Decorate Your Home In White Christmas Style
It’s time to deck the halls, and stylist Matthew Mead is dreaming of a White Christmas. Here are his ideas for a simple, elegant design.
In New Hampshire, an old-fashioned White Christmas is almost always in the cards. Spread that style through your home with simple decorative touches that would sate even the desires of Bing Crosby and Irving Berlin.
Set the scene for your own snowy gathering of friends and family with a table dressed in pristine shades of white perfect for breakfast, brunch or dinner.
Celebrate your White Christmas by gathering friends and family around a brunch inspired by the season. White dishes and foods seemingly topped with a festive dusting of fallen snow will put your guests in a festive mood.
Create dishes that are tasty and inspired and let your kitchen take center stage. Here a kitchen island is laden with sweet and savory dishes. White gift wrap replaces a typical cloth runner. Don’t be afraid to add a coffee cocktail or dust some cookies with powdered sugar. Set out stacks of white plates so guests can help themselves. Add white flowers, snow-dusted pine cones and branches, local ingredients like maple syrup and a frittata made of fresh New Hampshire eggs. Bask in the snow-refracted white light and absorb the tranquility of a real White Christmas.
Creamy pecan cocktail and maple walnut muffins
Creamy pecan cocktail
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon cream of coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup water
1/4 cup bourbon (optional)
Garnish: sweetened whipped cream and pecan pieces
Makes 3 cups
Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring once. Cool 10 minutes. Process pecans, syrup, cream of coconut, cinnamon, vanilla and kosher salt in a food processor 30 to 60 seconds or until smooth. With processor running, pour water through chute. Press mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a pitcher, using back of spoon. Discard solids. Cover and chill for 3 to 24 hours. Stir in bourbon just before serving. Serve over ice. Garnish, if desired.
Maple walnut muffins
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup real maple syrup
Makes 12 muffins
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease the cups of a 12-cup muffin pan.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats. Add egg, milk and syrup. Stir only until dry ingredients are moistened. Fill greased muffin tins 3/4 full.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and let stand a few minutes before removing muffins from the pan and cool.
Icing and embellishment
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup maple syrup in a cream pitcher
Beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time while mixing on medium speed until combined. Add vanilla extract. Beat at medium-high speed for 1 to 2 minutes until light and creamy.
Frost the cupcakes with the cream cheese buttercream.
To assemble, place a wooden spoon down the center of each muffin to make a well. Frost with icing leaving the hole exposed. Fill to the top with maple syrup.
A fresh white snowfall is nature’s way of simplifying the landscape. Barren trees and brown grass are coated with glistening flakes that make the ground sparkle like diamonds. Rooftops and treetops merge into one unified palette that is tranquil and calm and easy on the eyes. The holidays can be overwhelming and frenetic to say the least. So why not simplify your surroundings and make the span from Thanksgiving to New Year’s an enjoyable time to listen for those sleigh bells in the snow. Draw your inspiration from nature, and fill your rooms with white touches and decorations.
Five ways to make your own White Christmas
1. Decorate a flocked tree with white lights and white ornaments.
2. Save on wrapping and use white boxes to present all of your gifts.
3. If your accessories aren’t white, you can always paint them with acrylic craft paint or spray paint.
4. Design your holiday dining table with white dishes, white linens and clear glass.
5. Add a dusting of snow. Faux snow looks nice on mantels, bookshelves and around lighted villages. Simply vacuum up when the season is over.
A wooden village recast in white continues a Christmas tradition in a fresh way. A spray of paint from a craft store makes the transformation quick and easy.
A white teapot and linens for your gatherings can be mixed and matched from antique shops like these from Antiques on Elm in Manchester. Package in a white box or fill with cookies to give as a gift.
Shop your home and group a mix of white collectibles to make a focal point vignette on a side table or in an entryway. Add some white flaked faux snow to give it a frosty dusting of winter.
Make an Advent calendar of upstyled plant boxes painted white. You can find boxes at garden centers like the House by the Side of the Road in Wilton. Add your own countdown numbers and fill with tokens.
Check out consignment shops like Showcase Consignments in Chichester for old shell wreaths that can be revived with a fresh coat of white paint.
White glass vases and perfume bottles can be filled with seasonal bouquets for display or decanted with homemade floral water for giving.
White paper stars from Trends Gift Gallery & Invitation Studio in Exeter are a fresh and magical way to add the spirit of the holidays most anywhere.
Add fairy lights to illuminate or fill with gift cards or certificates to give as gifts.
A nontraditional soft, wreath with feathers, roses and just a touch of pale blue from the hydrangeas.
Where to shop
A White Christmas can be both old-fashioned and modern. Craft stores and big-box stores always have their own rendition of the theme, but shopping local will yield lots of inspiring items to decorate your home. Here we have ferreted out shopping destinations that can ensure your own White Christmas:
Garden Centers and Farmstands
These local stores and stands deliver on lots of inspiration and supplies for a real White Christmas.
430 Loudon Rd., Concord
Find wreaths, trees, garlands and ornaments, as well as plants such as paper whites, which are perfect as both accent items and gifts.
Black Forest Nursery & Garden
209 King St., Boscawen
Has a comprehensive collection of unusual natural greens made into swags and wreaths. Add a coat of white with spray paint or canned snow.
House by the Side of the Road
370 Gibbons Hwy., Wilton
A New Hampshire institution with every fresh Christmas decoration item you can imagine. Look for white bows, ornaments and flocked décor to decorate doors, mantels and stair rails.
These stores are a treasure trove of flowers, ornaments, gift wrap, etc. They offer plenty of inspiration for creating your own beautiful White Christmas.
Cobblestone Design Company
81 N. Main St., Concord
Featuring hundreds of beautiful ornaments all arranged in inspiring settings. Find everlasting trees, wreaths and flocked items as well.
Ford Flower Co.
83 S. Broadway, Salem
Fresh flowers and greens make this a mecca for all kinds of decorations. They also offer a number of items that are perfect for gifts and creating vignettes.
Abode Home Furnishings
Lafayette Plaza Shopping Center
775 Lafayette Rd. #12, Portsmouth
Offering furnishings, decorative accessories, gift wrap, cards and light sets in multiple white and monochromatic designs.
Der Markt at Marklin
28 Riverside Dr., Contoocook
Take a lovely ride through the country to discover a shop filled with candles, decorations, gifts and Christmas stockings.
Gus & Ruby Letterpress
29 Congress St., Portsmouth
All things stationery reign here, but you’ll also discover a plethora of gift bags, home décor items, wraps, cards, gifts, ribbons and journals in all shades, including white and cream.
Antiques and upcycled items remain all the rage in gifting and decorating. Check out these stores for one-of-a-kind holiday décor.
Just The Thing
451 Central Ave., Dover
Find a mix of vintage items and local handcrafts. Look for all the inspiring vignettes featuring white handcrafts.
White Home Collections
5705 Greenville Rd., Wilton
Offering unusual and Christmas-y vintage items for decoration. Including furniture, ornaments and holiday decorations.
Olde Towne Hall Antiques
104 Epping Rd., Exeter
Has a wonderful and ever-changing mix of decorative items that are all unusual, vintage and one-of-a-kind.