Christmas 2011: Simple Minimal Holiday Decor

Join me for a peek around the house, won’t you?


These are peeks of decor last year (2011).

I have rarely planned or thought out

a holiday decor scheme…instead, it is

about intuition, white lights, and creativity

with stuff I already own.

Think 19th century crockery

meets candlelight.

I melted leftover candle taper stubs

and filled these vintage crocks from England.

Think indoor swing gets busy with

boxwood branches from the yard.

Think kids’ table warmed with lambskin,

and an old box greets new apples.

cost: $0

Think teeny cup by artist Rae Dunn

reinvented as a wee vase in a window sill.

Think handfelted wolf baby

poised for love.

Think beyond evergreens to ordinary

herbs such as rosemary (thriving outside since May).

Cost: still ZIP

Think a simple pop of Christmas red

crowning prayer books in the hutch.

Smells heavenly, I tell you.

Think…like I always say…

nothing says HAPPY HOLIDAYS

like ‘bloater paste.’ (see photo above)

You’re still reading!?!

Holy holidays, just making sure.

Think natural, no cost, not-so-obvious gestures

around the house this year on your quest

to make it merry.

You’re cute when you’re frugal, btw.

Hey! Are you new around here?

Cool. I would love to have you follow.

Sending love and peace this holiday season

to meet you where you are planted

and to encourage you to

never be afraid to hope.

Peace to you right where you are.




  1. December 2, 2011 / 5:35 am

    It's simply lovely and peaceful. Very sweet and perfect for a warm & cozy holiday season.


  2. December 2, 2011 / 9:44 am

    Hey Michele, I like you philosophy…not over thinking christmas (it can be hard enough) and using what you have. I like to dig out related items like religious cards, rosarys etc and I always have heaps of those little battery operated fairy lights from Ikea, which can be draped around or thrown into jars and the like. I love your use of red apples and foliage and who does'nt need a bit of bloater paste sometimes (especially at xmas)!! Have a great weekend. Robx
    p.s. thanks for that 'Make it Merry' calendar, I will try to visit the one's that are left.

  3. December 2, 2011 / 9:45 am

    well done simple and perfect..I too enjoy using what we have and I posted a few days ago about our tradition of collecting our holiday greens each year…I have rosemary that I clipped from our friends beach house over Thanksgiving that I slip in to the mantel etc…the aroma is wonderful…enjoy your holiday decorating…so enjoy peeking around your home..xo, Mariaelena

  4. December 2, 2011 / 12:43 pm

    We always go for simple and brings the outdoors in since we live in a forest. This looks like a lot of fun and can't wait to visit everyone through December. Enjoy your weekend!

  5. December 2, 2011 / 12:59 pm

    That's sure the theme this year to re purpose and reuse – shop the house etc. I do that too (and get all my decorations from the second hand store for cheap cheap!) Have a Happy Holiday!

  6. December 2, 2011 / 1:03 pm

    Dear Santa,

    Please bring me
    Michele's vim and
    vigor and heart as
    I decorate and
    celebrate this year.
    She's a gem!

    xx Suzanne

  7. December 2, 2011 / 1:27 pm

    So simple and lovely! The wolf baby – oh I'm dying. Cuteness overload. Bloater's Paste for Christmas? Entirely necessary. Send some this way.

    I adore using rosemary as well – I have a ton of it in my back garden so definitely need to try that and it smells great too (W bemoans the fact we don't have a real tree because he loves the smell.. wondering if this might appease him?).

    You really create the loveliest vingettes.. I'm in awe of your talents missus.

    Mwah happy weekend xxx

  8. December 2, 2011 / 2:39 pm

    Your home and vignettes are like opening up a killer issue of a favorite magazine! Love everything you have done, you truly do have the "golden touch". Amazing what a little imagaination and good taste can do. OK, well a lot of good taste helps and you my friend, have it!
    That wolf baby..too cute! And that beautiful vintage-y container for the candles..LOVE.

  9. December 2, 2011 / 2:46 pm

    Such sweet decor. The simplicity of the prayer books in the hutch is powerful. I think the little sip cup is also so neat.

  10. December 2, 2011 / 4:05 pm

    hi Michele, just love your sense of style and particularly highlighting the beauty of things that are already beautiful like rosemary and apples and prayer books passed down through the generations. My holiday enthusiasm, having ramped up at a steep pitch since the first of November, seems to have leveled off and I could really use a boost. Thanks for this message of quietly inspired creativity 🙂 sending my best, diane

  11. December 2, 2011 / 4:05 pm

    hi Michele, just love your sense of style and particularly highlighting the beauty of things that are already beautiful like rosemary and apples and prayer books passed down through the generations. My holiday enthusiasm, having ramped up at a steep pitch since the first of November, seems to have leveled off and I could really use a boost. Thanks for this message of quietly inspired creativity 🙂 sending my best, diane

  12. December 2, 2011 / 8:41 pm

    Gorgeous! Loving it all, especially the sip cup vase and little wolf baby who is so gosh darn cute! AND, your cost was zip…you know I love that!!

  13. December 3, 2011 / 12:23 am

    Michele – the pop of christmas red in the apple on the shelf is just brilliant…my favorite!

  14. December 3, 2011 / 3:08 am

    Your frugal holiday ideas are just wonderful, Michele! Love your creativity, girl! 🙂 That little felted wolf is darling!

    xoxo laurie

  15. December 3, 2011 / 3:46 am

    Oh Michele, even my Holiday theme is going to be frugaicious me. There is nothing beyond warmth and simplicity.

  16. December 3, 2011 / 10:37 am

    You are a master of showing how simple is beautiful! I adore you how you found Christmas red and green in objects from the garden! So original and wonderful. I love your vintage jars and other cute items – the wolf baby near those sweet words and the darling Rae Dunn's cup are charming! You warm my heart, my lovely!

    Happy weekend!

    Meera xx

  17. December 3, 2011 / 1:11 pm

    Yes and yes! I have a marmelade jar that is the twin to yours sitting empty. But it will be filled today.

    I love the teeny tiny crock. I feel an ebay search coming on. 🙂

  18. December 3, 2011 / 6:16 pm

    What a lovely, pretty Xmas decoration!

    ♥ Franka

  19. December 3, 2011 / 8:33 pm

    I have a stack of reading books that are waiting to have some simple, crowning touch of read added.

    Thank you–have a peace-filled, abundantly blessed holiday.

  20. December 3, 2011 / 10:34 pm

    I love your old crockery! Bloater paste is such a yuletide tradition. 😉
    Really, it's all lovely and it's all merry. Thanks for sharing!

  21. December 4, 2011 / 5:04 am

    Hi Michele, great inspiration with the small crockery pots! I need to do this with mine, thanks for sharing all the great ideas! xoxo

  22. December 4, 2011 / 7:26 pm

    Love fresh greenery, fruit, and candles! Very nice! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  23. December 4, 2011 / 9:23 pm

    Love. Every. Bit. Of. That.

  24. December 7, 2011 / 8:39 pm

    Hello Michele, I am happy to read about your christmas preparations. I love the pure and simple character of it all. My christmas will be filled with lovingly made hearts of felted blankets, wooden mooses and lots of children running in to pick some freshly baked cookies (in that one second that I look elsewhere, it is part of the fun).
    Have a wonderful, pure Christmas, all of you!!
    Love, Kyra (from Eexterhout, Netherland)

  25. December 12, 2011 / 2:50 pm

    You stylist you! I want to see more – much more!!!

    And what a Swedish thing to incoporate red winter apples as part of the decor. White candles and red apples – some Swedes still use those 2 things as the only Christmas tree decorations!



  26. November 9, 2012 / 4:04 am

    I like the way you think! Beautiful, soothing winter collection…

    <3 Christina at I Gotta Create!
    Party with the Wildly Original Crowd.

  27. December 11, 2012 / 2:45 am

    Lovely touches Michele…as usual…you are so right about the no cost simplicity of Christmas…my favorite things are always pinecones, twigs and greens from the garden…I just put up an almost no cost console table…Enjoy your beautiful home this holiday season…xo, Mariaelena

  28. December 12, 2012 / 2:04 pm

    Where can I get some of that "bloater paste"???

    Beautiful Christmas touches!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let’s SHOP!

White Slipcovered Sofa
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
White Matelasse Quilt on MY BED
Trees White Wallpaper Mural
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcovered Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Parisian Style Iron Table Lamp  33.5″
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
White Cotton Crochet Bed Skirt
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Rattan Basket With Lid
White Ruffle Bedding
Seagrass Basket Set
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Slipcovered Sofa
Upholstered Dining Arm Chair
Shop My Breakfast Nook
White Matelasse Quilt
Tree Mural Wallpaper
Faux Potted French Lavender
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slipcovered Linen Chair
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Laurel Wreath Mirror
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Tray Side Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Wreath Doormat
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing