Many of you are probably quite familiar with the hot trend of all things Scandinavian when it comes to decor. I have had an affection for this style for years — partially due to the Swedish blood that runs through my veins and partly because I went to a Waldorf school growing up. What does Waldorf have to do with Scandinavian design? Waldorf is a German school, after all. The love of nature and the simple beauty it provides undoubtedly is a common theme between these two.
Holidays in my childhood home included the celebration of Advent — the four Sundays before Christmas in which each week is dedicated to an element of the natural world. See here for more on the history of this tradition. While it is rooted in the Christian faith, our family approached it more from the appreciation of the natural world and the opportunity to pause each evening with a simple lit candle and a moment to reflect on all that we were grateful for. I loved it — it's one of the few traditions that I continue in my own family to this day.
So, our destination for today is all things Scandinavian for your holiday decor.
Less is More
One of the first things that drew me to the aesthetic of Scandinavian holiday decor is its simple and natural take on the subject. I've always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with the festive colors and lights during the holiday season. On one hand, they are very fun and make the season feel so special. On the other hand, I end up overwhelmed by all that glitz after a few days. The simple, natural, and less is more approach of Scandinavian decor is an excellent balance to that overwhelm. I simply adore decorating for the holidays and enjoying all the traditions that we have created over the years. Adopting the Scandinavian style has allowed me to "go all out" while really not.
Homemade is Best.
Because nature is the primary influence on Scandinavian decor, making things yourself is a great option. Not only is it a fun holiday project for friends and family, but it's also less expensive and better for the environment than all the plastic decorations that flood the market earlier and earlier each year. Homemade wreaths from pine trees, mantles draped in foraged branches, and tree ornaments made from felted wool are all front and center. Confession: I just love those wooly gnomes!
Speaking of being eco-conscious, another festive waste-free practice is using beautiful and natural fiber fabrics to wrap gifts. These fabrics are used year after year and look like part of the decor when placed under the tree. I have done my own version of this for years by getting a large roll of craft paper and then splurging on fancy fabric ribbons. I buy ribbons that can be used year after year, and the craft paper acts as my foundation for my signature look.
Scandinavian homes often boast a much smaller, often still planted tree adorned with homemade ornaments and even lit candles! While I am not ready to take that fire risk, it's such a serene experience to be in a dark room lit only by the candles of the tree and advent wreath. I love the more sparse tree that allows each ornament to hang fully and be its own star of the show.
Whatever your holiday design stye is, I hope that it is filled with warmth, family, friends and a few still moments.
From my table to yours… Happy Holiday