Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
(AP) - Stores are full of colorful ornaments and sparkly décor that set the holiday tone with glamour and panache. But there's also decor for those who prefer to welcome the season with more homespun serenity.
Many of these items reference nature with quiet wintry hues and rustic textures. You can imagine fireplaces ablaze, skis and skates at the ready and cozy lodges set up for holiday gatherings.
"We love all the adorable woodland-themed decorations on everything from pillows and throws to ornaments and tableware," says HGTV Magazine's Sara Peterson.
Collections of these creatures _ deer, foxes, bears and so on _ are available in any number of crafted forms: bottlebrush squirrels, raccoons and hedgehogs at Pottery Barn, faux fur and fiber owls and moose at West Elm. ( www.potterybarn.com; http://www.westelm.com)
Plaid mitten, heart and tree ornaments are part of Target's Smith & Hawken holiday collection. ( www.target.com)
"Advent garlands are popular this year too. Garlands with fabric pouches that count down to Christmas, or a string of colorful envelopes," notes Peterson.
German designer Irmi Black makes a knitted-mitten Advent garland; small treats can be tucked in each mitten and the garland can be used as an organizer after the holidays. Target's Threshold Rustic Advent Calendar is a veritable mini-cabin, complete with tiny drawers printed with snowflakes, trees and seasonal patterns. ( www.etsy.com/shop/irmiblack)
A collection of wooden trees to decorate a tabletop or mantel can be found at Homegoods, as well as some cozy Fair Isle-patterned throws with a ski chalet vibe. ( www.homegoods.com)
Fill large clear hurricanes with tin jingle bells, birch branches or white painted twigs, or make a non-edible version of holiday trifle with layers of faux snow or moss and tiny red ornaments.
Arhaus has pillar candles in cream and dove gray that are carved to look like cable knit sleeves. Felted throw pillows embroidered with deer, rabbits and other forest friends add charm. Find chunky knit throws here, too. ( www.arhaus.com)
North Pole flannel bedding from Garnet Hill depicts Santa's snowy home complete with cocoa stands, reindeer barns and sled shops. Ikea's Annbritt collection includes woolly blankets, plaid cushions and duvet covers in rich reds. ( www.garnethill.com; www.ikea.com)
Or evoke the chalet vibe with canoe and lumberjack ornaments. The old camp standard Stanley Thermos is updated in green, red or ivory _ perfect for skating or sledding parties. ( http://www.westelm.com)
Artist Rachel Kozlowski's imaginative plates have found a following beyond her Etsy.com fans; she's featured at West Elm this season with a collection of Dapper Animal plates: bears with trapper hats, owls in plaid shirts and other whimsical designs. At her Etsy shop, a plate features a moose emerging from a woodsy plaid background. ( www.etsy.com/shop/RKArtwork)
If you'd like to take the chalet theme in a more literal direction, consider decorating with actual skis and snowboards. The artwork on many snowboards has great graphic oomph. Use a board as the focal point for a mantel display, adding ornaments or pine rope to reference the holidays. ( www.ridesnowboards.com; www.k2snowboarding.com)
Or consider a bronze-finished ski door knocker or a retro-style "Ski Lift" sign, as well as ski tourism posters and throw pillows with 1940s-era, ski-resort postcard art. ( www.potterybarn.com)