If I could describe our Christmas decoration aesthetic, I would say it’s a mix of Little Women meets Scandinavia.
Think rustic ornaments, antique teacups, candlelit lanterns, knitted stockings, and orange slices dangling on a lit tree.
The Scandinavian aspect is the simplicity of it all.
Think little white houses, wooden figurines, cedar branches and embroidered Nordic patterns on cozy throw blankets.
What I want to highlight here is that simplicity is not the lack of something.
Simplicity is in the details.
It’s the detail you bring centre stage to create a feeling.
A feeling of coziness, a feeling of nostalgia, or an invitation to dream.
I recently wrote about having an unhurried Holiday season, and I realize that we are using that same approach when it comes to decorating our home for the season.
This year, we left half the decorations in our storage room and hand-picked the cherished items that would create the environment we want to feel in our living spaces.
Nostalgia, coziness, whimsy. Hygge.
Below, I share the details that create a vintage Christmas aesthetic at home.
Dehydrated Orange Slices
There’s something really nostalgic and seasonal about the fragrance of dehydrated oranges during Christmastime. I pick mine up from Cocktail Emporium and slip them as a topper to our gift wrapping, weave them into a garland or hang them on our tree as an ornament.
Candles (lots of them)
There is no shortage of candles in our home. It is our evening ritual to light them up every night. It especially pairs well when a dreary day darkens into a cold night with nowhere to go. The warm flickers of light compliment the glow of our tree, and a safe comfort fills the room.
Vintage Plates and Teacups
There’s a scene in Little Women when the March sisters package up their Christmas breakfast and generously give it to the poverty-stricken Hummel family. Later that evening, they come downstairs and find a Christmas feast laid out beautifully at their kitchen table – a thank you gesture from their neighbour Mr. Laurence who admired their generosity.
That whole scene is the inspiration behind my Christmas tablescape and kitchenware during this season. Warm coffee in delicate teacups, clementines in wooden bowls, and spiced gingerbread delicacies laid out on French blue toile plates. A hand-painted story on each plate.
I can’t resist these adorable felt mice ornaments. I love the little personalities and outfits they each have. They are like storybook characters come to life, adding that childlike whimsy to our adult reality.
Every year, we mail out handwritten Holiday cards to our close friends and family, and it’s been especially meaningful during the pandemic lockdowns when we couldn’t see each other. There’s something heartfelt about sending and receiving a handwritten card. I call them hugs in paper form.
I also have a nerdy excitement for stamps. This year, we’ll be using my custom made wax seal stamp kit that my husband got me for my birthday. Stationary makes my heart happy and Christmastime is the best time to indulge in it.
Having fresh flowers in Winter is a special kind of luxury. And it doesn’t even have to be from a specialty florist (although those are always nice to receive!). Sometimes picking up white dahlias, red carnations or berry branches from the grocery store is enough to bring in the familiarity of the outdoors inside your home.
A Simple Tree
Everyone has their unique preference when it comes to a style of tree. I personally love a natural tree (I just love that aroma of evergreen and pine), but urban condo life calls for an artificial tree.
We like a classic green tree with white lights, and handpicked ornaments made of wood, ceramic and fabric dangling cosily on the branches. As a topper, we like a classic golden metallic star crowned at the top.
Even though we are not hosting any gatherings this Holiday, it feels pretty special to have the twinkle of the season just to ourselves.
However you decorate your home or even whether or not you celebrate this Holiday, I hope your space is cozy and comforting with just the right amount of magic sprinkled throughout to keep you warm during this Northern winter season.