Christmas at The Cottage

Going Natural for Easy Decorating

When you think of the origin of most of our Christmas decorating essentials, they actually come readily available from nature itself. Things like pine wreaths, cedar boughs, rooms lit by the soft light of a woodstove or fireplace, freshly cut trees, rustic wooden tree trimmings and arrangements right down to that decorative film of snow to top things off. What’s not to get excited about while hosting Christmas at a country cottage setting! Imagine the possibilities available just outside your door for next level decorating ideas to create that perfect ambiance for an ideal family getaway. 

Nature’s Craft Store
An abundance of easy ideas wait to be discovered within the natural cottage setting. Fill bowls with pine cones to dress up counters, tables and dressers. Gather clusters of pine together for door knobs and top off with silk tassels or ornaments. Swag cedar boughs across bedheads to bring in fresh scents and act as unexpected details for guests. 

Summer Does Double Duty
Turn summer decorative items into Christmas accoutrement with outdoor lanterns flanked with pine, and glass hurricanes placed in key locations for a welcoming entrance. Light a fire pit near the entrance for a cozy hit of light and drape blankets over outdoor chairs for added pattern and effect. Use throw pillows on outdoor benches to extend your indoor space. Fill planters of any size with greenery and bring inside for hits of color and scent. 

Homemade Highlights
Turn socks into fabulous wine cozies and match wood with pine cones for tree trimmings. Insert cloves into oranges for a natural holiday room scent. Mittens make interesting tree trimmings and seem to always be without a mate, so what better way to showcase missing pairs than as makeshift ornaments. Burlap can be purchased at any craft store and wrapped around flower arrangements, serving dishes and even used as placemats and table runners. Consider making paper snowflakes for quick tree décor and sprinkle around a table setting. Classic tinfoil stars make old new again and add whimsy to garlands and trees. 

Cheap and Cheerful
Use strips of ribbon to dress up chandeliers and mirrors love a bow top off. The same ribbon can adorn wreaths and garland as well as stand in for napkin rings. Use mittens to house cutlery at place settings, use berries, nuts or oranges to fill jars and insert a candle. Use branches in vases and hang ornaments or Christmas cards for color. Expand your garland by combining real and fake greenery, and dress with string and candy canes. 

Prop and Stage
Hang skates, hockey sticks, mittens and scarves in strategic locations; like around a lantern, or lean outside for a pop of seasonal festivity. Gift wrap empty boxes to pile on steps or make vignettes on chairs and shelves. Think of everyday items to repurpose, for example, wagons full of cut wood or baskets full of fruit and branches. Fill rubber boots with greenery for creative displays and use blankets for table coverings. Everyday items are awaiting your creative take on cottage Christmas design!

By: Joanne Clark