Usually, I’m the gal who has her tree up the first week of December. I love taking out our ornaments one by one, putting on Christmas music, drinking whiskey cider and covering the windows with swag. But this year? The very idea of putting up all of our usual holiday decor, only to take it down a few weeks later sounded utterly exhausting – and I’m sure I’m not the only who had this feeling.

But, I also knew that I’d regret doing nothing. So I came up with a new strategy.

I rummaged through all boxes in our attic, selecting a third of our usual decor, and then went to work on the one area of our living room that usually gets decked out – the bookshelf. This spot has always been our substitute for a mantel, so I decided to focus my energy here, making things merry and bright, but neutral enough that I won’t want to tear it all down come January 1st! Instead, we’ll be enjoying some (not all!) of this ‘holiday’ glow through our dark winter season. Let’s take a peek!

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You’ll notice that one of the things I did was to repurpose a lot of items from our holiday table this year. If you think about it, it makes so much sense to be able to pull items from your holiday decor to set your table when it’s time. I could easily place these olive branches and candles right onto a table (and probably will!).

The wood bead garland was something we used on our tree last year. This year, I bought some brass picture rail hooks, and strung them up using those. I added these beautiful little brass stars that I purchased at London Plane, and tassels at each end, to accent them.

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Sidenote: It’s a bit hard to decorate around a TV! If this were an art wall, I’d probably have the beads overlapping the frames more, and in fact, at first I had three big swoops instead of six little ones, but it was falling over the television, and I wanted it to be symmetrical, so that’s what I ended up with.

neutral winter holiday decor coco kelley

Last week, I posted a sneak peek of this on my instagram and nearly all of you said that it needed more greenery! Since we already have a little olive tree in here, it made the most sense to me to simply add more olive branches! I added the volume by using vases and floral frogs in some places, and simply propping it up in others. This was a single bunch that I got at the floral market, so I used it sparingly in little bunches, and I think it’s just right.

The pinecone wreath is a favorite that I’ve managed to preserve year after year – I think she’s about five or six years old at this point! I tie a ribbon on her every year to jazz her up a bit, and then swap out a painting for her cones.

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Another thing I realized this year is that I’d like to collect more little decorative treasures like this little lady! I found her on Etsy earlier last month and thought she’d be perfect for our winter scheme. Who needs a Santa figurine when you could have this gal? My goal is to find a few more little elements like this that will come out for the holidays, stay out for winter, and go back to their box in the spring.

Finally, since we don’t have a fireplace, I thought it would be so nice to line the expanse of our shelving with candles and votives to bring in a little glow. I’m going to start lighting them tonight – for Winter Solstice – and any night after that whenever I need a little something to warm me up. True hygge vibes!

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By the way – all of the taper candles can be found in my shop! I searched high and low for that perfect sage green, and I’m obsessed. And the taupe are my go-to color year round!

I’m so glad I finally got in the spirit and did a little decorating, and even more excited about the fact that I’ll be leaving a lot of it up through the winter! Also, with this post I’ll be signing off now for the holidays, although I’m sure I’ll still be sharing a bit on insta.

Wishing you all love, peace, rest, and permission to do whatever it is you have the energy for this holiday season. It’s certainly not the usual, but there is always some joy to be found,  and plenty to still be grateful for.

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