Flowers, hygge and a touch of brass – 7 home decor essentials for the holiday season

“As I am a huge ambassador of versatility and timelessness, I like blending some special, Christmassy objects with pieces that we use daily, all year round.” Blogger Kasia Rutkowiak shares her tips for creating a minimalist holiday decor with just a few, carefully selected ornaments.

Lyngby Porcelain Lyngby porcelain vase, 25 cm white
Red Amaryllis flowers in the Lyngby porcelain vase mark the start of the holiday season in Kasia Rutkowiak’s home. The dining chairs are from Carl Hansen & Søn’s Wishbone collection, and the pendant light is Le Klint’s Soleil.

“WHEN IT COMES TO Christmas decorations, I am actually quite old-fashioned. In my childhood home, the Christmas tree and other decorations were always brought in just the night before Christmas Eve. That’s why I do find the modern times a bit too quick for my liking regarding my favorite holiday. Personally, I feel that Christmas loses its magic if we already decorate from early November.

That being said, I am not as strict as my parents used to be, so our first decorations come in the first week of December and instantly create the pre-Christmas spirit. It allows the entire family to enjoy gentle holiday vibes that come slowly and naturally, bit by bit, week by week.

Kay Bojesen Santa's cap for Wooden Monkey, small
Two signs of Christmas are the Santa caps on Kay Bojesen’s wooden monkeys as well as brass items, such as By Lassen’s Kubus bowl.

And as we are rather modest in terms of the number of pre-Christmas decorations, what I find works best is moving them around and re-arranging them as days go by. The thing is, we tend to go back to the same, favorite objects that – for us – carry this special feeling. It means that all we truly need for holiday decoration is some staple items.

“All we truly need for holiday decoration is some staple items.”

Collecting them through the years I always focus on the same colors: red, green and white as well as adding some extra festive shiny elements. In our case, it’s usually brass. And as brass has become highly popular in the past years, it is very easy to find something that fits your personal style to create a timeless basis collection that will work every single time.

Here is a list of some of the things that I always have at home during these special weeks of Christmas anticipation. As you can see, these are just a few actual ornaments, and the absolute majority of these items can be used all year round. When combined and sprinkled around with truly seasonal ornaments and details, they create a perfect pre-Christmas mood. Happy Holidays!”

Kasia’s holiday decoration essentials:

Iittala Glass ball set 5 pcs, 40 mm, red
Iittala’s red glass balls are well suited for decorating the Christmas tree as well as flower arrangements.

1. Festive flowers

“The first sign of coming holidays is flowers. For us, it’s the Amaryllis and Poinsettia plants. These are our ultimate choices for the entire Christmas season, and I cannot imagine December without them. As soon as they arrive, it’s ’allowed’ to take some smaller decorations out as well. I added beautiful glass balls from Iittala to our bouquet – together with the white Lyngby porcelain vase, they match the Amaryllis perfectly! For now, we are using simple eucalyptus branches, as it’s still not Christmas tree time just yet.”

All flower vases >

Ferm Living Winterland Forest Treats ornaments, set of 3, brass
Ferm Living’s Winterland Forest Treats and the Forest nutcracker add a touch of brass and Nordic forests to the holiday decor, while Scandinavisk’s scented candle Jul spreads aromas of Christmas around the house. The white Bernadotte bowl is by Georg Jensen and the small Orbis vase by Klong.

2. Small seasonal ornaments

“Surprisingly, it really doesn’t take a lot to mark the upcoming holiday season. Something as little as adding some tiny accents like a nutcracker, candles and small decorative items creates this one-of-a-kind feeling of excitement and joy. In terms of materials, brass works best for us, and I particularly like Ferm Living’s seasonal collection a lot.”

All holiday decorations >

Le Klint Candlelight lantern, light oak
Le Klint’s Candlelight lantern has a warm, flickering LED flame. The lantern is accompanied by Iittala’s cranberry-red Miranda bowl and By Lassen’s white Kubus flower pot.

3. Flickering flames

“This year, in addition to real candles, I added to our holiday decor the Candlelight lantern by Le Klint. The portable LED lantern flickers nicely and creates a lovely mood. And it would make a great gift, too!”

All table lamps >

Marimekko Suur Unikko cushion cover 50 x 50 cm, cotton - red
Marimekko’s Suur-Unikko cushion cover, Menu’s Losaria cushion and Lapua Kankurit’s Revontuli mohair blanket color the sofa corner with red, green and white. The Kaleido XL and Kaleido XS trays are from HAY.

4. Plaids and pillows

“It’s amazing what a change a few new home textiles can create in just seconds! Plus, soft plaids and cushions are the ultimate creators of the hygge feel.”

All textiles >

By Lassen Kubus Centrepiece bowl, small, white
The Kubus Centrepiece makes a perfect bowl for small Christmas treats. Kähler’s Urbania lighthouse resembles a high building.

5. Pretty bowls for nuts and cookies

“This year I went with Georg Jensen’s Bernadotte bowl, Iittala’s Miranda bowl and By Lassen’s Kubus bowls, which are in use all year long. As I am a huge ambassador of versatility and timelessness, I like blending some special, Christmassy objects with pieces that we use daily, all year round. That’s probably why I have so much fallen for Scandinavian design in the first place. A timeless base works every time, every season, every year.”

All bowls >

Skagerak Norr tray, oak
The oak-wood surface and leather handles of Skagerak’s Norr tray add a warm contrast to the white marble of Menu’s Plinth table.

6. Wooden trays

“I could never have enough of small wooden trays. They are not only practical but also nice to touch and add warmth to my favorite marble coffee table.”

All trays >

Kay Bojesen Wooden Monkey, small, smoked oak
Designed by Kay Bojesen in 1951, the Wooden Monkey is a beloved Danish design icon. During Christmas, the monkey gets to wear a small wooden Santa cap.

7. Something to make us smile

“Putting small Santa hats on the Wooden Monkeys by Kay Bojesen marks the beginning of the holiday season. You just cannot help but smile when you look at these little fellows, wearing their hats proudly.”

All figurines >

Get inspired

Iittala
Miranda bowl
Kähler
Urbania lighthouse
By Lassen
Kubus bowl
Kay Bojesen
Santa's cap for Monkey
Carl Hansen & Søn
CH24 Wishbone chair
Skandinavisk
JUL scented candle
Skagerak
Norr tray
Marimekko
Suur Unikko cushion cover
Kasia Rutkowiak

Kasia Rutkowiak is a Polish-born freelance interior stylist, photographer, and writer of the Scandinavian interior and lifestyle blog My Full House, which has followers and readers from all around the world. She is a mother to three Danish-born children and has lived for over twelve years on the island of Bornholm in Denmark. Currently, she resides in Warsaw, Poland.

See also:

More holiday decorations >
• Holiday home decor >

Text and photos: Kasia Rutkowiak

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