Holiday Inspiration... Welcome Ann!

I know I keep saying this but it's so true, I have made the best friends through blogging.  I can't wait to introduce you to my new friend Ann with

Rose et Lis blog

.  She has amazing talent.  She is an expert faux finisher as well as designer and event planner.  I know you will want to spend some time visiting her blog as well.  You are in for a real treat with her holiday inspiration...

Thanks for inviting me over today, Mona. I wish I were actually decorating your gorgeous home instead of this virtual decor! Maybe someday...

My approach to the holiday season has always been to go with the natural and enhance with the unexpected.  As the song goes, Let Heaven and Nature Sing!

I much prefer to skip the "silks" and use fresh greens.  For the wreath outdoors, this is definitely do-able as the greens will stay fresh almost indefinitely outside (at least here in the north).  Fresh magnolia, cedar, pine- all are beautiful. Used alone or together, a full bow, lights, berries, cones or fruit can be added to the wreath.  Just go outdoors and look around for inspiration.  Pick up those pinecones and use them!

One pet peeve I have is a wreath that is too small for the area. In order to make an impact, use a wreath or swag that fills the space so it can be fully appreciated by passersby.

Other outdoor ideas include baskets and urns filled with greens, berries, fruit and branches.

Moving indoors, I most appreciate scent and lighting. I treasure this time of year when I can take a deep breath of the Christmas tree scent, whether it is pine or fir. Many candles also have realistic scents that set the mood. I use lots of votive and pillar candles to make the room all aglow and magical. Add that tree to the mix and it will certainly remove the stress of holiday shopping for a while.

Here are some mantle ideas:

More ideas for various areas range from a simple vase of branches to hanging balls of lemons and limes to fruits and cones with greens. Garlands are perfect almost anywhere.

Berries, frosted fruits! The first time I ever frosted fruit was after seeing Martha Stewart’s beautiful results. It is always a hit with your guests. Just first dip the fruit in beaten egg WHITES, drain a bit and then carefully sift caster sugar (superfine sugar) over the pieces while trying to not touch and create fingerprints.

This year, I am primarily sticking with greens and white flowers and combining them with gilded accents.  The pomegranates are amazing this year, so I brushed on oil size, waited for it to become tacky (not wet) and then carefully applied the super thin sheets of composition gold leaf, which can be purchased at



Pearl Paint

.  Some of the white flowers are Casa Blanca lilies, white roses, hyacinths, tulips and phalaenopsis orchids. We also will add in succulents and a nest or 2 saved from last summer.

I would be glad to share any further information you might need, so please feel free to email me at

Happy Holidays to you all!

Ann at Rose et Lis and PlumSiena

Photos courtesy of

Traditional Home

, Acanthus and Acorn blog,

House Beautiful


British House Beautiful


Canadian House and Home


Homes and Antiques




O Christmas Tree

by Mary Carol Garrity and

French Essence

by Vicki Archer

What a fabulous end to a wonderful Guest Post Series.  So many beautiful ideas from such great friends.  I hope you enjoyed this as much as we have.  There is still time to incorporate some of these great ideas into your decor before all the family arrives for Christmas.  It's so easy to add a few fresh touches here and there.  I feel like I do at the end of a fun party.  I want to get comfy in a chair with my feet tucked under me and re-hash the whole thing.  I'm dying to know what you think.

It's your turn.  Let's talk!

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