Deck the Halls with Timeless Charm: The Louisa Grace Guide To A Rustic Vintage Christmas.
Picture this: soft twinkling lights, cosy blankets, and a choir of nostalgia-inducing decorations setting the stage for a Christmas like no other. Welcome to the Louisa Grace Festive Style Guide, where we invite you to deck the halls with timeless charm and immerse yourself in the enchanting allure of a Rustic Vintage Christmas.
Join me on a journey through warm hues, natural elements, vintage lights, and antique ornaments, as we endeavour to create a home that embodies the spirit of yuletides gone by. Unwrap the magic of the season with our curated guide and discover how to infuse your home with a cosy, nostalgic embrace.
Setting The Scene
For me, I find the best place to start is always with the colour palette, and whilst there’s no denying I’m a fan of colour drenching and natural hues, there’s plenty of room here to employ the colour wheel. Let’s start by warming things up a bit:
Starting with the obvious elements; the tree, the wreath on the door and the table decorations, we naturally create a base for our palette with varying shades of deep green. From the darker, glossy tones of holly and Nordic pine to the muted shades of blue spruce and even a spray of eucalyptus, consider layering-up a few different elements to add depth.
Continue by introducing woody brown tones for furniture and accent pieces. Natural wooden furniture, whether it’s a dining table or sideboard, adds warmth and contributes to the rustic feel. This color can also be echoed in smaller decor items like wooden trays, serving boards or candle holders. Plus of course, the obligatory pine cone casually dotted around. Just make sure you steer clear of the fake snow can!
Opting for off-white or cream-coloured decor creates a soft and neutral backdrop. This can be applied to tree decorations, stockings, table linens and soft furnishings. With the added textures of faux fur or sheepskin against natural wood, these colours complement the natural elements well.
Then it’s time to pick your ‘punch colour’ which this year for me, comes in the form of strategically placed deep rich red accents throughout the decor. The pops of red will easily stand out against the predominantly green and neutral palette, but avoid going too bright or it will quickly look cheap. I’m thinking berries in the wreaths, some plum coloured ribbon detail here and there, and perhaps choosing a deep shade of red candles for the table centrepiece. Something like Winter Berry No.36 or even Wine No.44 from Ester & Erik.
And finally, the metallic accents. I’m not talking glitter or tinsel here, they were consigned to room 101 a long time ago. Warm tones like brass or bronze though, can be incorporated through candle holders, place settings, or other small details in your decor. They sit well with the dark greens, woody hues and deep lush reds, and add subtlety of detail to the off-whites and creams. Some thoughtfully placed metallics will add a touch of sophistication to the rustic theme.
Elements Of Style
When it comes to styling your home for a seasonal gathering, it’s easy for the lines between Vintage Rustic and Farmhouse Chic to get a bit blurred and that’s fine by me. While farmhouse chic tends to lean toward a more refined and clean aesthetic, vintage rustic embraces a slightly more lived-in look. However, the two styles can blend pretty seamlessly, allowing for a unique and eclectic style that captures the best of both worlds.
Both styles share a love for natural elements. Whether it’s exposed wood beams, reclaimed furniture, or the use of natural fibres, the connection to nature is a common thread. As is the incorporation of antique and vintage items, celebrating the charm and character that older pieces bring to a space. Both farmhouse chic and vintage rustic styles prioritise comfort. The goal is to make a space feel welcoming and lived-in, reflecting a sense of home and tradition.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s the use of genuine vintage items and accessories to dial-up the vintage rustic look that does it for me. Whether it’s antique lanterns, old-fashioned signs, repurpoused workbenches or reclaimed industrial lighting, I prefer decor that provides more than just style.
Christmas is traditionally a time for telling stories and I love that with a few well chosen pieces, not only can you create a visually rich and inviting atmosphere, you have all the tools you need to spark the imagination of children young and old. Did those ice skates hanging by the back door really once belong to a Russian princess who, would skate across the frozen lake to meet her prince and plan their secret Christmas wedding? Were those skis actually used by a British spy as he undertook a daring mid-winter mission, through the mountains and across enemy lines?
You don’t have to smother a room with extra ornaments, just a few well-chosen items, especially vintage and reclaimed treasures like the antique ski’s, ice skates and sledges, some antlers (real or carved from wood) and a faux fur or sheepskin to set the scene of festivities from yesteryear. Then complete the look with accent items like fairy lights and old school board games, hessian stockings. and paper baubles.
Oh, and lots and lots (and lots) of candles. All the styles and sizes and colours to match your pallette. Nothing makes Christmas more magical than opening your presents by candlelight.
Authentic doesn’t have to mean expensive. In fact when it comes to Christmas decor, getting creative with your vintage rustic styling can bring benefits that go beyond the avoidance of extortionate prices for the mass-produced delights of Amazon. There’s a definite satisfaction that comes from dressing the tree with ornaments that are not only unique, but also have an emotional resonance if they are something you made yourself. Or perhaps you opted for some fun time with the kids, preparing for Christmas by making stuff together as a way of building the excitement for them. There are so many options, from the basic to the more intricate such as:
- Drying out apple and orange slices to scatter on the table wth cinamon sticks and cloves as a fragrant decoration (or bundling together with string and hanging from the tree)
- Creating rustic stars from a wire coat hanger wrapped with jute or twine
- A perennial favourite, making your own Christmas stocking out of just about any used fabric. Use either single pieces such as old pillowcases or cushion covers, or for something truly unique try your hand at a bit of patchworking.
- Wine Cork Reindeer Ornaments (Thank you, Cristina Garay. I love these!)
- Vintage Map Baubles. These can seem a bit fidly at first, but the result can be beautiful. Check out Chic California for instructions and more inspiration.
I’ve always felt that half the fun of Christmas is in the preparation and decoration, and the more creative you want to be, the more unique and memorable it will be for the family and your guests.
Just remember, maintaining a balance between colours and elements will create a cohesive and visually appealing style.
- Experiment with different textures and layering to add depth and interest to your rustic vintage Christmas style
- Choose real greenery and natural materials to enhance the visual appeal and infuse your home with some delightful scents. If you’re lucky enough to live near a woods or forest, go forage some branches and berries (being respectful to the environment and wildlife that rely on them as a food source)
- Don’t over-dress a room. Less really can be more if you go with a few well-chsoen items (check out the Vintage Christmas Store for inspiration)
- Small details make all the difference. Think of vintage cutlery and natural linen for serviettes and table runners
- Wrap presents with simple brown craft paper and off-white ribbon (make your own by tearing strips of fine cotton gauze) and label them with kraft luggage tags
- The best decorations are always the ones you made yourselves
- Finish it all off by serving your Christmas Day bubbles in vintage French coupe champagne glasses.
Whatever you choose to do, we wish you all a very merry Christmas!
Claire & Jamie