It seems that a lot of people struggle with decorating their home at this time of the year… this transitional time between Christmas and springtime. I call this time Early Winter, and firmly believe it is a season unto itself. And in many ways, this Early Winter season is a great opportunity. Here is a chance to bring in color, or no color, and decorate your home using texture, patterns, color and elements that you love. There is no specific color palette to follow like spring or fall. This is the time to share what truly speaks to you, what lifts your heart. And with the cold winter weather in so many areas, here is a wonderful opportunity to put together rooms that feel warm, cozy, inviting, and calm.
At this time of year, we see a lot of white in January living rooms, kitchens and dining rooms. And I think it looks beautiful. It’s very peaceful and still conveys warmth and a sense of welcome. Texture and subtle tonal differences help contribute to that, and I have seen some really beautiful white winter rooms.
And as much as I would like to take a swing at that, all I have to do is look at my deep gold walls, and I stop in my tracks. I’m just not sure it would look right, and it would take me way out of my comfort zone to work with a single color palette. Do I have the right furniture for it? How many new pillow covers would I have to sew? As you can see, I talk myself out of it pretty quickly.
Happily, this winter I have a new thrift store find that is the jump start for my 2020 Early Winter Living Room.
That’s right. A pitcher. But not just any pitcher. A rooster pitcher. Right out of the ‘90s.
In the blogging world, roosters seem to have lost their status as a timeless, classic, adored ornamentation. Even with the whole farmhouse rage, roosters never really regained their ‘perch’ if you will! But I do come across them in blogs from time to time (Belle Bleu Interiors and Our Southern Home both seem to share my affection), and I have read comments on other blogs from women who mourn the absence of roosters and their cheery, quirky presence. (I even have a Pinterest board named “Rooster Fun”.)
Consequently, I have decided to publicly embrace my love of roosters. Up until now, I have downplayed them, even though they dominate my kitchen. But I am growing more bold. Even so far as to bring a rooster into my living room. Shocking. Groundbreaking. I know!
I bought this runner years ago, and have only used it occasionally. But one of my mantras is if you collect what you truly love, your pieces will begin to work together to create a cohesive, effortless look. I was truly delighted that the colors of the runner and the rooster pitcher coordinated so well. It was easy to just add in a couple of candle holders, and a spray of ivy atop a book. I tried putting a dark wood tray on the coffee table, but I felt like blocked the synergy of the colors working together, so I removed the tray and just left the vignette on the runner.
These colors also all play well with the black floral print, and buffalo check pillows on the couch. Remember what I said above about working with colors and elements that speak to you? These are the colors that speak to me, and provide me with a sense of welcome and comfort especially in winter. They are rich, dark, neutral and lend towards an autumnal tone.
For the mantel, I kept it mostly simple. A couple of boxwood topiaries on one side.
And a trio made up of an orchid, a corbel and a shell-on-a-stick on the left side.
On the hearth, a lantern placed in my little Home Goods “nautical basket”.
And on the right-hand side, a garage sale magazine holder flipped over holding a thrift shop metal basket and Pottery Barn pears.
I left the Christmas wreath hanging, minus it’s cheerful red plaid bow. But that’s just another reason I love winter decorating. We can pull in wreaths, pine cones, shells, and greenery, and they all fit in together! No rules. No guidelines. Just freestyling!
On the bar, I have pine cones mixed in with stacked candles on a cake plate on the bar.
The hydrangeas in a French flower bucket have resumed their rightful place on my Grandmother’s tilt-table. They are accompanied here by a garage sale chippy candleholder and a Salvation Army thrift shop finial.
Back to the coffee table. I know I made a big speech above about how bold I feel by confessing to my adoration appreciation of roosters. Still and all, I am a bit reluctant to come forward and share that I ALSO bought THIS rooster. I couldn’t help it! She is stunning.
So, acting on a whim, I removed her from her ‘perch’ on the bakers rack in the back corner of our house, brought her out to the living room and placed her where the rooster pitcher had been. I was first struck by how her black and white feathers played so nicely with the black and white buffalo check pillows. But then, I wasn’t struck by how her colors didn’t play nicely with the blue, red and gold tones in the runner. (For all you grammarians out there…I know roosters are male. I am just making a personal choice to use the female pronoun!)
Well, that was an easy fix. I pulled off the blue, red and gold runner, and grabbed the ‘valance-turned-table-runner’ made of black & white pillow ticking.
Like they were made for each other. (Well, they did come from the same thrift shop, a few months from each other.) This little vignette has prevailed. I love walking through my living room and taking it all in. Which is exactly the point of decorating your home, NOT JUST for the Winter season, but for any time of the year.
Here are some ideas for creating a warm, inviting feel in your Winter home:
- As always, keep the color spectrum within 2 or 3 colors.
- And use your favorite colors; blue and yellow; neutrals and wood tones; black and white; autumnal tones; pretty pastels.
- Use live plants – they provide a sense of life and freshness.
- Use natural elements from other seasons: shells, pine cones, gourds (well, maybe not pumpkins!), fruit, branches, greenery, berries – real or faux.
- Bring out the books, runners, pillow covers and throws that aren’t seasonal in nature.
- Candles. This goes for all year round, but ESPECIALLY at this time of the year where days may be cold, gray and overcast, and late afternoons get dark quickly.
And, as a fitting end, my photo-bombing cats Lucy & Max:
From our home to yours!
Kristine, Max and Lucy
I am sharing at these Link Parties: