• Go Natural. Take a walk in the woods (or through your local garden center) to net armfuls of Mother Nature’s decorating goods. Gather up pinecones, spikey sweet-gum balls, nuts in shells, twigs, logs, winter berries and the like to arrange in baskets and bowls. Fashion evergreen cuttings into garlands, swags and festoons. No woods nearby? Faux is fine.
• Embrace the Everyday. Incorporate household artifacts that suggest winter into your holiday vignettes. Consider sports gear, such as ice skates and hockey sticks; cold-weather apparel, including sweaters and ski caps; and baking utensils like cookie cutters and molds. Robyn stages vintage sleds both indoors and outdoors.
• Say it with Textiles. Instead of the traditional holiday palette of bold red, green and white, focus on the subdued hues of brick red, hunter green and cream. Accessorize with pillows, throws, blankets and towels in plaids, stripes and gingham checks. Drape tabletops with needlework and quilting. Textiles that are worn, even slightly torn, add authenticity.
• Get Your Glow On. Forget glitz and glitter. All the sparkle you need is reflected in twinkling lights and freshly fallen snow. Scatter frosted pinecones and snowflake and icicle ornaments. String or bunch tiny white lights. One of Robyn’s favorite tactics is tucking LED tealights into vintage candle molds.
Photographed by Gridley + Graves