I haven’t started decorating for the holidays yet, but I am planning. Today I am sharing sources and dupes for my greenery and decor.
Hatching a plan
I wrote last week about taking a decorating pause and focusing on November. Enjoying the moment and being grateful for it.
I am so happy this resonated with many of you!
Just because I haven’t started decorating yet, though, doesn’t mean I haven’t started planning.
In fact, I sometimes think planning is the most fun — putting it all together in my mind and then searching for the perfect pieces to make my ideas come to life.
I have a head start, because, as I mentioned last week, I will be reusing a lot of my decor from last year, adding in a few new pieces to make it feel fresh.
Don’t worry if you can’t visualize things in your head! I’ve got you covered! In addition to sources and dupes, I am sharing vision boards and a link to my Pinterest boards.
This week I am talking greenery and decor items. Next week will be all about “soft” goods — pillows, throw blankets, bedding, and the table setting (tablecloth, napkins, dishes, oh my!).
After that, the decorating will begin!
But first, I have so many great things to share with you!
Greenery and Decor Vision
As you all know, I like to decorate with blue year round.
Yes, in the fall.
And yes, yes, for the holiday season!
I love blue and green together! Just look at the bottom left photo in my vision board! I am pulling that color combo straight from the view outside my windows — green spruce trees sandwiched between blue sky and water.
For those of you here for traditional red and green holiday decor, I am sorry to disappoint.
Instead, last year I went on a bit of a dried-orange-slice kick and that introduced happy orange into my color scheme. I find it is a fun substitute for red. And something different from the norm.
So there you have it — my holiday color scheme for a second year running — blue, green, orange, and brown.
And as for themes, I am keeping it super simple, with a focus on natural elements — pinecones and greenery in the living room and oranges and greenery in the dining area. All mixed in with a few coastal nods, some special decor pieces, and my usual year-round collections.
This all makes an easy recipe for holiday decorating success!
If you don’t know, Maine is the Pine Tree State.
And yet, I switched to an artificial tree when we moved here.
Picking out the tree, getting it home and set up, and then cleaning it up, with needles dropping everywhere, just got to be too much and no fun.
And I have to say, sometimes I have looked at my artificial tree and thought, “oh, I need to remember to put some water in the base”. Obviously up close, the needles look and feel like plastic. But you don’t have to step that far away for it to look like the real thing.
The most realistic trees can certainly be pricey. But both Balsam Hill and King of Christmas always seem to have a sale. And I buy the unlit versions, which are much cheaper. I have heard that the prelit trees can have issues and I think the regular old strings of lights on a tree make it look more real. I have never seen Mother Nature grow a prelit tree, afterall!
Last year, instead of our usual tree decorated with collected family ornaments, I did a pinecone-themed tree in the living room. I loved it so much, that I am doing it again this year. (It took me hours with a hot glue gun to attach blue velvet ribbons onto over 100 pinecones, so I have to get at least one more year out of them!)
I missed our old familiar ornaments, though, so this year I am doing a second, slightly smaller tree, in the bedroom.
Downstairs is a 7 1/2 foot Balsam Hill Stratford Spruce. It has a slim silhouette, which tucks nicely into the corner of the living room.
For upstairs I ordered a 6 foot King of Christmas King Noble Fir. I love the natural shape of this tree. I haven’t set it up yet, so I will see if it lives up to all the hype I have heard about it on Instagram.
I always use natural wreaths outdoors and artificial wreaths indoors.
I hate how dried out things get indoors, and artificial greenery has gotten so much more realistic!
This year I am excited to share a local source for wreaths direct from our beautiful Pine Tree State shipped right to your door!
Frost Farms is everything I love about a small business! It is woman-owned and operated on Mount Desert Island just up the coast from me here in Maine. The fir used all comes from Down East Maine woods and the wreaths are handcrafted and embellished with nature-inspired accents such as pine cones, clam shells, and faux berries. These wreaths are the real deal and super fresh!
For shipping to you, each wreath is individually packed in a moisture protectant bag and shipped by UPS in a specially fitted box. Shipping will begin on November 27. Just in time to grace your home for the holiday season!
Place your order online here. (They sell centerpieces too!)
I, of course, chose the beautiful Maine Blueberry Wreath. Blue, always! I will share a picture of it in my home in December!
I usually only hang a couple wreaths indoors. Always a seasonal wreath over the blue and white platters on the dining area side of the fireplace. And one in the upstairs hallway.
This year I ordered a wreath that I will embellish a bit and hang over the tall basket over the mantel in the living room.
To tie in with the greenery I use, I like the wreaths to have at least a bit of juniper in them for the small blue berries. Of course!
I have linked a number of wreaths here, including the cheaper Amazon wreath which I ordered and will embellish to look more like the more expensive Etsy wreath.
Note: I can’t personally vouch for any of these wreaths, since I don’t actually own any of them. I have to say that the Amazon one I ordered had pretty bad reviews, haha. But I figure I can zhuzh it up a bit with things I have on hand.
I use artificial greenery in the house for the same reason I have switched to artificial trees and wreaths.
I decorate with a lot of greenery — stems, picks, and garlands. Over the years, I have picked it up in stores when I see something that I think looks pretty natural. MIchaels, HomeGoods, Walmart, Target, as well as specialty stores are all good sources.
Again, I use a lot of juniper. In addition to my love for the little blue berries, I find the greenery to be some of the most realistic.
I have linked the very popular Afloral Norlfolk Pine garland. I have one of these and it very nice. Walmart also has a pretty nice “real touch” garland that is much cheaper and perfect for layering. Also linked below!
On the living room mantel I layer multiple garlands, then add individual pieces for added fullness. I start with one of those cheep bendy super fake-looking garlands. This provides a green base and you can also twist the branches to attach other greenery.
This year I am planning on using chicken wire to secure the whole thing to the mantel. Suzanne from @suzannezinggstyle on Instagram creates the most incredible mantel displays and shares a chicken-wire tutorial. If you give her a visit, please be sure to tell her I say “hello”!
I use a LOT of pinecones in my holiday and winter decor. Over 100 for the tree. A number for the living room mantel. And then I like to pile them into bowls and tuck them into other nooks all over the downstairs.
Truth be told, though I live in the Pine Tree state, I order a lot of my pinecones from Amazon.
Doesn’t make sense, right?
The thing is, the spruce trees that are ubiquitous in our area produce tiny little cones. And the huge sugar pine cones that make such a visual impact grow in California.
So I am sharing some online links for pinecones.
I got the glass pinecone ornaments I use on the tree from Walmart. I am not seeing them online, though, so I have linked some that look similar below. Maybe you can find them in your local Walmart.
Last year I became a bit obsessed with oranges in the dining area and kitchen. The pop of bright color is fun, and it seems appropriate to use a food for decoration somewhere you prepare and eat it.
I started with dried sliced oranges and then added fresh oranges to bowls and as accents. I like to get both regular oranges and smaller mandarin. And my favorites are the Satsuma tangerines that come with a stem and leaves! They are available in December at my local grocery store.
Orange slices are easy to dry yourself! Here’s how:
- Slice your oranges about 1/4 inch thick
- Arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper
- Place in a preheated 175° oven on convection mode for 4-6 hours, turning the orange slices once around halfway through.
If you don’t want to make your own, I have added some links to purchase them online.
And if you want to go all out, wow, I have linked the Orange Spice Live Garland from Williams Sonoma which is a knock-out!
I think pretty much everything looks better with a ribbon tied around it for the holidays.
If you come to visit me in December, don’t stay put for too long, or I may tie one around you!
Velvet ribbon is lovely this time of year. And last year I got a rich copper-colored double-sided satin that draped beautifully. I also love a stripe and gingham.
I am linking my exact ribbons below. Most of them come in many colors.
Last year I also got a cheap bow maker, which was helpful, but had its limitations. I will link below, but it might be worth investing in something more sophisticated if you want to make fancy bows.
Some of you might remember the blanket “scarves” i used on my outdoor wreaths last year. (You can see a peek of one earlier in this post.) I loved this fresh take on a bow. I simply cut up a blanket I had around the house. There is a link below for a Target blanket that might work, or check out your local big box or thrift store.
I am not big on Christmas decor per se. I prefer to use natural elements and then throw some all-purpose mostly vintage decor pieces into the mix.
Below I am linking some items similar to things that I have and use at holiday time — green glass net floats, bells, baskets, some miniature stockings, a green gurgle jug, vintage LL Bean boots, a fishing creel, and snow shoes.
Probably my most-asked about item is the tall but narrow vintage artillery basket I use to hold greenery on the living room mantel. I was lucky to find it at a local store. They used to be available on sites like Etsy, but when I checked for this blog post, I only found a few on eBay and they were very expensive. Mine wasn’t cheap, but it wasn’t as much as they are asking for similar ones now. Definitely an investment piece!
Generally, though, I encourage you to get creative in using your own vintage and thrifted finds as part of your holiday decor.
And of course, always have fun!
New For You!
After years of hiding, I have finally come out in the open on Pinterest!
As I was planning for my holiday decor, I decided it would be so much easier to pull it all together in one spot. So I created some Pinterest boards. And then I thought it would be smart to share it with all of you!
I renamed my account Molly in Maine, and started to tidy things up a bit. I have been on Pinterest for years, so some boards have gotten really out of control.
There is still much work to be done, but at least for now the Christmas 2023: Greenery and Decor board is all tidied up and pretty.
You can link to it right here! It contains all the items I have shared here today. If you find it useful, I hope you will consider following me there too!
This Week Into Next
I had the very best visit with Zoë, Sam, and Poppy in D.C. last weekend. Poppy is a sheer delight and I always enjoy time with my grown children and their spouses.
That is it for my traveling this year. I am home and settling in for a long winter’s nap.
Well, not exactly.
I am excited to plan and then decorate for Christmas, when all the family will gather here!
Next week I will be sharing part 2 of this blog series. You can get a sneak peek of what I have in store on Pinterest! I got a little carried away with it the other day, and then I realized that I should be focusing on THIS week’s blog post, ha! It is just SO good!
I hope this series inspires you and helps you get ready for your holiday decorating.
For more inspiration, check out last year’s holiday posts:
In the mean time, let’s continue our month of thanksgiving.
Today, I am thankful for all of you. I so appreciate you showing up here for me!
Peace and love,