Eco chic and minimalist Christmas decor ideas

Brass ring wreath minimalist Christmas decor

The conscious shopper will always ask… how much use and joy will I get out this item that I’m about to bring into my life? This time of year we see an abundance of homeware that can only be used at Christmas, everything from snowflake embellished tableware to Santa themed napkins, all with very limited use value. The minimalist will always weigh up whether it’s really worth the space it fills for the extra 11 months of the year.

But this doesn’t mean having to perform your festivities in a empty, soulless white box. Decoration is part of what makes a home feel comfortable after all. It’s just a question of choosing decorative items wisely – things that are easy to store, biodegradable, edible or reusable, perhaps even beyond Christmas. Here are some great examples.

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1. Natural foliage

Brass ring wreath by Strups

Christmas decor that can be composted is a better alternative to artificial varieties, not only because it’s more eco friendly, they’re out of the way once Christmas is over.

Last weekend, I attended a Christmas decor workshop with interior designer Mathilde Kubisiak of MK Design. It took place at South Kensington’s Skandium townhouse and whilst being plied with delicious food, we learned how to make contemporary Christmas wreaths using brass rings by Danish brand, Strups. The brass rings can be reused every Christmas but also throughout the year with flowers and foliage from all seasons. It also takes up very little storage space when not in use.

The process involved tying seasonal natural foliage to the rings using florist binding wire and leather rope. With infinite styling possibilities, you can add as little or as much foliage as you like. The results were chic and contemporary, perfect for the Scandi inspired interior. See plenty of inspiration on the Strups Instagram page.

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2. Tealights and lanterns

Glass tealight holder by Nkuku

As discussed in a previous post on seasonal scents, candles will always create a festive and cosy atmosphere, all year round. Ethical brand Nkuku* always have a lovely selection of candle holders which are handmade by artisans, around the globe. Nkuku’s Bequai tealight box and Mokomo hanging lantern will create the perfect ambience for winter evenings and beyond.

Mokomo hanging lantern by Nkuku

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3. Evergreen fairy lights

Fairy lights at a window

Choose fairy lights that can be used year round, such as plain white LEDs. These playful ‘Marshmallow’ lights (below) are by Brighton company Cable & Cotton. The cotton balls are handmade by a community of women in a remote southern region of Thailand, set up with the help of the Thai government’s Project OTOP. The string lights come in a huge array of colours and you can customise your own.

Marshmallow string lights by Cable and Cotton

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4. Easy to store

Laser cut plywood minimalist Christmas tree

Estonia-based Etsy shop Cardboard Christmas* makes laser cut cardboard and plywood Christmas trees that can be neatly flat-packed and stowed away. Just add fairy lights.

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5. Less is more 

Hanging brass cup decoration

For those who love shiny things without the excess. A few gold or silver details are a subtle nod to the festive season. This simple hanging brass decoration is ‘Four Bells’ by William Waterhouse, £12 from The New Craftsman.

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6. Edible decorations

Minimalist Christmas biscuits by Honeywell Bakes

What better way to clear the clutter than to eat your Christmas decorations? Add seasonal touches to the table with Christmas themed biscuits and sweets. If there’s no time to bake your own, these hand-iced botanical Christmas biscuits are available to order from Honeywell Bakes* for £20.

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Author: Antonia Edwards

Antonia is the founding editor of Upcyclist. Based in the UK, she is the author of two books: 'Upcyclist: Reclaimed and Remade Furniture, Lighting and Interiors' (Prestel 2015) and 'Renovate Innovate: Reclaimed and Upcycled Homes' (Prestel 2017).