Design Tips for a Winter Solstice Celebration

The first day of winter is also the shortest, darkest day of the year. Illuminate your home with the glow of candles, the shine of bright colors and mirrors, and subtle hints of spring to show Old Man Winter who's boss.

By: Karli Sanders

Photo By: Courtesy of Pottery Barn

Photo By: Erin Cochran

Photo By: Wynn Myers

Photo By: Andrea Schuneman

Photo By: Jessica Wangelin

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn, FlynnsideOut

Photo By: Leanne Jacobs

Wintery Mix

A sparkling mantel in champagne and silver cancels out the gloom and cold outside your door. Forced paper whites are a cheerful reminder of springtime weather to come. Include natural elements like pinecones and nuts and you've got a wintery scene to last the whole season.

Working-Class Candles

The first day of winter is the perfect time for candles to serve as more than decorative accents. Put your chandeliers, sconces, candelabras and candlesticks to work in the fight against seasonal affective disorder.

Glamorous Gold

Carefully placed touches of gold used in this living room — candleholders, fabrics, frames, furniture, dipped candles and bowls — instantly create a glamorous space. Incorporate a non-working fireplace into the sophisticated look by placing battery-operated lights behind plants like ferns.

From: Target

Solstice Style

Strands of holiday lights aren't just for decorating Christmas trees. The tiny bulbs are small enough to make any space shine. Here they brighten up a shelf full of serveware. By placing candles near shiny, reflective services like the glazed ceramics here, you get an all-around glow.

Rustic Dining Table

Invite friends and family over for a Sunday brunch full of delicious fare, rustic wintry decor and a make-it-yourself hot cocoa bar. Keeping the centerpiece low allows for easy conversation between guests.

Winter Mantel

Framed photo prints and white vases makes an enchanting snowy display. A large mirror is layered with vases and picture frames and a lovely quote is featured on a lattice-framed chalkboard.

Wintry Luxe Dining Space

To create drama, think of each decorative element in reference to its visual weight and shape. This table for four is lacking in a tablecloth or runner; instead, different textures and sheens of varied materials, from the seagrass and cork chargers to the antique brass place setting and the coarse texture of the thistle centerpiece, anchor the tablescape.

Ice, Ice Baby

Everything about this room by Candice Olson is perfect for the winter solstice. Ice blue in the chairs and rug represents the chill in the air (from the comfort of a warm, fireplace), two oversized chandeliers provide a peaceful light and a long dining table is perfect for throwing winter parties.

Natural Reflections

This living room has all of the gear to help you survive a cold and dreary winter day. A toasty fireplace melts away the chill even if it's just full of candles. A western-style chandelier positioned across from a large mirror envelopes the room in natural light.

Soft Colors

Winter white mixed with natural elements create a warm and cozy setting perfect for snuggling. 

A Modern Winter

Embrace the cool colors of silver and gray this winter. Designer Erinn Valencich may have drained this dining room of color, but the atmosphere is anything but bleak. Plenty of natural light and pops of white warm up this modern design.

From: Erinn Valencich

Warm Winter Nights

Bright whites and simple natural elements dress up this winter mantel display. Terra-cotta pots painted in metallic colors add shine, as do the glitter highlights on pine cones. Candles and lanterns provide a warm glow, great for cold winter nights. 

Hypericum Berries

Dress up your tabletop surface with an arrangement that looks just like mistletoe. Combine branches of hypericum berries with sprigs and branches of pine. The arrangement will last anywhere from 10 days to 2 weeks if the water is changed regularly and the stems are cut at an angle every other day.

Sculptural Mantel

This mantel's play on shapes, scale and layering gives it an understated vibe that's seasonal, yet modern and a bit masculine.

Blue and Silver Snowflakes

This simple, toned-down winter mantel display features a few silver candlesticks with ornaments and a glittery bird. Glittering snowflakes hung with clothespins on baker's twine create a sparkling banner that adds shine to the muted mantel.

Gold Standard

If silver is too cold for your tastes, try gold. This metallic warms up everything it touches, while adding much-needed sparkle to winter decor. A few gold accessories are all you need to melt the winter chill.

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