Winter and the Holidays, Pacific Northwest-Style
Here in the Pacific Northwest, we pride ourselves on being a part of our greater environment and for having a touch of uniqueness in our preferred decorating style (or styles). Rugged individualism isn’t just an expression here; it’s a creed of sorts. We each have our own special way of decorating for the holidays and for the winter, though we share a pallet of options to choose from, driven by our home in the Northwest and the seasonal bounty that the area offers.
Seasonal decorating, even in the winter, tends to include a touch of the great outdoors that we love to call home. Some may call this “cabin style” or even “cottage style,” but for those of us who have called this wonderful corner of the country home for most or all of our lives, it is simplyNorthwest style.
So this year, for the holidays and the greater season that surrounds them, bring in some of the outdoors with these fantastic tips and get your PDX home cozy for the short days of winter.
Play Up the Contrast
For all the plaid wool you see in some design magazines this time of year, decorating in the winter season is really about high contrasts. The leaves are off the trees, and the light is bright and harsh when it breaks through the Pacific Northwest cloud-cover on the west side of the Cascades. Snow may have already blanketed the undergrowth. Bright reds contrast with stark whites and cool greens in this kind of scene, and for the holidays, little bits of gold and silver shine through.
To bring this contrast into your home for the season and for the holidays, look for ways to place bright, almost harsh colors against stark backgrounds. Incorporate bits of metallic silver and gold details where you can. Some of the plaid wool featured in those decorating magazines does get it right. Just imagine a dark green with a bright line of red running through it, with accents of silver flecked here and there throughout.
Bringing the outdoors into your home as a decorating theme for the holidays can be taken more literally than simply striving for the high contrast of the season in how you decorate with color. After all, it’s easy enough to bring elements of our wonderful environment directly into your home, incorporating them with your timeless holiday decorations and other decor.
Sure, a sprig of holly, bright with shining green leaves and vibrant with red berries; a basket of gold-dusted pine cones; or a sprig or three of mistletoe can help to bring a touch of the outdoors into your home for the season. But for extra bonus points, find ways to bring out-of-the-ordinary natural elements in from the cold.
For example, with all the large winter branches on the ground of many of our parks directly after a windy night, why not take a few home – create wreath for the front door (outside or in), make a centerpiece for the dining room table, decorate the mantle or handrail on your home’s staircases, or add them to the chandelier with some holiday twinkly lights for extra festive cheer.
Bringing a Bit of Northwest Nature Indoors for the Season
Ball jars full of chestnuts, chandeliers adorned with bare branches, sprigs of evergreen bushes or trees intermixed with stark white candles as a table runner, anything you can find in our environment, if employed with the spirit of the season and your imagination, can beautify your home, coupled with your holiday decorations and rearranged afterward. You will find what works for you, bringing together the warmth of the season with the natural stark beauty of winter in the Pacific Northwest.