Home for the holidays, with Marlene
Home for the holidays sounds good, doesn't it? For those of you I haven't met yet, I'm Marlene! You may have seen me around the Garden Centre with my mini-me this season - That's our newest addition, Giovanni (I call him Gigi!)! He may be the new guy around here, but let me tell you, he's catching on quickly.
This year, I wanted to bring you all into my family's home and share a glimpse of how we decorate for the holidays!
Let's start outside and work our way into the warmth! Although we probably don't enjoy our front entrance as much as our arriving and departing guests, I don't consider home festive without an entrance adorned with fresh winter greens!
Starting with our front door is a fresh green wreath. I swapped out our faux-floral autumn wreath for this one made of fresh boxwood and silver fir. I finished it off with a minimalistic, classy, ivory satin ribbon. I love the way the unwired ribbon droops so romantically. The neutral colour means I can leave it up throughout the winter until I'm ready to swap out my decor for spring. The fresh greens greet you as you approach, and the simplicity of the design sets the tone for the warmth within.
Next, I added planters to to our porch - a true holiday staple around here! Our incredible team at Anna's spends an endless amount of time and effort perfecting these planters for you all every winter, and it really shows! Each one is a carefully crafted, unique arrangement of seasonal greenery, magnolia and always topped off with embellishments! I love incorporating natural elements including birch poles, pinecones, birch slice discs, lotus pods and milo berries into our planters. Much like our winter wreath, I can simply remove our coloured mesh bow and keep the fresh greenery and embellishments, making our front steps look beautiful all winter long. It's our way of bringing the beauty of the outdoors to your doorstep.
Stepping inside, you'll be greeted by the centrepiece of holiday cheer on the dining room table. I continued the theme of incorporating natural elements here by including pinecones and berries. To extend it's longevity, if we are going to be out for the day, I place the arrangement on the front step outside or in our unheated garage. I change the water in the base tray out every few days to keep it looking hydrated and fresh and to prevent bacterial growth. If I do this, the fresh greenery will last well into January!
I don't know about you but there is something so fulfilling about getting our Christmas tree up and decorated! Decorating it is always a family affair and something we all look forward to! The large bulbs on this particular Flocked Acacia Tree are what sold me on this tree style. I love the ambiance the large bulbs create after sunset. I must confess, my tree hasn't been unplugged since the moment we put it up on November 7th. The holidays are too short to not enjoy the lighting ambiance 24/7!! We moved into our home almost 5 years ago. Although I was not originally a fan of the minty blue tile that spreads through our living and dining room, I can honestly say I've grown to love it by incorporating decor that compliments it. The rich burgundy ornaments (natural warm tones are making a comeback!) on the flocked tree look beautiful with the minty blue ornaments I used to compliment the flooring! The tree is also adorned with a collection of cherished ornaments, each telling a story of holidays past. Festive ribbons cascade down, adding holiday magic to the overall look.
Moving to the heart of the home, the mantle is a focal point for holiday decor. Giovanni showed a keen interest in helping me decorate! He definitely voiced his concern when I decorated without him! A garland of blue-hued greenery (to match the flooring of course!), intertwined with twinkling lights, frames the mantle, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Our matching green wreath is finished off with a simple ribbon bow made to match the ribbon on our tree. The mantle serves as a showcase for cherished family stockings, hung with care, and perhaps a few surprises tucked in for good measure. This is the room we spend the most time in, especially over the holidays when we gather with our nearest & dearest.
Shelves throughout our home are styled with a personal touch. Holiday scented candles flicker, casting a warm glow, while decorative picks and holiday gnomes (peronally chosen by our daughter Annalise) add a touch of whimsy. We have very few wall prints in our home. Instead we have countless family photos, reminding us of the joy and love that we are grateful for, especially during the holiday season. It's a curated collection of memories and momentos that make the space uniquely ours.
I can't forget to mention the poinsettias sprinkled among our resident houseplants! We keep ours in a warm, sunny, south-facing window. I opted for the white to match our neutral theme this year. Classic red, of course, is always also a fantastic choice!
No holiday home is complete without a selection of snacks ready for impromptu gatherings - right? Whether it's a tray of festive cookies or the perfect charcuterie board condiment pairings, I make sure our cabinet is stocked for those planned (and unplanned) visits! The special time with family and friends is what makes our season especially bright.
After taking a glimpse into our home, I hope you feel the spirit of the holidays. Thank you for coming!
Wishing you and your family a joyous and festive holiday season! May you feel the warmth and joy inside both your home and your heart.
Thank you for allowing us to be part of your beautiful life and home <3