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bash, please: a folksy-mod holiday

by Paige


Happy holidays, D*S readers! We are taking a little break from going around the world and bringing you our own homespun take on holiday festivities. This past year when designing our events, we fell head over heels in love with wooden flowers, vintage medicine bottles, eucalyptus leaves, cotton ribbons and twine, felt crafts, paper garlands, driftwood, homemade syrups and copper. We decided that all these elements needed to be celebrated in our holiday decor. Naturally it was leaning toward an earthy concept, but we still wanted it to have a current edge. We decided to sum it up by calling it “folksy-mod.” Take a peek at our color palette and creations.


If you don’t know this about Bash, Please, we LOVE paint. It usually gets incorporated into our designs one way or another. Whether stenciling love poems on walls at weddings, making a paint-by-numbers guest book or dipping driftwood in contrasting colors, we are big fans of the painterly ways. So when the debate came up about real tree vs. fake tree vs. rented tree, etc., we quickly evolved to PAINTED TREE!! You can easily paint over it after the holidays; it can be put up right after Thanksgiving without the fire hazard of it drying up too quickly; and no need to find storage in the attic for the fake one. Done!


Image above: A preview of decorating ideas to come after the jump.

CLICK HERE for the rest of the post and more entertaining ideas (from wreaths to signs made of holiday lights) after the jump!

We chose a corner nook, but a flat wall can easily look just as cool. We had a master helper (Paige’s hubs) make the hand-drawn stencil, but we think a simple Charlie Brown tree would be just as cute. We took another non-traditional route and strung a frame of white lights around it to illuminate the painting rather than covering it up. We hung our copper-, gold- and forest-colored balls from the ceiling along with pinecones and felt snowflakes to create depth in the installation. Stack presents at the foot of it, and it’s also quite space saving. Functional and festive. We then looked to the mantle and decided it needed (what else?) a wreath.

Mixed in with our own eclectic house objects, we added acorn garlands and adorned the mantle with pinecones, vintage bottles with green and white flowers, mini-Christmas trees, walnuts and snow candles. We took our favorite modern West Elm felted wreath and hung a large acorn from the middle to bring in a homespun addition. Other vignettes around the house included brown and clear glass medicine bottles with cedar greens, eucalyptus pods, wooden flowers, white ranunculus, red berries and silver kochia. We also incorporated our favorite holiday cards from Rifle and tucked them into the vignettes for added whimsy. Another super simple craft is Mason jar scenes. Fill a large Mason jar with powdered sugar (snow) and place cinnamon sticks, acorns, mini-pinecones, jingle bells and miniature figurines for a mantle or countertop decoration.

When the house was all set, we had some friends over for a white elephant gift exchange, holiday spirits and comfort food. Mini-burgers, young onion tarts and gals fighting over the cute Kate Spade coffee mugs. It was quite the rough and tumble brawl; there are still sequins embedded in our rug (kidding, of course). We made a super easy holiday punch that we adapted from this Martha Stewart recipe. We added a little orange juice and Cointreau to give it a more citrus punch. Make your ice ring for the punch bowl with fresh cranberries and ginger beer in a bundt pan. It was delicious! And no one could taste the gin, which is key for making a pleasant-tasting punch. We also made homemade rosemary and basil simple syrups that mix tastefully with vodka and juices. Our favorite is basil syrup, lime juice and vodka. It tastes like a tangy herbal infusion of cheer.

Easy craft alert! We used an old sweater and felt garland to adorn the bookcase. Simply cut out squares of felt and wool sweaters, sew them over one side and string up on twine. Cut out your “Happy Holidays” letters in the colors of your choice and glue onto the felt squares. Cheery bunting that will last for years.

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy New Year’s and all that is festive this month! We wish you love, peace and merriment this season. We thank you for allowing us to be a part of Design*Sponge. See you in 2011!!

Photos by Annie McElwain

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