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Deck the halls - add some holiday cheer to the entryway

Rust eucalyptus wreath  /  Edge brass mirror / Mistletoe ornament Emerson console table / Water Drop blown glass bud vase / Bottle brush trees / Vintage stack of books / LED string lights / LED twinkle light wreath / Floral merry doormat / Savoy basketsbirch poleSong bird ornaments / Schlage Encode Smart Wifi Deadbolt

Once you've decorated your front porch and put up the Christmas tree why not spend some time adding a little festive cheer to your front entryway.  It can be as simple as a vase filled with fresh greenery but the front entry sets the tone for the rest of your home, so it's worth it to spend a little extra time making it merry and bright.

I'm a big fan of using what you have, shopping vintage and using natural elements to decorate but sometimes it's nice to freshen up your decor with something new. I feel like if you stick to what you love and not get too caught up in trends, you're on the right track.

Even if your entryway is small a little holiday decor can still have an impact. From garlands and wreaths to vases of fresh greenery and glittering string lights, it's the first stop to greet guests with a sense of your holiday decor.

I've partnered with Schlage Canada to put together an inspiration board filled with some of my favourite things that I've spotted this season, to help spruce up your entryway for the holidays.

Use nature to decorate

For me, holiday decor is all about the natural elements. There is nothing quite like the smell of fresh  cedar, pine and boxwood. ls to the mix. Maybe you're lucky enough to be able to walk to your backyard and snip some fresh branches of greenery or berries to bring inside but if not then head to your local florist or green grocer. I also like the idea adding some floral to the mix. Instead of the usual red flowers try pinks, corals and peaches mixed with green. Although not foraged, I also love this eucalyptus wreath in an unexpected colour. It doesn't scream Christmas, so you could actually use it all year round. It's one of those pieces that you buy that can get lots of use.

If your entryway includes a staircase, a garland will add just the right amount of holiday flair. It's a low key, easy way to add some fresh or faux greenery. Just weave the garland through the slats of the stair railing or around the banister.

Don't forget the inside of your front door. It's the perfect spot to hang another wreath, especially one that can't go outside. I love some of the wreaths made from foraged finds found on nature walks or with dried flowers.

Speaking of your door, have you thought about upgrading to a smart lock on your entry door? It could be a great gift for your home. The Schlage Encode features a keyless system that makes it easy to unlock your door from anywhere when paired with the Schlage Home App or Key by Amazon app, or with voice commands using Alexa or Google Assistant plus you can set up access codes for guests. It's easy to install yourself and fits a variety of standard door sizes.

Buy secondhand, when you can

We're all trying to make a difference and reduce our impact on the earth. Besides buying less, one of the best ways we can do that is to buy secondhand. At this time of year, thrift stores and antique markets are stocked up with holiday decor. But don't just stay in the Christmas decor aisle. Look for pretty pottery that you can fill with holiday plants like Christmas cactus and Winter Berry, or glass vases that you can fill with greenery or flowers. There is almost always a basket aisle.

Antique markets are especially good for finding vintage ornaments. The bird ornaments in my inspiration board remind me of the vintage clip on bird ornaments that you can find at an antique market. Imagine them hangingfrom branches. Yes please.

Then there are books. Vintage books are my go-to decor item whether it's Christmas or any ordinary day. They just add instant soul to a room and besides I love them. Books (if they are pretty ones) and ornaments are my top two things I can rarely leave behind. They can be found at thrift stores and antique markets.

Add some sparkle.

Little LED string lights will do the job. Pop them in a jar, vase or wrap them around a wreath and they will add just the right amount of holiday sparkle. Candles are nice too, but stay safe and if you're not going to be nearby opt for battery operated candles or just stick to the LED lights.

Lay out the welcome mat.

A coir mat at front door is the perfect for absorbing slush and snow as you walk through the door. We always have a boot tray in our entryway at this time of year. Both help to keep your floor clean and dry. This holiday floral pattern adds a nice pop of colour to the floor.

Disclosure: I've partnered with Schlage Canada in this sponsored post. All opinions and text are my own.

DIY Dried Orange Slices

Make a garland out of dried citrus slices.

Old-fashioned décor such as dried orange slices adds a festive touch and makes your house smell great when you're making them. They are a trendy diy holiday decor project this year and they are so easy to make. These images were part of story I did for about holiday decorating using natural elements for The Toronto Star a year ago, last Christmas.  If you have a food dehyrator you could use that too.

How to do it?

1. Heat oven to low heat 175-200 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Slice an orange into ¼ inch slices and place on a cookie sheet.
3. Place cookie sheet in a low heat oven for several hours or until dried, turning once.
4. String a natural fibre twine such as hemp or jute through the dried slices to make a garland, use as embellishments on gifts or as part of a table centrepiece. 

How to add cozy autumn decor to your home

Vintage wine glasses via Fat Dachshund / Pressed metal autumn leaves garland via Terrain / Made in Portugal blue plate via Homesense / Soare woven place mat via Ikea Canada  / Wool blanket via June Home Supply / Felted wool pumpkins via Wills and Prior / Linen Napkins via June Home Supply / Tobermory felted wool pillow via Tonic Living / Wilshire Navy pillow via Tonic Living / Schlage Encode Smart Wifi Lock with Camelot Trim in Aged Bronze / Vintage ink pour bottles via Lemontree and Co. / Wheat bunch via Lemontree and Co. / Glass vase via Lemontree and Co. /

The calendar says it’s fall but my front porch still looks like summer. Can you relate? We are celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, so autumn décor is feeling quite appropriate. But I don’t have the heart to toss out the Boston ferns, they are still so healthy looking.

I don’t do a lot of decorating outside for autumn, just a few pumpkins and I love the varieties you can find now at the local supermarket. But I do make an effort indoors to cozy up the house for autumn, especially if I’m entertaining.

Once again, I’ve partnered with Schlage Canada to create an inspiration board, and share some tips on how to layer in the all the cozy elements for autumn in your home, just in time for Thanksgiving – including tips on using what you already have around your house, the farmer’s market, a thrift store or a walk in the woods. Whether you're hosting a big Thanksgiving meal or just want to cozy up your décor for autumn, you don’t have to do a lot to make an impact.

It's all about the layers.

When the weather cools it's all about the layers and that applies to your home as well. It's time to pull out the wool blankets and cozy throws so that they are easy to grab and curl up with on the sofa. Sometimes I swap out my cushion covers too for warmer fabrics with texture, like the felted wool pillow in the mood board above. Even if you do just one or two cushions it can really refresh a space.

Bring the outdoors in.

When I think of autumn, it's all about the colours. For some, that might mean bright reds and oranges but I prefer the earthy hues of Fall. There is something beautiful about the flowers that are in decline. Hydrangeas turn various shades of brown, flowers lose their lustre but I actually find it a soothing palette. It all starts to feel a little delicate.

A walk in your backyard or the woods can yield a lot of treasures to bring indoors, like fallen branches of coloured leaves. Just make sure you take what is on the ground and forage responsibly. 

Speaking of coming inside. If you're hosting Thanksgiving this weekend you know that when the guests start arriving you're going to have your hands full. One of the benefits of the Schlage Encode, a smart lock for your front door, is that it makes it easy for guests to make themselves at home - because you can unlock the door from your phone using the app or using voice commands via Alexa or Google Assistant. The Encode comes in different styles and finishes but I think the Camelot trim with warm Aged Bronze finish (pictured above) looks perfect for Fall.

Reduce, reuse and upcycle.

Foraged branches, grasses and flowers look great displayed in vases. Thrift stores and antique markets are a treasure trove for display vessels. Even something as simple as old glass soda bottles look pretty displayed along the length of a dining table, filled with foraged botanicals. I love to save jam jars, it's a bit of an obsession, the jars and the jam - especially the pretty ones from Bonne Maman. It's amazing what you can find in your recycling bin. Just remove labels from jars and bottles, give it a scrub and you can suddenly a nondescript jar is transformed and given a new use. Have a look around your house for things you can repurpose - that speak to the season. Baskets, rustic crates, even a off cut piece of wood, cleaned up of course and placed down the centre of the table can look amazing if you layer in foraged finds, like leaves or even fruit and veg from the farmer's market.

Vintage ink bottles and other clay bottles and jars are having a bit of a collectors moment right now, so prices have gone up but their colours - brown, terracotta, beige and sometimes black look amazing as part of an autumn palette.

Set the table with something old, something upcycled and something handmade.

Welcome guests to your table with decor you've found foraging in the garden or woods - acorns, pinecones, fallen leaves, cut grasses and flowers look pretty as place cards. Wrap a few stems with twine and add a little tag to write your guests name or use a metallic calligraphy pen to write your guests name right on a leaf.

Second hand stores are also a great place to find tableware - they are always stocked up with glasses and plates and often you'll find pretty vintage ones as well. When you don't want to do all the hunting head to websites like Etsy Canada - a great source for vintage. Instagram also has lots of vintage sellers. Sometimes delivery is included or you make arrangements to pick the item up.

Add something handmade. There's nothing quite like adding something made by a local artisan to your home. I think it adds that soulfulness that you also get from something old, that's lived a life before you inherited it. Handmade is like that too. Human hands have touched it, molded it and made it unique. I love that you can find unique handmade pieces not only at small, local shops but also larger retailers like Homesense. I had a conversation recently with Homesense reps who talked about how their buyers also source product from small artisan manufacturers. They have been stocking a lot of beautiful ceramics - bowls, plates and vases that are made in Portugal.  Anyways, I just thought I'd mention that because it's something you might not expect from a large retailer like that.

However you do Autumn in your home, I hope you have a beautiful celebration of thanks and gratitude this weekend with family and friends. My daughter is coming home from university for the weekend and I'm excited to have her home.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Disclosure: I've partnered with Schlage Canada in this sponsored post. All opinions and text are my own.