To reduce your family’s footprint at holidays and keep it festive, shop locally. Buy a live tree from a sustainable farm and either plant, recycle or convert it to mulch in the new year. Rely on LED lights for holiday twinkle and decorate with recycled and repurposed beauty and bounty from your home and garden. Choose e-cards over snail mail for season’s greetings and avoid gift wrap that is not labeled as 100 percent recycled; also steer clear of papers coated with foil and glitter.
Sustainability + Style
It should come as no surprise that eco’s the word, design-wise. From paler palettes and more light-reflective interiors painted with non-toxic products, to efficient, insulating carpets, floor covers, window treatments and recycled elements, design pros turn regularly to companies committed to best sustainable practices, low-carbon-impact processes and eco-friendly products. Sustainable no longer means institutional; beautiful home decor is abundant from a variety of companies founded by hip, young and globally-conscious entrepreneurs. In Central Virginia, shop at Spearman Artisanry, where every product they sell—jewelry, textiles, leather goods and more—meets standards of fair trade or is made in the USA. Foraged and Cut Flowers sources local blooms, supporting farmers and the “field to vase” movement.
Sustainable decor and rustic elegance deliver delights for all the senses—think live greens, unshelled nuts, oranges and apples, berries and cinnamon sticks. Make wreaths, garlands and seedpod ornaments and birch candles. Create a live, green mantel display and give gifts of homemade sweets, treats and potions.
Scandi + Japani
This new trend is a hybrid between modern Scandinavian design and timeless Japanese elegance. Known as both Japandi and Scandinese, though they come from different sides of the globe, they share similar principles: both are minimalistic and emphasize the importance of creating functiondriven spaces defined by statement pieces rather than abundance. The rustic elements of Nordic design and the sleek style and rich palette of Japanese decor marry well. Each enhances the other in yin-yang fashion; both bring nature inside. As to function, Scandinavian furnishings, accessories and accents are meant for comfort, where the Japanese style tends to utility. Spaces are furnished with a variety of dark and light wood pieces with both curved and straight lines, still simple and scaled down.
To create a Japandi holiday vibe both festive and tranquil, keep it clean and spare. Work with greenery, candlelight, wooden ornaments and clear glass vessels; there’s no room for glitter, baubles, beads and bling. Vintage primitive or rustic ornaments referencing nature add sentiment. Though Nordic decorations are often red, white, wheat and light wood-colored, bring in vibrant Japanese hues and paper lanterns; add a live tree or winter berry branches decked with origami cranes—a cultural symbol of peace. Graceful and spare, amaryllis sprung up from bulbs in red, pink and white, surrounded by moss, are perfect for tabletops in simple white or glass containers.
Industrial + Glamour
Pantone is the recognized giant and guru of all things relating to color in graphics and design; their new palettes for 2020 include the intriguing Metropolis. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, explains on the Pantone website that the palette refers to urban elements such as skyscrapers, windows, light and asphalt, resulting in a mix of glamour and industrial chic. Rich, multifaceted and warm, Metropolis embraces deep wood grain and striated stone; strong, industrialinspired centerpiece fixtures—even from concrete—for kitchens and baths; luxe burnished metallic occasional pieces and heavy, textured fabrics for upholstery and windows. To add industrial glamour to seasonal decor, think of farmhouse chic turned edgier by a click or three. Mix in ornaments and figurines made of raw, aged and reclaimed woods, galvanized metal and glass; welcome are vintage and salvaged items. Silhouettes are simple; this style feels strong and masculine and appeals to fans of sustainability.
Art Deco + Redux
The Art Deco movement rocked the 1920s when cultures from far and wide converged and changed the American lifestyle in everything—architecture, advertising, arts and culture. Think abstract design, styled florals, geometric and streamlined motifs. Also called the Jazz Age, the decade rolled along—prohibition be damned—with glamour, jazz music and bathtub gin. Ladies’ dresses got a raise of the hemline as flappers bobbed their hair and danced the Charleston. Home decor was rich and colorful in tones of bright and saturated gemstone colors; furniture incorporated lacquer, steel chrome and polished wood, all done up in sumptuous velvets, geometrics and brocades. Towers in the classic Art Deco style—Manhattan’s Chrysler Building, Roanoke’s Appalachian Electric Power Building and Lynchburg’s Allied Arts Building, for example—reached for the sky in this decade of industry and innovation, until it all came crashing to a halt when the stock market tanked on Black Friday in 1929. Modern designers are poised to deliver updated Art Deco inspiration for the 2020s in furniture and décor that is trimmer, sleeker and more subtle for modern pursuits.
To add a splash of Deco panache to holiday decor, take inspiration from classic Hollywood, a la Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musicals. For holiday festivities turn up the shimmer and shine. Add a glitzy silver-leaf chandelier, dripping with dazzling crystals and gold bars in the iconic, upside-down wedding cake style. Try a white tinsel tree with bright white lights and silver and gold or jeweltoned ornaments. Go monochromatic on the mantel—choose white figurines, geometrics and candles in shades of white and pearl, with silver and mercury glass accents for added razzle dazzle. Come New Year’s Eve, embellish with a dramatic centerpiece of ostrich feathers and long-stemmed white roses in a clear, lithe vase; for an extra shot of glam drop a submersible LED to the bottom and set it aglow.
Happy holidays, dear readers! Cheers to jumping ahead of rising trends, stylish and entertaining holiday fêtes and 2020 vision for home decor in the decade to come. ✦