Holiday Style 2022: Old World Rustic

Every year in January, the Nell Hill’s team and I make the trek to market in Atlanta in search of the finest baubles and jewels to adorn our shop for the holidays. I know what you are thinking, who in their right mind is thinking about Christmas in January!  But, we are!  

We keep a keen eye out for timeless styles, rather than trends, and scour through floors and floors of decor to curate themes and items that feel exclusively Nell Hill’s.  

The Flint Hills room is decked out in Old World Rustic Christmas decor 
Organic elements drip from this Old World Rustic tree, next to baskets of holiday baubles

For months, boxes of Christmas decor have been arriving, I always love watching the magic of these items we lovingly picked one-by-one become a cohesive, beautiful display. Old World Rustic was the first Christmas theme that came together on the floor this year – a perfect fit for the Flint Hills room – and immediately became a Nell Hill’s favorite. While collecting my thoughts for this post, I reminisced with the members of our buying team who collaborated on this look. Our lovely product coordinator shared, “We loved the different textures that evolved, from shiny to galvanized and birch to fur, it all just came together. At market we tend to see similar themes throughout, but we are able to pull certain elements from our favorite showrooms to make a more “Nell Hill’s” theme develop.”  

Darker tones, and organic and metallic elements are the anchor of this design
Decor doesn’t end at the mantel and tree, the top of this bookcase and sofa table are adorned as well

I’m immediately struck by the details that come together to make this holiday scene. Like the little pop of the citrus-y deep oranges and yellows. I love a classic dried fruit element and these colors speak to that without being too literal. The colors add some dimension to this organic look. 

A second tree and tree fillers like picks and small ornaments brighten up this corner of the Flint Hills room
This jolly santa, snow shoes, fur-lined sleighs, and the galvanized bells are a few of my favorite details.

The tree is the cornerstone of this holiday look, and this one is certainly dressed to impress. Wanting to recreate the look at home? Our team has a few different approaches, all of which lead to a beautiful end result. This method is easy to follow and leads to a well-balanced design. 

When building this tree, we began by layering with picks to make the tree fuller. I like the organic elements found in the weepy white branches and cranberry colored stems placed throughout – very rustic. Next we anchor the larger elements to the tree, here a jolly Santa, fur-trimmed sleighs of varying sizes, and showers of galvanized bells are added.  A customer favorite, we ordered these beautiful and versatile bells in three sizes! We saw the potential at market right away, and our visuals team had some great ideas for their use, like tucked into a tree, collected in a basket, perched on a coffee table, or nestled into the mantel.  

Deep citrus tones balance the natural elements for a moody rustic look

After the larger elements have found their places dispersed throughout the tree, it’s time to add your ribbon. You can cascade it down the tree, or weave throughout depending on the look you prefer. Once your ribbon is placed, start at the center point (or focal point) of the tree and begin placing the smaller ornaments and work your way out from there. Small “loops” of ribbon can have a large impact if you aren’t wanting an ornament heavy tree. 

Coffee tables are the perfect place for a supporting display for a look that spans the entire room

We carried this theme throughout the room, incorporating both natural and elegant accents for a look that is both rustic and refined. A wood and metal lantern paired with a shimmering golden reindeer, dressed up with greenery and ribbon make for the perfect coffee table vignette. Add some candle sticks and a smaller lantern for a larger space, or pare down by removing a piece or two that doesn’t work for you. Play until you have the right mix, one that gives you the right amount of volume and movement.  

A “lopsided” mantel vignette lends to the organic style of this design, with more ornaments placed to the left of the garland.

I just adore the depth and texture this look offers. It’s the perfect theme to kick off our Christmas features, too! Stay tuned – over the next few weeks, we will be featuring many more holiday looks that you can find in-store right now. Stop by to see them in all their glory! And don’t forget our Holiday Open House coming up quick – November 4-5! Will I see you there? Until then – Happy Decorating!