During autumn, temperatures fall, days shorten and holidays are approaching in the south, bringing the need to get our homes decorated for the holidays. Maybe this is why we associate the coming of the season with more family time and wool clothing, rugs, and upholstery keep us warm, as do sweater-knit throws. It's such a busy time of year for us all, we gather our menus, our guest list, Christmas list, mailing out Christmas cards, decorating our homes, shopping and make travel arrangements to celebrate the holidays with our family and friends.
We all know that fireplaces in a room is considered to be a focal point and is a wonderful place to decorate mantels for the holiday season. A few decorative additions like the magnolia branches on the mantle and the subtle use of branch motifs help change this space from a well appointed room, to a favorably seasonal one. I mentioned in another post mother nature is great source to get decorating materials and is budget friendly because it is free (most of the time). Look at the picture above by adding pine branches, running cedar, green apples and pine-cones you transform this mantel to a beautiful and natural mantel for the holiday season without spending tons of money to decorate. Fire screens protect our homes from any stray embers that spark, and should complement the fireplace, both in style and in scale. A good quality leather chair is a bonus, but any chair that is snug and welcoming can be used, changing the current color to a seasonal hue is easy to do with slip-covers. Add a fluffy pillow and a soft throw into the mix, set it in front of a warm fireplace, and snooze your Sunday away. A cozy fire and soft textiles are essential to autumn nap taking especially after having your holiday feast.
Candles should have spicy or bakery style scents, and simple shapes, what a wonderful way to add a nice fragrance in your home for during the holiday season. Accessories can be as sleek or as artistic as your memories recall them to be, bring out your favorite past holiday family pictures and have them displayed through out your home. I like to add them under a glass table top (this could be a side table, dining table, entrance table or coffee table) displaying events from Thanksgiving through New Years, I make them all black and white matte and cluster them on the table top and gently place the glass top on them. This is a personal, family filled season, so don't let traditional design rules dictate all of your decisions, listen to your heart and create beautiful rooms that fit the lifestyle of your family. Most importantly create beautiful memories with your family and friends.
Most people have fond childhood memories of making cookies and having hot chocolate with their parents or siblings during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, so it's no wonder we try in many different ways to recreate these feelings every year. Below is a wonderful recipe I must share with you. This hot chocolate is heaven on earth!
Heaven on earth!
Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate- from tidymom.net
1 1/2 cups of whole milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of ground cloves
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of sea salt
2 ounces white chocolate (roughly chopped)
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, pumpkin and spices. Cook stirring constantly until just simmering.
Remove from heat and add chocolate. Save some for garnishing.
Just before serving, top each mug with a generous mound of whipped cream, a few shavings of the white chocolate. Add a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. Serve immediately.