It’s the most magical time of the year, and aside from making gingerbread man cookies and ticking things off our winter bucket list, we’re most excited about getting up the Christmas tree and filling our homes with festive cheer. And while we love traditions, we also love to switch things up and infuse our own take on the season. So this year, we’re following the lead of Anastasia Casey—founder of The Identitè Collective and IDCO Studio—with a modern holiday decorating approach that skips the sparkles for a neutral and natural theme.

Simple, neutral, and natural was the goal, so Casey infused her monochromatic aesthetic, layering in texture and pattern with holiday greenery to evoke a woodlands scene straight out of a modern fairytale. Having just finished a full renovation last year, she couldn’t wait to decorate the new space for the holidays. “The holidays to me are about gratitude for the abundance we experience throughout the year, so I tend to keep things feeling very natural when I decorate,” she shares. “I tried to focus on ideas that felt appropriate to the ongoing pandemic: sustainability, simplicity, ease of storage, and efficiency.”  

Our favorite detail? The beautiful fawn-colored velvet ribbons. In fact, Casey says this was the starting point for her modern holiday decorating and inspired the entire color palette throughout the rest of the home. To make them feel festive but not cliché, she opted for color blocking and varying texture. After sourcing local beeswax candles, Casey pulled inspiration from their golden buttery hue and played that up with the ribbon. “Even though it’s minimal, the color-blocked approach creates a significant moment,” she states. We couldn’t agree more.

Anastasia Casey
  • Founder, The Identitè Collective and IDCO Studio
  • Instagram

As a web designer and branding expert specializing in luxury lifestyle brands, Anastasia’s mission is to help boutique brands reach their target audience through refined design and strategic marketing. She has created content for brands like McGee & Co., Herbivore Botanicals, Snap Kitchen, and many more.

Take the tour to see Casey’s modern holiday decorating approach, then shop the look:

Tell us more about the color palette. 

Every holiday season, I pick a color palette and run with it throughout the whole house. I like to let the greenery be the focal point, so I usually select two or three monochromatic hues to complement it. I went with a muted copper hue and a faded marigold. They share a similar tone and complement each other while differentiating themselves enough to feel unique. Just three bolts of velvet ribbon were enough to decorate my entire house. 

The greenery is gorgeous.  Tell us about it. Any tips for maintenance? 

All the gorgeous greenery came from Lulu & Georgia. Because I was going natural on all our wreaths and garland, I immediately soaked them in a bathtub overnight. This gives your live greens one good final drink after their travels and prepares them for an extra week or two on your walls. Once the greenery has been hung, I mist them with a squirt of water once or twice a week. We’ve had a particularly warm fall season so far here in Austin, so I’ve been spraying water my greens every other day.

What’s the trick to pulling off a look that doesn’t feature a typical Christmas color scheme?
I always steer toward slightly “off” colors. Faded mustards, dusty heathers, deep cobalt—the trick to making it feel holiday is using satin or velvet ribbons and skipping the sparkles. 

Setting the candles on top of greenery is a nice touch. Any tips for this? 

Safety is always my top priority when decorating for the holidays, so making sure these candles were stable was imperative. Instead of using a traditional garland, I just clipped individual olive branches and tucked them in around the candles so they could sit flat on the mantle.

What’s the best approach for recreating this mantel look? Any tricks people can steal?

Get as many varied sizes of candles as you can, and then buy 20% more. The best way to recreate this look is to group the candles together very closely leaving little room between them. It makes for a more editorial effect and feels less kitschy. When it comes to stocking styling, less is more! A few simple velvet ribbons tied loosely in monochromatic colors elevate the entire look.

What type of greenery works best for this mantle look and were you inspired by the artwork when choosing it?

This look works universally with whatever greenery you can find. Throughout the season, I actually clip new branches from my yard and replace them every two weeks to keep the mantle fresh and green. These particular branches are olive branches, a traditional symbol of peace, which I sourced locally from a hill country olive orchard. Once I had my color palette selected, I used my Samsung Frame TV to find complimentary art to feature. This one is a Rembrandt from the Samsung Art Store. I love this TV because I have access to archives of artwork from top museums around the world, which makes switching it up for the season so simple.

We really love the other natural elements you used in the décor, can you expand on that?

This year, I specifically decided to focus on natural wreaths and garland for my holiday décor and I love the way it makes the house smell, especially when you use unexpected greenery like bay leaves, olive branches, or eucalyptus garland. In the kitchen, I love to decorate with the season’s harvest: bowls of persimmons, pomegranates tucked into open shelves and mini rosemary trees on the counter that I cook with all winter long.

Any tips for folks that don’t have a big budget for decorating?  

Yes, use what you have! Utilize the items you already have around your house, in a new way. The holidays are all about sparkle, so group your brass or chrome decor accents spread throughout your home into more strategic placements. Metallic lamps, sculptural objects, or glimmering storage boxes make for the perfect amount of sparkle when sprinkled in a room.

We love how you incorporate art into your space.  Tell us about mixing it up for the holiday. 

From thrifted vintage landscapes to budget-friendly downloadable prints, switching out your artwork to something more seasonal is a designer trick that just makes things feel special. I have a large snowy landscape my great-grandmother painted that I hung in our living room which instantly sets the tone for the entire space. Tucking small printables in metallic frames throughout your bookshelves is a timeless trick that sparks mini-moments of joy.

We love how simple the holiday décor is, and how it complements the space. Was that intentional?
If there is one thing I’ve learned over the past 18-months or so,  it’s that simplicity is a luxury. Every moment in your day has an opportunity to be special, and sometimes it requires stripping back the excess in order to find it.  I recommend decorating in phases if decking out your home feels too intimidating for a weekend. A small wreath hung bedside is all a bedroom may need to feel festive. Crystal clear twinkle lights may be all your tree needs for now, and you can add ornaments as a family in a few weeks. Enjoy each moment as it comes and appreciates the beauty in simplicity.

Now, Shop the Look to Achieve Modern Holiday Decorating at Home…

DECORATIONS

Lulu and Georgia Fresh Handmade Atlas Wreath


Lulu and Georgia Fresh Handmade Atlas Wreath, $95

Lulu and Georgia Fresh Handmade Seeded Eucalyptus Wreath


Lulu and Georgia Fresh Handmade Seeded Eucalyptus Wreath, $80

QIANF Vintage Khaki Velvet Ribbon


QIANF Vintage Khaki Velvet Ribbon, $17.99

SuperMoss Sheet Moss


SuperMoss Sheet Moss, $40.70

Morex Velvet Ribbon


Morex Velvet Ribbon, $26.28

ENTRY

McGee & Co. Decker Table Lamp


McGee & Co. Decker Table Lamp, $375

Threshold x Studio McGee Belmont Shore Console Table


Threshold x Studio McGee Belmont Shore Console Table, $220

McGee & Co. 18″ Cabinet Maker’s Picture Light


McGee & Co. 18″ Cabinet Maker’s Picture Light, $380

Jeld-Wen Lite Unfinished Wood Door


Jeld-Wen Lite Unfinished Wood Door, $942.57

Arlo Blinds Cordless Tuscan Bamboo Shades


Arlo Blinds Cordless Tuscan Bamboo Shades, $47

Brentwood Store Large Box Pleat Empire Lamp Shade


Brentwood Store Large Box Pleat Empire Lamp Shade, $104.99

McGee & Co. Leather Crafted Tray


McGee & Co. Leather Crafted Tray, $103.99

Pac Trim Primed Shiplap Interior Siding


Pac Trim Primed Shiplap Interior Siding, $96.78

LIVING ROOM

Arlo Blinds Cordless Tuscan Bamboo Shades


Arlo Blinds Cordless Tuscan Bamboo Shades, $47

France & Son Three Drawer Chest On Legs


France & Son Three Drawer Chest On Legs, $2,616

WAC Lighting Black Blade Ceiling Fan


WAC Lighting Black Blade Ceiling Fan, $224.29

France & Son Holmes Coffee Table


France & Son Holmes Coffee Table, $678

McGee & Co. Raine Pillow Cover


McGee & Co. Raine Pillow Cover, $128

CB2 Stairway White Wall-Mounted Bookcase


Senjania Tunisian Clay Beads


Senjania Tunisian Clay Beads, $108

McGee & Co. Eileen Console Table


McGee & Co. Eileen Console Table, $1,900

Jenni Kayne Ynez Pillow


Jenni Kayne Ynez Pillow, $145

Samsung The Frame Series 55″ TV


Samsung The Frame Series 55″ TV

Bloomist Antique Chinese Stool


Bloomist Antique Chinese Stool, $108

McGee & Co. Mira Pillow Cover


McGee & Co. Mira Pillow Cover, $78

Lulu and Georgia Charleston Sofa


Lulu and Georgia Charleston Sofa, $3498

Shoppe Akriti Throw


Shoppe Akriti Throw, $450

Lulu and Georgia Bungalow Rug


Lulu and Georgia Bungalow Rug, $1,012

Bloomist Papier Maché Bowl


Bloomist Papier Maché Bowl, $108

McGee & Co. Decker Table Lamp


McGee & Co. Decker Table Lamp, $375

McGee & Co. Lucille English Roll Arm Chair


McGee & Co. Lucille English Roll Arm Chair, $2,400

DINING ROOM

West Elm Holland Dining Chair


West Elm Holland Dining Chair, $339

McGee & Co. Preston Round Dining Table


McGee & Co. Preston Round Dining Table, $3,610

Shoppe Hood Chandelier


Shoppe Hood Chandelier, $4,300

Pottery Barn Faux Potted Olive Trees


Pottery Barn Faux Potted Olive Trees, $299

Monroe Antique White Resin Composite Planter


Monroe Antique White Resin Composite Planter, $93.48

Clare Fresh Kicks Paint


Clare Fresh Kicks Paint

Arlo Blinds Cordless Tuscan Bamboo Shades


Arlo Blinds Cordless Tuscan Bamboo Shades, $47

KITCHEN

Crate & Barrel Miguel Highball Glass


Crate & Barrel Miguel Highball Glass, $6.95

Macy’s Rim Bone China Dinner Plate


Macy’s Rim Bone China Dinner Plate, $11.89

Crate & Barrel Sloan Black Dinner Plate


Crate & Barrel Sloan Black Dinner Plate, $10.95

Crate & Barrel French Kitchen Marble Rolling Pin


Crate & Barrel French Kitchen Marble Rolling Pin, $24.95

McGee & Co. Somerset Bread Board


McGee & Co. Somerset Bread Board, $115

Bloomist Brown Novah Ceramic Pitcher


Bloomist Brown Novah Ceramic Pitcher, $40

Caraway Non-Toxic Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set


Caraway Non-Toxic Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set, $370

KitchenAid French Door Refrigerator


KitchenAid French Door Refrigerator, $2,249

Clare Greige Paint


Clare Greige Paint

Idealux Glass Storage Jars


Idealux Glass Storage Jars, $26.99

French Home 5 Piece Kitchen Knife Set


French Home 5 Piece Kitchen Knife Set, $117.99

Hallman Single Oven


Hallman Single Oven, $3,099

McGee & Co. Lupe Sconce


McGee & Co. Lupe Sconce, $175

Rejuvenation Ball Cabinet Knob


Rejuvenation Ball Cabinet Knob, $12

Rejuvenation Rigdon Drawer Pull


Rejuvenation Rigdon Drawer Pull, $32

McGee & Co. Dean 24″ Picture Light


McGee & Co. Dean 24″ Picture Light, $700

Pac Trim Primed Shiplap Interior Siding


Pac Trim Primed Shiplap Interior Siding, $96.78

BEDROOM

McGee & Co. Brushed Charcoal Vase


McGee & Co. Brushed Charcoal Vase, $248

West Elm European Flax Linen Duvet Cover & Shams


West Elm European Flax Linen Duvet Cover & Shams, $125

Emtek Passage Providence Knob with Rectangular Rose


Emtek Passage Providence Knob with Rectangular Rose, $102.4

Safavieh Home Dilan Brown Leather Weave and Black Safari Accent Chair


Safavieh Home Dilan Brown Leather Weave and Black Safari Accent Chair, $589.95

Etsy Brass Stump Sconce


Etsy Brass Stump Sconce, $410

Urban Outfitters Amelia 6-Drawer Dresser


Urban Outfitters Amelia 6-Drawer Dresser, $849

Arlo Blinds Cordless Tuscan Bamboo Shades


Arlo Blinds Cordless Tuscan Bamboo Shades, $47

McGee & Co. Raine Pillow Cover


McGee & Co. Raine Pillow Cover, $128

Samsung The Frame Series 55″ TV


Samsung The Frame Series 55″ TV

McGee & Co. Waverley Stool


McGee & Co. Waverley Stool, $280

McGee & Co. Huxton Nightstand


McGee & Co. Huxton Nightstand, $1,050

McGee & Co. Rosamund Desk


McGee & Co. Rosamund Desk, $2,835

Clare Grayish Paint


Clare Grayish Paint

Illuminate Vintage Black and Brass Sconce


Illuminate Vintage Black and Brass Sconce, $140

McGee & Co. Lucille English Roll Arm Chair


McGee & Co. Lucille English Roll Arm Chair, $2,400

Visual Comfort Halifax Table Lamp


Visual Comfort Halifax Table Lamp, $879

McGee & Co. Geddes Bed


McGee & Co. Geddes Bed, $1,900

BATHROOM

Rejuvenation Arched Mantel Metal Framed Mirror


Rejuvenation Arched Mantel Metal Framed Mirror, $689

Matte Black Shower Head


Matte Black Shower Head, $189.55

McGee & Co. Vendome Double Sconce


McGee & Co. Vendome Double Sconce, $340

Emtek Passage Providence Knob with Rectangular Rose


Emtek Passage Providence Knob with Rectangular Rose, $102.4

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