It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Anyone who knows me knows that it’s killing me not to be able to redo this apartment we’ll call home for a year. I’ve done what I can, working with what I have, and I’ve done it again for the holidays.

Our furnished apartment came decorated with this hideous lime green bookshelf. Until now, it’s been a place where we display photos, but that changed yesterday. I went to a Christmas tea on Tuesday and came home with a bag full of beautiful greenery, pinecones and berries. In an effort to holidize our temporary home, I rearranged the ugly shelves, and I quite fancy them now—proof that you can make just about anything work. Here are a few of my Christmas decorating ideas.

green shelf final

top shelf

I bought this horse painting at the Geneva flea market back in May. I thought it would be fabulous in a kid’s room project. I bought the small silver, blue and white ornaments at the Salvation Army, then piled them into footed dessert dish. I put one branch in a bottle that once housed coffee-flavored liqueur that Scott’s parents bought us in Germany.

second shelf

This greenery is my favorite, so I positioned it just below eye level (for me anyway). I couldn’t tell a fir from a pine, but I loved the different textures and colors here. The bottom branch has a few red berries left on it; the lighter (maybe juniper? Arizona cypress; thanks, Cheryl of McCue Garden Makeovers) branch on top looks like it has traces of blue in it. Just beautiful. To fill the rest of the shelf, I bought a bunch of clementines from the outdoor market and arranged them in a glass bowl.

third shelf

I picked up these two books on French châteaus at the Geneva flea market when we first moved to Switzerland. I just methodically placed a few pinecone branches on top. As the French say, Voilà!

fourth shelf

This was, by far, the largest and most unruly branch but so fabulous because it’s full and organically shaped. I just nestled a couple of wooden pears from my Nyon flea marketing trip in between some of the needles.


I placed all the leftover greenery in a white serving dish and tucked in two ornaments I picked up at the Salvation Army.

Do you use greenery to decorate for the holidays? I would love to see how and where you’ve used it.