Published on November 21, 2020

“I feel like everyone needs extra cheer, so I went a little bit crazy this year,” says designer Rosy Alexander, referring to her Raleigh, North Carolina, home, which is now in full holiday mode. Wispy pine branches, long taper candles, and wreaths wrapped in dried foliage make an appearance in almost every room. Alexander has outdone herself, but she hasn’t overdone it—her Christmas decor is cool and calm in that the majority of it is just greenery. 

With her shears in hand, Alexander will clip branches off of bushes and trees she spots in her neighborhood or hit the flower market for heaps of hydrangea. “I like to say I borrow from nature,” she says. Ahead, she shares her go-to foliage and four ways to pull off the less-is-more look this year. 

The Scavenger’s Shopping List

  • Pine 
  • Spruce 
  • Dried hydrangeas
  • Pampas
  • Eucalyptus 
  • Dried wheat

Mark Every Entrance

clsoe up of garlandPin It
Photography by Rosy Alexander

An arched threshold is a perfect opportunity to display a large garland (once it’s up, you won’t have to worry about little ones fussing around with it). In her space, Alexander overlapped long pine branches so the leaves are clearly visible. Then she tied each one together with floral twine before nailing it up on the wall (three nails secure it up top; two hold it on the sides).

Put a Wreath in Every Room

Wreaths aren’t just for front doors. Casually lean one against your backsplash, hang another over a headboard, or mix one in with a gallery wall. Alexander’s start with a simple wood hoop that is then wrapped in scrap pine branches and topped with spruce, dried florals, and wheat. 

Sprinkle Some Twigs on the Table

festive tablePin It
Photography by Rosy Alexander

Rather than putting one singular centerpiece in the middle of the dining table, lay loose branches down the entire length and pepper in a few bottlebrush trees (Alexander has been topping hers with tiny star ornaments lately). This way you can still see the person across from you. Complete the setup by plucking off a few twigs and tying them to the napkins with hemp cord.

Dress Up the Chandelier

woman holding babyPin It
Photography by Rosy Alexander

Keep the pops of green going in the dining room by attaching pine branches to an overhead pendant lamp using floral twine (a modern sputnik light like Alexander’s works great because the pieces can go along each neck). “Just make sure it’s not too close to the bulb,” she says. The mood just got a little bit brighter. 

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