Thinking back to Christmases past, my mind always goes to my grandparents’ home: a warm and relaxing jumble of colors, decorations and gifts galore. I adored visits to Grandpa’s when I was a young child, but I realize now that I couldn’t live in a home decorated very so fully. After all the mad running around to have the holiday shopping done, what I crave is a home that exudes peace and natural beauty, with just enough glow to make that magical vacation mood — and in regards to inspired all-natural decorating, no one does it better than the northern countries of Scandinavia.

The long Scandinavian winter is helped along with loads of twinkle lights, candles, fresh slopes and folk crafts — a seem flexible enough to leave in place through the new year and beyond. If the idea of holiday decorating is making you a bit panicky, try out these 17 ideas for decking the halls Scandinavian style.

sarah & bendrix

Use twinkle lights liberally. Don’t limit yourself into the shrub — white Christmas lights (with white cords) could be piled on shelves and mantels, coiled inside glass vessels or wooden birdcages, or hung vertically in the corner of a room. Covered twinkle lights make lovely accents, too, so keep an eye out for intriguing versions.

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Locate a Dala horse. The Dala horse, a simple carved wood and often painted horse, began as a toy for kids but has come to be a kind of national symbol for Sweden. The Dala horse is a favorite decoration during the winter holidays, finding an area on windowsills and shelves nearly anywhere in the home. While much less common in America, they are easily found online — just search for “Dala horse”.

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Decorate with cut wood. Wood in most of its forms is an essential part of Scandinavian decorating at all times of year, and even more so during winter. If you’ve got a working fireplace or woodstove, you are able to earn an attractive and useful display together with the logs you intend to use. If you’ve got a nonworking fireplace, then filling it with neatly trimmed logs may be an attractive way to fill the space while indicating woodsy warmth.

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Stick with a simple palette. Much of the appeal of the approach to decorating stems in the pared-down, neutral colour. Putty grey, natural wood and white and a metallic color create a peaceful disposition; red, white and wood are cheery and fun.

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Plant paperwhites. Any sort of flowering flowers are welcome in winter, and the delicate white blooms of paperwhites look particularly fitting alongside natural holiday decoration. Cluster baskets filled with the flowering bulbs in the middle of the table or combined a buffet or entrance table. Just bear in mind that paperwhites possess a strong fragrance once in full blossom, so if you’re allergic to flower scents, then you might want to pick out a different plant.

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Embellish branches. Another way to bring in a touch of the woods is having an armful of branches that are empty. Simply plunk them in a wonderful big vase (no water needed) and attach ornaments, holiday cards, or any embellishments you wish.

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When in doubt, add a sheepskin. Whether you decide on faux or the real deal, sheepskins are incredibly capable of cozifying any space. Place one where you can sink your toes into it upon waking in the morning, drape one over your sofa or put one at every seat round the table. Just looking in them can make you feel warmer.


Make an easy card display. If you get a good deal of cards during the holiday season, make the most of their pretty covers by exhibiting them all in one place. If you are able to discover a shopkeeper’s card display like the one shown here, all you need to do is slide on your cards because you get them. If you can’t locate one, then attach a length of ribbon into the wall and use clothespins to attach the cards.


Make a scrap-wood Advent calendar. Feeling crafty? Consider developing a Nordic-style tree from small wood scraps. It might look beautiful on its own, either painted or left bare, but you could also attach modest bundles to turn it into an Advent calendar.

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Decorate a miniature Christmas tree. When you put up the big tree, then snip off a piece of branch (from a spot that will not be noticeable) and put it in water to make a pint-size Christmas tree for the tabletop. I’d put it in the guest area to welcome vacation guests.


Dress the table in white and red. In the event that you already have a pair of white dishes and table linens, all you need to re-create this look are a few red accents. The beauty is nothing used is too holiday-specific, so you can reuse the majority of the items during the year.


Hang delicate window wreaths. Welcome people in from the cold with candlelight and simple green wreaths hung from every window. It is possible to make these very easily using wreath types from a regional crafts supply shop and greenery snipped in the trees out.

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Make a pinecone wreath. Collect pine cones on a chilly walk and bring them home to make this easy crafts project to decorate a door. Use craft wire or a child’s wire clothing hanger (wrapping with cloth or coloured tape if you like) to produce a wreath form, then attach pinecones with fishing line or hot glue.

Bring in the woods with potted tree cuttings. Cluster a group of classic containers and fill them with new tree cuttings to get a display that will last for weeks when cared for correctly.

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sarah & bendrix

Deck the table with sprigs of green. Looking for supersimple table decoration ideas? Try this: Snip branch hints from the Christmas tree (or use rosemary branches) and put one in a clear glass votive at every place. Sprinkle a handful of small vintage ornaments in silver and gold randomly down the middle of this table, and ground the arrangement with a few tall candles.


Make an ice-cream. I’m dying to try out this literary heritage — it seems like the perfect job for a snowy afternoon, and it might appear splendid outside at a holiday party. Just fill a container with water, then put a second smaller container within it. Utilize a few rocks in the container to displace water till the surface is roughly in water level, then gently arrange berries, leaves and acorns in the water beneath. Place the containers outside to freeze overnight, then unmold.

Throw a Scandinavian-inspired vacation fete. Looking for something different to spice up your holiday party this year? Get inspired by Native customs and function spiced cookies together with warm glogg instead of eggnog, or light real candles on the tree — only make sure you use an original tree and have somebody standing by to douse flames if need be! (See more safety suggestions here.)

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