Freshen Up That Holiday Color Scheme

I've always been a firm believer that you can find inspiration in almost anything.  Take a trip to an art museum, a quirky little antique shop, or simply browse through a colorful coffee table book.  Whatever you choose, document things that jump out at you - I like to keep an inspiration book where I paste all my design, fashion, food and color tidbits that I happen to come across so that I can refer back to them for other uses later.  Last year I threw a holiday party inspired by a linen that I was using at an event - a fabulously whimsical magenta and red damask - so fun!  Although that was last year, I still think this bold color scheme gives the holidays a fresh face.  Try using vibrant red Amaryllis mixed with hot pink accent flowers (roses, tulips, etc.). I love using pink poinsettia instead of (or mixed with) the traditional red for a pop of color. Here is the swatch I was inspired by, followed by an "Inspiration Board" I created to visualize this holiday look:

Photos courtesy of: Amaryllis: Voila Fete. Room with red curtain: Country Living. Candy: Gifted.
Pink ornament tier: Country Living. Poinsettia centerpiece: Southern Living. Room with tree: Country Living.
Invitations: Jean M. Magenta ornaments: Better Homes & Gardens. Candy Canes: Phyllis Asher. 
Champagne: Delicious Magazine. Roses: Jean M.

For those looking for a little less color and a little more sophistication, I absolutely LOVE mercury glass and am constantly looking for ways to use it.  While browsing for more pieces to add to my collection, I came across this great urn from Wisteria.  Styled with the fresh evergreen, I was immediately inspired to look into a green and white scheme, accented with glistening mercury glass accessories.  This is a great option for those who tend to have cooler tones in their homes or those who prefer an updated traditional feel. For this look, I would recommend using fresh evergreen, magnolia or boxwood and accenting with white Hydrangea, white Amaryllis or Paper Whites. For a use of green with an unexpected texture, I adore the moss wreath below...

Photos courtesy of: Mantle: Better Homes & Gardens. Tabletop: Pottery Barn. Banister garland: William Waldron. Wreath with mercury glass: Martha Stewart. Doorway: Martha Stewart. Mercury glass ornaments: Pottery Barn. Chair with snowflake detail: Country Living. Champagne glasses: Country Living. Lit Boxwood arrangement: Kaboodle. 

Decorating with Succulents

Instead of using traditional cut evergreens this year, try incorporating some living succulents into your decor. These tough little plants are known for growing in arid climates, so they characteristically store water in their leaves (think cactus, aloe plants, etc.).  Recently, I've been seeing them used in much more prominent ways and I think they offer such a fresh, unexpected touch to wreaths, indoor arrangements and table setttings.  A good family friend recently used them in arrangements mixed with amazing florals and other unique fruits and vegetables for a post-wedding celebration party - so elegant! (see picture below). The great thing about succulents is they aren't terribly expensive and last for up to three to four years (with a half to full day of sunlight)! Just look how gorgeous and different they are!

 Photo courtesy of Snippet & Ink

 Photo courtesy of Snippet & Ink 

 Succulent Wedding Favors from Martha Stewart Weddings

 Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart

Succulent wreath by Fiona Grubb via Design Sponge 

Photo courtesy of NK Photography

 How gorgeous is Anne's arrangement?!  This is only a portion 
of the whole thing which was about 4 feet long!  

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