 Southern Accents, 5,9-10,12,13 Midwest Living, 11 Campagne Decoration, 14 Country Living.


  1. What a beautiful post, Keri, crammed full of fabulous, yet simple ideas. I definitely prefer a more simple Christmas look in my own home although Christmas can also be the perfect time to go a bit OTT! x Sharon

  2. What great images! I am especially drawn to anything featuring fruit! I think it's so festive during the holidays! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Beautfiful post! This makes me realize how pretty even the simpliest of things can be, and sometimes less really is more. I am so bummed that I am not really getting to decorate this season, the one season I get so excited about.....oh well, am enjoying all the visual stimulation all over blogland and goodness knows there is A LOT of it!

  4. Wow! What a lovely round-up of Christmas decor! Thanks for the mention!


  5. I love this post. The photos are stunning and it's so well written. I love Boxwood wreaths. I need to pick some up. Maybe I'll stop by the farm stand later!! xo

  6. We keep our holiday decorations to what we mainly can find outside on our property. Granted that's easy when you live in the country. Your images are beautiful love the trees decorating the mantle.

  7. I love the elegance and simplicity of these
    Christmas ideas, Keri. Is this what you decided to do for your own home this year?

  8. Keri, these are ALL such great ideas, but I especially love the (free) branches in the silver urns! I agree that simple is often better, as the photos prove!

  9. Yes! This post is right up my alley, Keri. I love simplicity and elegance at Christmas, and those photos capture that feeling exactly.

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment over at my place. Your words meant a great deal to me. Wishing you all the peace and joy of the season, my friend! xo Gigi

  10. I agree with you, I really like the simple seasonal decorations. There is something so refreshing and restful about them, and they look just beautiful. Thanks for all the great inspiration in this post!

  11. Gorgeous photos, and thank you so much for your link. I sure wish my home looked like that - crisp and fresh, but sadly can't take credit. Luckily, some stylish people have introduced us :)

    Merry Christmas,

  12. There is nothing quite as beautiful as simple greens at Christmas...adore these images!!

  13. Your blog is beautiful, the pictures are amazing.

  14. These images beautifully illustrate your point about the beauty of simplicity.

  15. OH DEAR, OH DEAR there is so much BEAUTY HERE KERI!!!

    As I was looking at your profile, I see that you have an AIRDALE???? ARE THEY NOT THE CUTEST EVER? My fav is the wire haired fox terrier but any of those curly boys will do just fine with me. You MUST know George the Lad and his new little sister, TESS out in England? He is a hoot and I swear he smiles for the camera!

    Dearest, your visit is a sweet touch to the holidays and your kind words mean a lot to me. I so want to be a writer; I am pretending to be...but joy is in the process and I ALSO love how I am feeling a sense of "SIMPLICITY" in blogland. I too am loving the gentle and quiet atmosphere in my home with natural elements and sweet ribbons. Just beautiful!

    BISOUS! Anita

  16. Keri stunning examples of elegant yet simple designs for the holidays!! Wonderful!!

    The 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways!! The French Basketeer has a special offering right now and there are more gifts open to enter!


    Art by Karena

  17. Thanks for sharing, they are wonderful pictures. I love the mini cedars. I will follow on my way out so I know my way to your beautiful abode, i hope you will find the time to come visit me soon and do the same. Whilst I am here I would like to wish a very Merry Christmas and I look forward to engaging more in 2012. Take care. Cheers SpecialK XoXo


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