8 Tips for Decorating with Holiday Greenery

Make your holiday home sparkle with these fresh and easy decorating tips from Williamsburg home-stylist Cindy Cragg.


  • Mix in magnolia. Use thick, glossy magnolia leaves to complement more masculine objects such as leather boxes or buckets. It's a great way to add a hint of greenery to unused prime real estate. "Magnolia has a good life span," Cragg says. "I love the golden patina that develops as it dries."
  • Inhale, exhale. Soak rosemary in water, then bound it into a small holiday wreath. "Fresh rosemary has such a delightful scent," Cragg says. "It makes a wonderful and aromatic decoration for candles and candlesticks of all sizes."
  • Decorate with bay leaves. Dried bay leaves can become charming chair decorations, Cragg says. Simply bind the stems with ribbon or raffia to make a small posy of appropriate size for your chairs (usually 4 to 6 inches in length) and tie onto the back. For a hint of color, weave in a stem of berries or other small dried seasonal flowers.
  • Add elegance with evergreen. Transform holiday stemware into beautiful table decorations with a bouquet of mixed greenery. Cragg recommends turning an ordinary martini glass into a stunning individual place setting with just a few sprigs of evergreen and holly. "Or fill the bottom of the glass with cranberries, allowing just the greenery to flow out of the top," Cragg says.
  • Weave in some ivy. Intertwining ivy through a napkin ring is an easy way to add a little life to your table, Cragg says. The daintiness of the leaf makes it ideal for small decorations. "Adorned with a thin red ribbon, this decoration is a simple yet elegant addition to a holiday luncheon table," Cragg says.
  • Create romance with cedar. "I love the way flat cedar looks like lace when cascading over a staircase railing or mantel," Cragg says. "Its soft, simple, and romantic look pairs easily with other flowers or can stand alone." Cedar won't last in the heat, so be sure to use it in a cooler area of the house or outside.
  • Make a boxwood ball. Boxwood, a hearty evergreen, has a wonderfully versatile look. A boxwood ball hung in the hall becomes a traditional kissing ball. The same ball creates a contemporary display grouped on a table or placed on an urn.
  • Mix and match. Make a beautiful statement with your favorite greenery by placing it in a hurricane globe. Accent with crab apples and pinecones, and you might be surprised how a few sprigs of greenery can make a room come alive.
  • Cindy Cragg is a home stylist and holiday decorator inspired by the truly timeless traditions of colonial Williamsburg. To find more of Cragg's tips, check out Williamsburg Marketplace at www.williamsburgmarketplace.com.

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