Monday, January 2, 2017

Christmas at Balsam Mountain Preserve

I wanted to share with you all some of my work at Balsam Mountain Preserve as I didn't get a chance before Christmas. Everything I did there, could easily translate into winter. I, for one, hate to see the beautiful warmth of Christmas decor go away and be replaced with nothing, or worse -- spring decor, so I like to incorporate lots of fresh greenery, candles and natural elements that keep a bare winter space looking warm and cozy through the winter months.

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For the outside of the Boarding House, I made sprays of different pines topped with burlap and wool tartan bows that I made from scarves.

I have always loved this look and always remember my grandmother making these with a simple red bow. I think it's a great look for winter.

Inside, I dressed the three mantels differently and simply. Glass vases filled with cranberries and greenery flank the painting and an antique dough bowl is filled with pine cones, berries and greenery.

Y'all who know me know I didn't arrange those candles in that almost symmetrical way, but I realized after I had taken the photos they were not as I had left them. I actually had an uneven number scattered across the mantel, which I much prefer to break up the symmetry. 

Isn't this a gorgeous room? I could certainly imagine it as my living room:-)

I picked up these candle holders at Pier 1 and loved that they had a separate container for the candle inside. Although I used the birch battery powered candles from Pier 1, this is a great option if you are using a real candle and filler in the same container as it keeps the candle separate from anything that might catch on fire. 

I only used fresh greenery and hung this cedar and white pine garland over the bar area. I topped one of the Balsam Hill lanterns with a tartan bow.

This mantel is dark, so I used lots of battery powered candles and a random assortment of books, a carved canoe and an antique gas can for greenery. 

On the back side of the fireplace, I simply used greenery and garland of pine cones they had in the decor stash. I added the little mittens and stockings as well as the tartan bows for some color. 

I made small arrangements of greenery and berries in clear mason jars with cranberries for each table. I used faux berries in these as I didn't want berries falling onto someone's food.

With such a fabulous backdrop, I snapped a few pics of my niece and her boyfriend while they were here from Georgia with my three kids. My niece is in the pink shirt.

What a great place for photos, right?

Of course these beautiful people would look good anywhere.

I do enjoy getting to be creative in such a beautiful place, and can't wait to do more there throughout this coming year! 

I'll be joining:
Wow us Wednesdays


  1. Anita, I absolutely love decorating with live evergreens, this looks amazing. And the photos of family so nice. Hello from Georgia and hope you all have a fantastic New Year.

  2. Southern & StyleJanuary 2, 2017 at 9:09 AM

    Wow, this is stunning! I'm in total agreement with you, it's hard enough to put away the comforting cozy Christmas decor-but I definitely don't want to go on and replace it with springtime things! This year I went in a similar direction, keeping things rustic and cozy for Christmas and being able to just put away my tree, stockings, and a few other pieces that screamed "Merry Christmas" and I'll be able to keep my other decor out until the weather turns :)

    Beautiful family photos as well :)

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style

  3. Pam - @diy Design FanaticJanuary 2, 2017 at 12:56 PM

    Beautiful job Anita! Love the family photos too!

  4. What a beautiful place Balsam Mountain Preserve is! You did an amazing job there and it will look lovely throughout the winter. Your family ought to be used on any advertising for the place, so gorgeous, each one of them.

  5. Cassie BustamanteJanuary 2, 2017 at 1:15 PM

    this is stunning! love the natural elements so much- what a great backdrop! and gorgeous kids!

  6. The greenery, red berries and pinecones are perfect for the Preserve and I love the painting above the fireplace too. You have a beautiful family. Kathleen in Az

  7. Creations By CindyJanuary 4, 2017 at 6:44 AM

    It is all so very pretty. Loved how you used the scarves. I love the rustic style. WOW, that fireplace looks like the fireplace at Cracker Barrel in which I love. Happy New Year. Hugs and blessings, Cindy