TORONTO - While trimmed trees and wreath-adorned doors offer an instant infusion of holiday style, these decorative displays are often dismantled mere weeks after being put in place.
Design experts share tips on selecting trendy and traditional decor items that can be featured prominently well into the New Year.
Rustic chic: It's time to bring the great outdoors in-house, as nature-inspired elements are proving to have evergreen appeal.
The last five years has seen a resurgence in rusticity and reclaimed furnishings channelling the vintage, country look, said Ottawa-based interior designer and Rona expert Ulya Jensen.
For a festive twist on the trend, Jensen suggested displaying multiple cork wreaths in a front entryway and can be used beyond the season as photo or mirror frames.
From prints on pillows to forms fashioned from glass, Jensen said images of animals are "huge in decor," evidenced by whimsical woodland creatures displayed as ornaments.
"You could take a couple of the owls, a couple of the birds and set them in a little ficus tree that you might have on your condo patio for year-round," she said.
"In kids' rooms, you could make collections of them and put a bunch of the animals in shadow boxes or use them as art on the wall."
Jensen said replacing a bowl of Christmas balls with acorn ornaments can make a really nice centrepiece that conjures a "very woodsy, rustic feel. A cluster of birch tree candleholders in varying heights can also works well as a focal point in a small space, she noted.
"That would be big impact but not necessarily to have to sprawl all over the apartment to get it, but those I love because that is year-round, for sure," she said.
Go for the gold: Twinkling lights bring their share of shine, but decorative gilded pieces like urns and vases can also add much-needed shimmer.
"I think it's all about the versatility nowadays," said HomeSense design expert Tamara Robbins Griffith.
"We have such stunning decorative boxes with mirrored finishes and faux leather finishes and that's equally at home on your dresser as it is on the living room shelf — depending on what you want to store and organize. I kind of love that multi-purpose aspect of it, and I think people are getting more and more comfortable playing around with styling and decorating in their homes and moving things around to a new space."
Robbins Griffith said rose gold is huge for the holidays, but for individuals keen on embracing deeper blush-toned shades, winter pinks can pair well with pieces from previous seasons.
"You can certainly mix a few pink ornaments in with existing metallics, whites that you've already got in your collection. I love the femininity and the shimmer and shine," she said. "Winter in Canada is a long, long season, so having mercury glass and a little bit of iridescence just kind of reflects light in your home."
Robbins Griffith said grouping gold, copper and bronze items together can work well provided they all have the same finish, be it polished or brushed. They can also be dispersed throughout the home, such as a mirrored tray for the mantle or dining room filled with ornaments that showcased standalone.
Retro glam: Steeped in black with metallic accents, Art Deco-inspired geometric prints may channel the Roaring '20s, but offer a timeless alternative to seasonless style.
Robbins Griffith said a ceramic vase adorned with the graphic pattern can serve as a great centrepiece pre- and post-holidays. While the festive season is in swing, it can be used to house a floral arrangement of wintergreens, later shifting to a mantel or sideboard as a solo statement piece, she noted. Geometric-patterned cushions also team well with pillows that bring the bling with embroidered, hand-beaded designs that can be used as a luxurious accent well into winter.
Beyond the lights: Lanterns can offer some unexpected warmth to a space — and not just from tea lights and votive candles. Sandra Farfan, in-house designer at EQ3, suggested placing berries inside as a festive centrepiece. Alternatively, lanterns could be used to display fern leaves or birch tree branches to conjure a more naturalist feel.
"Put flowers in it, place it on a dining room table or a bathroom to stow supplies," Farfan said. "It looks great empty (or) in groups of three and can go in almost any room of the house. It can also be used outside and can be used during a dinner party in the summer — not just at Christmas."
Tuckaway trees: Seeking a switchup from the towering Christmas tree or its tabletop counterpart? Farfan suggested trying out a decorative, fold-down wood tree which can be painted and displayed with ornaments during the festive season, and grouped in clusters or displayed solo afterwards.
"It doesn't have to be watered, and at the same time, after Christmas, you can carry it through and use it as an accent piece."
— Follow @lauren_larose on Twitter.