If you’re heading to the cottage or the mountains during the holidays, there is little else you need than to look out of your window at a fresh snowfall to get into the spirit of the season. But, to add a little extra zhuzh, CSL has easy (and festive) ways to make the cottage (or home) holiday ready:
Switch out throw pillows and blankets
Accent your couch with cozy knits, textured fabric and a warm colour palette. This is the easiest way to create a winter wonderland. In the living room, layer a tartan throw over a monochromatic one, at a slightly offset angle, to show the contrast.
In your bedroom, make up your bed with flannel, velvet or brocade sheets. For an updated, modern look choose hues of blue, silver and white.
Make the whole house scented with cheer
Coax festive cheer with a DIY potpourri made by infusing a pot of water and sugar on the stove-top with orange peel, pine branch and cinnamon. Strain, and you can use this simple syrup in cocktails, baking or as a glaze for meat.
Other edible and deliciously scented concoctions that you can leave ticking away at a slow simmer on the stove include mulled wine, peppermint hot chocolate and infused cider.
Bring the outdoors, inside
Birch, evergreen leaves, and wild berries all make a striking impact indoors. Place in a vase on the mantle or use these natural elements to accentuate a table setting.
An easy way to make a table centrepiece is to take a three-tiered serving stand and create a base of evergreens on each level. Then, fill up with citrus, pomegranates, apples or any other seasonal fruit. Tuck in berry branches or pinecones in any blank spaces.
Don’t neglect to make a good first impression – a simple pinecone wreath tied with a red ribbon is always a chic welcome on a front door. Alternatively, use rose hips, or spent flower heads from the garden.
Another way to add colour and life throughout your home or cottage is by forcing bulbs. Paperwhites, and amaryllis are easy. Prepare a pot, or container with gravel and potting soil or alternatively use a forcing jar with water. Soak the bulbs for a few hours and bury one-third of the bulb in their container leaving the rest exposed. Water and move to bright, sunny spot. Hyacinths and daffodils need to be pre-chilled by placing in the fridge for 6-13 weeks before planting as described previously.
Display your Bounty
Instead of baubles and tinsel strewn around the house or cottage, show off your baking. Of course, a gingerbread house is a classic, but you can also set you out boxes of homemade cookies, cakes covered with glass cloches, or pies on rustic wooden boards. Displayed on a buffet, or side table, guests can serve themselves.
Make a Bespoke Soundtrack
Décor isn’t just what you see, touch and smell! What you hear is just as important to creating the right mood. Select your favourite holiday tunes from a variety of eras, artists and genres to create an atmosphere that has universal appeal.
This original article first appeared in the Winter 2021/22 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.
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