10 ways to create a winter centrepiece with natural branches

Natural branch centrepiece over dining table

When it comes to Scandi design, natural branches and foliage are Christmas decor staples. To create a focal point, a few foraged branches and sprays of pine can be much simpler alternative to a Christmas tree, especially where space is limited. So, if you’re looking for ideas for the ‘no tree Christmas tree’, these 10 looks have a fresh Nordic feel.


Christmas wreath making

Natural wreaths have been popular at Christmas for centuries, typically made from evergreens that are able to survive the harshest winters. Getting a real wreath made up by your local florist will give you the chance to bring all kinds of festive scents into the home such as eucalyptus, pine and even citrus. Pictured is a lovely design from The Indytute Experiences* who put on classes to make your own.


Big branches

Scandi winter decoration natural branch centrepiece

This interior by Swedish stylist AnnaLeena shows what can be done with a gnarled sculptural branch and a glass carboy. The dramatic silhouette is softened with white fairy lights and makes a beautiful wintery feature. For similar vessels, you’ll find a selection of vintage demijohns at Vinterior*


Twig stars

Scandi star made from wooden sticksScandi star made from wooden sticks

Scandi interior design is renowned for its use of natural materials. These twig stars are another typically Scandinavian decoration and as you can see from the video below, are very easy to make. As usual, drape with fairy lights and prop up on a side table or fireplace. Image via Houzz.



Branch decoration in white vase with black wall behind

Tree ornaments can come in beautiful intricate designs. To show them off, hang a small collection on a single branch, as shown in this monochrome set up by talented Norwegian interior blogger Marthe Holien Bø. Pictured below are Harini recycled glass baubles in antique black by Nkuku*.

Recycled glass christmas baubles by Nkuku


Hanging branches

Table setting with hanging branch decoration by Neptune

Neptune styled this Scandi inspired Christmas table setting by suspending a huge branch from the ceiling. Providing you have some way of hanging it securely, it’s a clever alternative for creating impact in a smaller space, without the need for a Christmas tree.


Table runner

Christmas table with natural decorations

This Christmas table was styled by Jeska Hearne, owner of conscious online store The Future Kept. An earthy rustic feel is created with sprigs of winter foliage combined with tall beeswax candles and natural linen. Find similar at The Future Kept.



Berries table setting

They may not all be suitable for eating, but berry branches are an effortless way of adding a splash of colour to the table. For this simple table setting, the look it completed with apothecary bottles for vases and linen textiles. Image via Tending the Table.


Stocking display

Branch decoration for hanging Christmas stockings

If you don’t have a beautiful period fireplace to hang your Christmas stockings on (and Santa will just have to find another way in) The Merrythought may have found an alternative. This simple DIY is great way to jazz up a white wall. Keep it plain or add as much extra greenery as you wish.


Pale palette

Simple natural branch decoration with white baubles

This winter styling by Atelier Sukha in Amsterdam demonstrates that ‘pale’ can most definitely be interesting. It shows how white on white combined with warm wood, can look bright and cheerful and well as calming. Styling by Cleo Scheulderman and photo by Jeroen van de Spek via Vosges Paris.


Pines in a line

Christmas tree wall decoration made with pine branches

Another way to bring that lovely pine scent into the home without the hassle of a whole Christmas tree. Domino have come up with some simple DIY tutorials for small spaces, including this tree design made from a few pine garlands.


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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).

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