Holiday Decorating Inspired by Nature

Dec 13, 2022 at 11:33 am by RMGadmin

With Brooke Giannetti, Patina Home & Garden
As newcomers to Williamson County, my husband Steve and I have truly appreciated the genuine southern hospitality we’ve experienced. Our new neighbors have been welcoming and kind, and we felt right at home as soon as we arrived. 
One of the areas we’re most passionate about is helping other people feel at home, too. Home is a place to feel at ease, comfortable and, especially during the holidays, joyful.
That’s why we recently opened our new store — Patina Home & Garden. We want to honor the history of the store and create a gathering place, while also helping people bring more natural beauty into their homes with antiques, furniture, gifts, home goods and natural botanical skincare products.
As an interior designer, I’m often asked how I like to decorate my home for the holidays. So much of my inspiration for design and life comes from nature so I love incorporating it into any decor, whether it’s for my home or our store. I’m in constant awe of the beauty that surrounds us daily, so it’s a perfect place to begin decorating. And you can often find the materials right outside your front door.
Bringing the Outside In
Steve and I love to blur the lines between inside and out in our architectural and interior designs, so it’s no surprise that we do so in our holiday decor. I often bring in colors, materials and plants from our farmyard to create wreaths, swags, garlands, tablescapes or mantle decor. One of my new favorites is this bulb vase that exposes the roots and brings a bright pop of green inside.
Natural Colors & Materials
I tend toward natural tones in any decorating, and during the holidays that means a lot of winter white, soft greens and warm browns. Plants provide so much inspiration for my winter decor. The vibrant white of winter snowberries is a great addition to any wreath or greenery. As an alternative to traditional pine garland, I’ll often use vivid green moss, eucalyptus and potted olive tree topiaries. As for browns, think oversized pine cones, twine, natural linen, burlap and, as Julie Andrews sings, “brown paper packages tied up with string.”
I like to create garlands from bundles of small pinecones, or even dried hops because of their unique texture. To add a little pop of red, I like to use pomegranates, and because they’re round, I like to think of them as nature’s ornaments.
The Stories in Your Decor
My favorite part of the holidays is the history that comes alive. It’s a time to turn inward toward family and friends, so my decor often has personalized elements. The ornamental plaster that Steve’s father and grandfather designed is now a decoration in our home, a collection of antique books stacked on the mantle, and the sweet crafts my children made when they were young now adorn my tablescapes. Your holiday decor will feel especially cozy if you incorporate a few personal touches.
I also love to incorporate one or two pieces that become the focal point of the story. We have this oversized stone reindeer resting on a table in our store, surrounded by baskets of ornaments. When people walk in, he instantly becomes a conversation starter which can be a nice touch if you’re hosting holiday events.
Varied Heights & Textures
When you’re decorating a tablescape or mantel, it can be easy to forget that a variety of textures and heights will help balance the eye. I like to start with a large item in the back, such as an antique mirror or framed painting. Next, I’ll add layers of the natural materials mentioned above at varying heights. Then I love to blend in textures that seem opposing but are, in fact, complementary, like frayed linen paired with soft velvet. With the darkness of winter, I love adding the gentle shimmer of small white lights or a few charming votive for a soft sparkle in your display.
Complementary Opposites
In all our designs, Steve and I like to play around with complementary opposites. This oxymoronic phrase is behind so much of what we do and lends a balance that you’ll frequently find in nature. We love to mix antique pieces with modern design, combine nature with man-made objects, and combine fine things with weathered and worn materials. You’ll find this theory of duality in many cultures, including the Chinese concept of yin and yang.
When it comes to design and decorating, people often get intimidated or overwhelmed. You might worry that you don’t have the training or creative eye. I like to surprise people by telling them that although I’ve been designing homes for thirty years, I was never formally trained. It’s possible to design a beautiful space through trust and feeling. You’re really just playing around with materials, and you have to start somewhere. Even after all these years of creating beautiful spaces, I’ll often adjust or change something I’ve created when I feel a balance must be struck.
Mix just a few of these ideas and you can bring the cozy warmth of nature into your home this holiday season. Visit us at Patina Home & Garden on Old Hillsboro Road in Leiper’s Fork.