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Add natural elements into holiday decorations

Holiday decorations are a great opportunity for bringing nature into the home and to feel more connected to the outdoors. This time of year has many of us heading outdoors more often while also making decor changes to indoor spaces that reflect the changing seasons. That said, here are some simple ways to incorporate greenery and other natural elements into your holiday decorations.

Pine cones

Add pine cones to table settings, put them in wreaths, on coffee and end tables, inside bowls and just about anywhere in the house, suggests Melissa Amos, founder of Parlor 430, an interior design firm in Las Vegas. Pine cones are a strong visual that resonates with everyone this time of year, and it’s hard to really overdo them. They also add a welcomed fresh scent to add to the holiday spirit.

Popcorn and oranges

Popcorn strings may not help you feel like you’re one with nature, but they go along with another holiday classic decoration: oranges with cloves poked into them. These decorations are fun and can bring back childhood memories for many of us.

“Pine cones, popcorn strings, oranges and cloves, they’re all throwbacks to what our grandparents did,” Amos added.

Plant baskets

Paul Moody, a home interior expert and founding editor of ProMoverReviews.com, suggests using baskets to house indoor plants. Plants like tropical hibiscus and crown of thorns are attractive and festive with their red flowerings, he explained, and can be used during other parts of the year as well.

“The idea is to place these plant pots in open baskets for a creative design flair to your interiors. The open weave design of baskets perfectly complements stone furnishings and stucco walls,” he said. “Look for different basket weave designs to add some variety to your decoration.”

In addition, if you have palms that are already inside planters in your home, leave them in place. They still provide a green element to a room and live well among other greenery and holiday decorations.

Dress up mirrors, windows

Moody also suggests adding a wreath to a large mirror. You can also dress up the wreath with ribbon, linen and burlap.

If a wreath is too bulky for the mirror, you can add garland around the border instead. Think full and lush greenery for larger mirrors and thinner strands of garland for smaller ones.

You can also use the same approach with windows. Add garland to make a border around your windows. The more white wall space you have around the window, the more the green will stand out. You can even arrange wreaths above windows if there’s a lot of white space there.

Trees and other greens

Amos suggests buying a smaller tree to make it less of a focal point and then adding smaller dashes of green color in other areas of the home.

Holiday green doesn’t have to only be evergreen either. Grasses and large ferns can be used to make wreaths; and you can also incorporate branches, fig leaves, birch sticks, olive branches on tables and shelves throughout the home. Use brown and other colored leaves in wreaths to break up the green.

Gifts under the tree also present an opportunity to create natural decorations, Amos added. Wrap gifts in butcher paper. Adorn them with sprigs of holly berries and dried leaves, dried plants or miniature wreaths.

“The great thing is that these are all things that, when you’re done with them, you can recycle or put in a compost bin for the garden,” she said.

Use produce

There are also many ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into the decor this time of year, said Holly Curell, an interior specialist and online community manager for AirConditionerLab.com.

Curell says kitchen counters, tables and dining areas are a great place to add “green veggies and fruits in baskets alongside dried citrus fruits and berries.”

Dress up your foyer

Curell also suggests low-cost ways to dress up the entry foyer with simple green ribbons around doorknobs, garland around mirrors or draped around a table, along with candles and wreaths to start the festive mood when people enter your home.

Integrate florals into your tree

Maria Juvakka, founder of lifestyle blog Chic Pursuit, loves to integrate unique flowers into her Christmas trees. Wildflowers, sunflowers and daisies are some of her favorites.

“Flower garlands give an earthy and fun look to your tree and living room. You can go all-out and cover the tree with blooms, or you can just add a few into the branches,” she offered.

Make the fireplace a gallery

Juvakka also likes to make the fireplace and large spaces above the fireplace hearth, a focal point with boughs and wreaths. You can group wreaths, depending on the amount of space you have to work with. You can weave in ribbon, ornaments, even string lights. And don’t forget to work with your mantle shelf space.

“Boughs made of fresh evergreen are one of the oldest ways to incorporate greenery into holiday decor. They make a perfect base that you can add candles, pine cones and ribbons, too. It gives a look of freshness and abundance.”

Succulent wreaths

Moody also suggests making a wreath out of hardy succulents, lacing them together and placing them at the center of a table or hanging them on a wall. You can sprinkle in holly berries. The great thing is these wreaths will stay fresh throughout the season with little water.

Maintaining freshness

To keep some of your greenery and natural elements fresh through the holidays and beyond, you can water and store some decorations outdoors for periods of time between gatherings.

Some people will also spray greenery with an anti-desiccant to keep it fresh longer by reducing moisture loss from leaves. When using one, apply it to the greenery outdoors on a dry day when temperatures are above 50 degrees.

Unlock your creativity

If you’re looking for fresh new ways to incorporate nature or greenery into your holiday decorations, a Google image search and sites like Etsy and Instagram will produce a wealth of photos to inspire you to develop your own unique holiday creations.

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