Simple & Beautiful Holiday Decor You'll Keep Around in the New Year

Decorating for the holidays can take on a life of its own. These days, it seems completely rearranging and redecorating your home during the holiday season is standard practice. But come January, it's time for everything to go. Why not appoint your house in such a way that will carry you through the Winter?

In past years I've completely cleared off tables and started over with angels, candles, nutcrackers and the like. This year I'm taking a different, slightly more Scandinavian approach. Elements include:

• Bowls of kumquats
• Paper whites
• Over-sized lattice lanterns
• Succulents
• Wheat
• Mason jars with Epson salt and Hanukkah candles piled inside

Yes, it's subtle and, no, there's no red in sight. But the paper whites and the kumquats are elements that I wouldn't normally use in everyday decorating. They add enough of a festive touch to make it seem appropriate for both wintertime and Holiday celebrations.

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With my mantel, I've gone in a similar route. There are seasonal greens interspersed among objects that I might normally have displayed, such as an antique piece of Staffordshire china. Elements include:

• An Undecorated boxwood wreath
• Magnolia leaves
• Pine and evergreen branch bouquets
• White marble candle-holders

Come January the only things I would change might be the bouquets of evergreens.

Of course, I also might go really minimal, with this:

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This verges on ambiguously festive, but what I like is the use of an orchid, which has classically been an appropriate house plant during the Winter months. The boxwood wreath is arguably the most specifically Christmas part of the arrangement, but because there is no bow, it could carry us through January. That said, I can already hear the comments of how it's too subtle and underwhelming. Sometimes less isn't more!

Do you try to decorate in a way that will last? If so, what elements stay around in your house during January and beyond?

(Images: Cate West Zahl)

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