Tra­di­tion with a Twist

Early Amer­i­can homes in­spire Cov­ing­ton, Ge­or­gia, home­owner April La­je­vardi’s hol­i­day dec­o­rat­ing style. She is at­tracted to or­na­ments crafted by hand and dec­o­ra­tions gath­ered from na­ture. April draws upon the Christ­mas spirit that pre­vailed dur­ing the 1700

Country Sampler - - Thrify Thinking -

1 Stock­ings.

For al­most two cen­turies, Clement Clarke Moore’s beloved poem “A Visit from St. Ni­cholas” has en­cour­aged us to hang stock­ings by the chim­ney with care. For a prim­i­tive look, tea-stain white socks and add em­bel­lish­ments such as but­tons, rib­bons and trim.

2 Feather Trees.

Dur­ing the 19th cen­tury, feath­ers were used to cre­ate dec­o­ra­tions that re­sem­bled white pines’ sparse branches. An­tique feather trees are rare and highly col­lectible. For a sim­i­lar look, use wire cut­ters to re­move a branch from an ar­ti­fi­cial tree. Set the branch ver­ti­cally in­side a small flow­er­pot and then dis­play on a table­top or man­tel.

3 San­tas.

In­ex­pen­sive wood and fab­ric San­tas abound at crafts and dis­count stores. To give a new Santa a time­worn ap­pear­ance, do some edit­ing. Re­move ex­cess glit­ter, ap­ply thinned brown paint to sim­u­late age, and ac­ces­sorize with minia­ture flags, fruits and grapevine wreaths.

4 Ev­er­greens.

Prim­i­tive style is syn­ony­mous with re­source­ful­ness. Dec­o­rate with nat­u­ral or­na­ments, such as pinecones and freshly cut boughs of holly, pine and lau­rel. These items can be gath­ered from your yard or pur­chased at gar­den cen­ters.

5 Dried Fruit.

Fruit makes for a pretty and fra­grant dec­o­ra­tion. Cut an orange cross­wise to cre­ate thin, round slices. Bake the slices on a cookie sheet for four hours at 150°F. Turn every hour un­til the slices are dry. Hang the slices on a tree with twine, or use a nee­dle and thread to string them with cran­ber­ries into a gar­land. Spray the gar­land with sealer to pre­vent the berries from stain­ing. To fashion a fresh ar­range­ment that’s per­fectly suited for any room, in­ter­sperse the dried slices among real or faux fruit and greens in an an­tique dough bowl.

Left: An im­age of a pa­tri­otic Santa Claus in­spired April to craft the stock­ing, flags and fig­urine that she dis­plays on a dis­tressed mir­ror in the din­ing room.

Far left: Trees of var­i­ous ma­te­ri­als, a Santa Claus and snow­men her­ald the hol­i­days in this din­ing room vi­gnette.

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