Twigs and sprigs — how to forage your own winter home decor

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As nature continues to shed its foliage and flaunt what lies beneath summer’s lushness, this show of simple splendor is very much in contrast to the extravagance of festivities soon to be upon us.

Among autumn’s rustic offerings are a wealth of natural decoration that, when, thoughtfully accumulated, can set the stage for fresh and simple holiday home decor.

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This festive season, why not try:

  • Evergreen sprigs as table decor, tucked around a large pillar candle or tied in small handfuls with ribbon and hung at varying lengths in a window. Boughs and sprigs to look for are spruce, cedar and pine.
  • Pinecones, acorns and berries strewn along a festive runner on your dining table or accumulated in a flavoured bowl or shallow dish. Look for holly and bittersweet vine berries, cones from Jack Pines and Red Spruce or acorns under oak trees.
  • Felled branches of sumac or birch — excellent as centrepieces for your dining table. Place tea lights in their midst, or surround with other natural materials to complete the look.
  • Dried, fallen leaves to capture the colour of autumn and bring vibrancy to your buffet spread, mantle or side table. For glowing yellows and oranges look for beech and ginkgo leaves, maple trees for classic reds, or Japanese Maples’ fallen foliage for a deep purple.

A walk in your yard, a park or woodland can be a bountiful source for your earthly home decor, however do be considerate. While foraging is a trendy term, its practice has real consequence.

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There are important rules when taking from nature that promote respect for the environment and the creatures (including other humans) that we share these spaces with.

  • Know what you are picking up and bringing into your home. Proper identification of plants is critical to ensuring the safety of your holiday guests and furry family members. No poison ivy wreaths!
  • Take only what you need or less. When it comes to foraging, much like fashion statements, less is more. Consider how much you will use in relation to how much is available. In general, sustainable foragers collect only 10 per cent of what is there.
  • Consider the health of the materials you are taking — though decaying be sure that these natural alms are not bringing with them natural ills like bugs and fungi.
  • Lastly, only forage in personal or public spheres and places you have gained permission to take from.

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When we considerately collect and arrange autumn’s tokens, who needs anything inspired by nature — here we have nature! Nesting these bonafide tributes to the season’s simple beauty will warm your home throughout the festivities to come.

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Twigs and sprigs — how to forage your own winter home decor

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