Deck the Halls with Magnolia, Pine and Fir

Welcome to Deck the Halls Week here at the Nest!  This year, I have the joy of decorating a brand new (to us!) home with a completely different style than the one we left.  This house is much more classic and has plenty of rustic details of stone, wood and iron.  It also has a 3-story atrium courtyard that would look ridiculous with our tiny white Christmas tree.  This year, I am focusing on making the space SING with large scale decorations, mainly found outside.  We had to do a LOT of trimming when we first moved in (the property had been vacant for 4 years) so the leaves, branches, acorns, rocks and more are in plentiful abundance!

See that stone bench?  There were literally 6 foot tall weeds covering it AND everything you see covered in leaves.  The bridge was barely visible and the creek was clogged full of leaves.  Once the weeds started coming down, the beauty started showing through.  I cannot WAIT to see what comes up from this old ground in spring!

I also love to take the indoors OUT onto the front porch and other seating areas.  I love the contrast of in-out and out-in.  Join me this week as I share our decorations and our new home!  Here is the front door!

Deck the Doors Treetopia Evergreen Winter Pine Wreath and Garland

1. The first thing I focus on is bringing the outside in (without the bugs). I do this by taking winter cuttings of evergreens and beautiful branches, like the ever stunning red-twig dogwood, magnolia or cypress and sink them straight into my bulb forcing pots and patio pots brought in this fall. Plants keep their needles and color better in soil than they do hanging or simply in water, so these plantings last throughout the winter seasons, NOT just for Christmas.

Boxwod Indoors

The courtyard gets a large amount of natural light, so I am able to bring a lot more plants inside during the winter.  My in-laws are letting us borrow Mandevilla plants that typically overwinter in their basement and Southern Living sent some lovely zone 7-9 plants to add height and color to the mix.  More on this later!

2. I also like to bring the inside OUT to decorate the bare gardens and porches this time of year. Last year I made a broken mirror from a dresser into a vibrant green garden centerpiece complete with glitter and sparkles. I also take indoor decor items that are starting to show their age into the garden, giving them a last HURRAH before hitting the trash bin or recycle can.  This year, an old toy box made the cut.  It got a layer of plastic, heaping handfuls of potting soil, three mini-cypress trees, ivy and a few twinkle lights.

3. Every year, my decorating for Christmas takes some kind of twist. The same old, same old every year can be so very boring, don't you think? Last  year we went all white with pops of blue and red. To keep the look from being too kitcshy, we added in homemade clay ornaments (I use a very bright white baking soda dough to complement our white tree), long velvet blue curtains and presents wrapped in understated tissue paper and trimmings.  This year we are going BIG with a tree from Treetopia and tons and tons of natural elements.  Come back tomorrow for the full tree, but here is a sneak peek until then!  (PS Don't miss the chance to win YOUR free tree at the bottom of the post!!  No really!!  ...garland and wreath too!)

Deck the Halls Treetopia Evergreen Winter Balsam Spruce Christmas Tree

4. For me, Christmas is all about the light. We only have about 4 boxes of Christmas "stuff" and try to keep shuffling out decorations that we don't truly love. The lights though? THOSE are the decorations that never leave the Christmas stash until they die on me. Of course, with 4 kids under the age of 7, I don't have time for intense battles with strands of lights and climbing ladders outdoors to deck the roof. Instead, I light up our home the easy way by finding ways strands of lights can get extra bang for their buck (mirrors! glass! sparkling ornaments!) and stay subtle with their glow (from inside dresser drawers! Inside the Kitchenaid! Nestled in glassware anywhere and everywhere!).  This year I plan on lighting up buckets of coal  with tiny twinkle lights, adding new candles to each window and continuing to add in permanent lighting where fixtures were missing in our new-to-us home.

Come back every day this week to see us Deck the Halls here at the Nest!  

You won't want to miss these tutorials and tours!

Tour the Courtyard and see the GIANT Woodland Christmas tree set for Thanksgiving and updated with reds for Christmastime.
Did you see the DIY Square Glass Glitter Striped Ornaments? (say that 3 times fast!)
Wednesday is DECK the DOORS day -- perhaps my favorite of the week!
...and Thursday we Deck the Hall with SCENTS!  

This week is sponsored by Treetopia!!
Enter to win YOUR free CHRISTMAS TREE, wreath AND garland!!!

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 If you liked this post, then you might enjoy the BOOK!

Make your own coconut oil.
Gather your own sea salt.
Grow your own grapevines for wreaths.
Give gifts naturally grown and crafted from your backyard garden.

Each chapter focuses on a plant or groups of plants and how to grow them in your home garden.  Then, gather up those natural ingredients and get crafting! From lavender wreaths and hypertufa planters to lambsear angels and pickled tomatoes, there are projects for beginners on up!

Crafting with Nature is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a MillionPOWELL's! (!!!!)  Booktopia (Australia!), IndieBoundAlibrisGlose.comThe Book Depository and  Books are also rolling out to retailers and libraries, so check for them there. 
 If your library does NOT have it yet, this is why you should talk to your librarian!


Christi said…
How exciting to be discovering a new property & making it yours! Your tree is gorgeous - can't wait to see everything you have planned! xo
Amy Renea said…
Thanks so much Christi!! :) It IS exciting!!
Vanessa said…
I was really hoping to do a rustic woodland creature theme this year but I'm afraid my boys had other ideas! Maybe some other year!
The Mickelsens said…
Decorate it with all my old ornaments that I have had since I was a kid.
Susan Noble said…
I would love to do a Purple Tree this year as Purple is the color for Epilepsy would love to honor the kids from my foundation by doing a purple tree!
I will decorate it with a woodland theme!
Amy Renea said…
Purple!! That is wonderful!! I love all the votes for woodland too :) Vanessa, after Thanksgiving, all the woodland elements of ours come down and the boys added all the "Real" Christmas ornaments :)
The Conway's said…
Family focused...homemade ornaments, favorite family ornaments and lots of sparkle
Crystal Sweet said…
I let the kids be in charge of decorating the tree, so it always turns out pretty awesome! We use ornaments from when I was a kid, and new ones that my kids have made over the years.
Amy Renea said…
Crystal and Ashley -- I love family trees!! Tons of mismatching and family memories!! This year, the boys were trying to find their birth ornaments and our wedding one...I am excited to see what they bring home as they get older and older!
Crystal Sweet said…
I love the idea of creating extra glow with sparkling ornaments...those will definitely be added to my Christmas tree this year!