A Scandinavian Style Christmas

scandinavian style christmas decor It's during the holidays that I really wish I had a fireplace to sit around and a mantle to decorate.  You condo dwellers know what I'm talking about, right?  So I decided to use one large wall in my living room to create a focal point for the holiday season.  I love a good monochromatic colour scheme so I decided to go Scandinavian style with this one.  Something about the muted tones, rustic style and texture really draw me in.

scandinavian christmas

Oh, and the best part about this project is that I didn't spend one single cent!  *high-five*

I had a bunch of branches in a tall vase in my entry way and they just so happened to fit the entire width of my wall.  I stacked them and wrapped some wire around the middle and tied the ends of the sticks with some left over grey yarn.   Surprisingly, it held together nicely and I love the juxtaposition of the soft yarn against the rough branches.

scandinavian style christmas

I then took some left over pine cones, more yarn, and tied them up on the lower branches.  I also had some clear snowflake ornaments that weren't being used and added those as well.

scandinavian christmas

scandinavian christmas

On the console table I included my deer antlers (of course) and an old bakery jar filled with more pine cones and clear lights.  I'm sure over the next couple of days I'll be adding a few more pieces to the branches but right now this is my favourite spot in my house!

scandinavian style christmas

What have you done to get ready for the holidays?  There's a ton of inspiration out there and below are a few links to some of my faves:

Hazelnuts turned mini wreath ornaments by North Story

Modern paper tree garlands by Nalle's House

and Melissa from The Sweet Escape is doing a DIY Holiday Week

Happy Decorating!


Behind the scenes with Chatelaine (Part 3)

Chatelaine, December Holiday Issue, Behind the scenes Here it is.  The third and final installment of my behind the scenes experience with Chatelaine!

By the way, did you get your copy?  It's on the newstands now so grab it people.  The holiday issue is chock full of design ideas and yummy desserts!  And it's also very pretty (sidenote:  out of all the Canadian decor mags, I believe Chatelaine has the best use of typography.  If you didn't already notice, you will next time you're standing at the grocery checkout line.  Compare and you will see.  They use the best fonts!  And yes, fonts are a big deal to me.).

I was able to watch a full day of photography and styling as Emma and her team put together some amazing shots for the December Issue's '12 Days of Decorating.  Chatelaine approached their favourite designers and bloggers to share some of their holiday decorating ideas.  And now that the issue has been released, I can share more of the fun, work in progress photos!

chatelaine behind the scenes

This first image was taken in Emma's living room.  I'm still amazed at how they managed to mount that deer head so perfectly.  From what I recall, they pretty much eyeballed the centre, busted out the concrete drill and hung that baby up.  I was pretty impressed.

behind the scenes with Chatelaine, December issue

And can you believe the wreath on the left was actually held up by hand while the room was being photographed?  The room was actually quite dark so I had to edit the below photo.  It was a dark and gloomy day so it was fascinating to watch them shoot the scene with no extra lighting.  A great tip I learned:  an extremely slow shutter speed is perfectly fine when you have a tripod.

behind the scenes with Chatelaine photoshoot

Chatelaine, behind the scenes

This shot for hostess gift ideas was taken right by the window on a gorgeous antique wooden desk.

Chatelaine behind the scenes, christmas decor

I love the vintage tea tins as well as Emma's old box of matches which were added to the photo last minute.

behind the scenes with Chatelaine, hostess gifts

And check out this amazing gift wrapping.  I LOVE making all my gifts look extra pretty for the holidays.  Presentation counts!

Chatelaine behind the scenes

This was also taken in Emma's living room.  I love how they used a weathered chair for the backdrop.  Such a simple piece which adds so much character!  You can see from the photo on the left how dark the room actually was.

behind the scenes with chatelaine, homesense giftwrap

And finally, this wreath created by Jillian Harris.  Interior designer and creative director of Charlie Ford Vintage.  She created this wreath with old sheets of music.  And it has lights!

chatelaine behind the scenes

This was taken in Emma's bedroom.  How gorgeous is that mirror and fireplace?

behind the scenes with Chatelaine, wreath by Jillian Harris

If there's one thing that stood out right from the get go, it was how calm everyone was during the entire shoot.  I honestly expected the atmosphere to be a little more chaotic and I was even terrified of getting in the way but that wasn't the case at all.  Everyone was so laid back and welcoming and it was great to watch Emma and Andrea style up a storm and create some amazing shots for the December issue.  Some simple tips I took away by just observing and asking a few questions:

  • take your time and don't rush (simple but I'm guilty of this.  Especially when you want a great shot before the sun goes down!)
  • music helps to set the mood
  • a very slow shutter speed can work well for shooting as long as you have a tripod
  • don't focus on making everything look so perfect; trust your vision
  • look for other items in your own home that can add a layer of interest or help make the scene look more realistic

Sometimes it's the simple things that are often overlooked, right?  These are definitely points to remember when I'm styling or photographing pieces for my blog and hopefully it helps you in some way as well!

chatelaine behind the scenes, Emma Reddington

What an inspiring and invaluable experience.  Thanks again to Emma and Chatelaine for an experience I will never forget!

Missed Part 1 and 2?  You can check it out here:

Behind the Scenes with Chatelaine, Part 1 Behind the Scenes with Chatelaine, Part 2 (An Interview with Emma Reddington)