Creating holiday spaces with Ken Fulk, Stephen Alesch, and Robin Standefer's natural holiday decorations

Creating holiday spaces with Ken Fulk, Stephen Alesch, and Robin Standefer's natural holiday decorations

As the festive season approaches, the allure of creating enchanting holiday spaces becomes irresistible. This year, take a cue from visionaries like Ken Fulk, Stephen Alesch, and Robin Standefer, renowned for their artistry in transforming spaces. Inspired in the article by Tim McKeough for the New York Times, we study their approach to natural holiday decorations, and explain further natural holiday decorations to help you elevate the festive ambiance to a level that's both captivating and soul-warming.

1. What are natural holiday decorations? How to apply natural holiday decorations

2. Why is natural holiday decor important? Benefits of natural holiday decor.

3. Natural Christmas Decoration: Design Perspectives

4. Careful Considerations for Implementing Natural Decor

5. Create natural holiday spaces at Forest Homes

    1. What are natural holiday decorations? How to apply natural holiday decorations.

    Natural holiday decorations are a departure from the conventional glitz and glamour, embracing the innate beauty of organic elements. These decor choices incorporate greenery, wood, dried fruits, and earthy tones to infuse a sense of warmth and authenticity into spaces. They evoke a serene, rustic charm that resonates deeply with the season's spirit. These decorations often include:


    Fresh or dried branches, pinecones, garlands, wreaths, and boughs from evergreen trees like pine, fir, or cedar.

    Berries and Fruits

    Cranberries, holly berries, pomegranates, oranges studded with cloves, or dried fruits incorporated into garlands or centerpieces.


    Wooden accents like logs, branches, slices of wood, or carved ornaments, embracing natural textures and tones.

    Natural Textiles

    Burlap, linen, or cotton fabrics often in neutral colors, adding a rustic touch to decor.


    Leaves, herbs, magnolia, eucalyptus, or other foliage used in wreaths, table settings, or as accents in vases.

    Earth Tones

    Warm and neutral colors such as browns, greens, reds, and muted hues that reflect the natural world.


    Beeswax or soy candles, often unscented or with natural fragrances like pine or cinnamon, providing ambient lighting.

    Handcrafted Ornaments

    DIY ornaments made from natural materials like twine, wood, pinecones, or dried flowers.

    natural holiday decorations

    Decorating for the holidays is deeply personal, yet it blossoms into a shared experience when enjoyed with family and friends - Robin Standefer. Credit: Stefano Ukmar

    Minimalistic Design

    Embracing simplicity and the beauty of natural elements without excessive embellishments.


    Mindful use of eco-friendly materials and practices, promoting sustainability and reducing environmental impact.

      Natural holiday decorations evoke a sense of coziness, tradition, and a connection to the outdoors. They create an inviting ambiance that celebrates the beauty of nature while promoting a more sustainable approach to festive decor.

      To infuse your space with the charm of natural holiday decor, start by incorporating fresh greenery, such as pine branches and eucalyptus, into wreaths, garlands, and table centerpieces. Combine these with wooden accents and earthy tones in your ornaments, textiles, and table settings for a cohesive look. Here are some additional practical ideas:

      Cozy Home Decorating Ideas for Winter

      During the winter season, homes crave coziness. Integrate plush textiles, like faux fur throws and woolen blankets, and layer them on sofas and beds. Enhance the ambiance with soft, warm lighting to create a snug haven.

      Embracing Warm and Cozy Home Spaces

      Transforming your space into a warm and cozy sanctuary involves embracing natural textures and colors. Earthy tones, natural wood finishes, and tactile fabrics create an inviting atmosphere that resonates with the spirit of the season.

      Creating a Warm and Cozy Bedroom for the Holidays

      In the bedroom, emphasize comfort with luxurious bedding, plump pillows, and ambient lighting. Introduce elements like a canopy bed draped with sheer fabric or a statement headboard to evoke a sense of opulence and warmth.

      2. Why is natural holiday decor important? Benefits of natural holiday decor.

      The significance of natural holiday decor lies in its ability to reconnect us with nature amidst the bustling festive season. It fosters a sense of tranquility and nostalgia while contributing to sustainability efforts by minimizing the environmental impact of decorations. Natural holiday decor holds significance for several reasons:

      Environmental Consciousness

      Embracing natural decor promotes sustainability by reducing reliance on synthetic materials. It encourages using renewable resources and minimizes environmental impact, contributing to eco-friendliness.

      Connection to Nature

      Natural elements create a sense of connection to the outdoors, especially during winter when people spend more time indoors. They evoke a feeling of warmth, comfort, and a link to the natural world.

      Health and Well-being

      Natural decorations often involve non-toxic, organic materials, reducing exposure to harmful chemicals present in synthetic decor. This can positively impact indoor air quality and contribute to a healthier environment.

      Timeless Aesthetics

      Natural decor tends to have a timeless and classic appeal. It transcends trends and maintains its charm across different decorating styles, fostering a sense of enduring beauty.

      Celebration of Seasonal Traditions

      Many natural elements used in holiday decor have historical and cultural significance. Incorporating these items honors traditions, fostering a deeper connection to heritage and festive customs.

      Encourages Creativity and Resourcefulness

      Creating natural decorations often involves DIY projects and utilizing found materials. This encourages creativity and resourcefulness, allowing individuals to express their unique style.

      Supports Local Economy

      Using locally sourced natural materials supports local artisans, farmers, and businesses, contributing to community resilience and sustainability.

      Teaches Sustainability

      Decorating with natural elements offers an opportunity to educate and instill values of sustainability, teaching the importance of respecting nature and its resources.

        Overall, natural holiday decor goes beyond aesthetics; it embodies values of sustainability, health, tradition, and a deeper connection to the environment, enriching the festive experience in a meaningful way.

        The benefits of natural holiday decor extend beyond aesthetics. They promote a sense of calmness and well-being, fostering a welcoming atmosphere for gatherings and celebrations. Moreover, they align with sustainability goals, contributing to a greener, eco-conscious lifestyle.

        3. Natural Christmas Decoration: Design Perspectives

        Designers often set trends with their Christmas decorations. Ken Fulk, Stephen Alesch, and Robin Standefer are known for their timeless and sophisticated designs, often integrating natural elements to create iconic holiday spaces. Their influence on Christmas designer decorations has spurred a trend towards embracing simplicity and nature-inspired aesthetics.

        Exploring Designer Holiday Decor: Insights into Festive Home Transformations

        The art of holiday decoration is a personal and creative endeavor. It's a time when homes come alive with color, lights, and a touch of magic. Designers like Ken Fulk, Stephen Alesch, Robin Standefer, and Rayman Boozer generously shared glimpses of their enchanting holiday decor, offering inspiration and ideas that resonate with the festive season.

        natural holiday decorations

        Each winter, Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, the creators behind Roman and Williams, adorn their NoHo loft with trimmed greenery and blossoms. "As winter approaches, we gather the treasures of the harvest and the final vestiges of green before it fades," Mr. Alesch explained. Credit: Stefano Ukmar

        Ken Fulk: Embracing Tradition with a Twist

        For Ken Fulk, holiday decorating is a cherished tradition rooted in childhood memories. His upbringing in Virginia saw him orchestrating elaborate holiday displays, blending Currier & Ives tradition with a touch of groovy, 'shagadelic' Christmas charm. Today, Fulk's festive pursuits in his San Francisco base retain that childhood excitement, albeit with a contemporary twist.

        Fulk's TriBeCa loft, doubling as his pied-à-terre and New York office, becomes a canvas for vintage artifacts, magnolia leaves, and cherished family pieces. His Christmas tree adorns repurposed vintage elements, handcrafted ornaments, and clusters of foraged pheasant feathers. Fulk's dessert buffet showcases an array of decadent treats amid an abundance of magnolia leaves, offering a whimsical yet inviting ambiance.

        natural holiday decorations

        Mr. Fulk used white string lights to wire together strands of magnolia leaves, crafting luminous garlands. "It's a tribute to my Southern heritage," he remarked. Credit: Stefano Ukmar.

        Stephen Alesch and Robin Standefer: A Celebration of Nature's Bounty

        In NoHo, Roman and Williams' founding partners, Stephen Alesch and Robin Standefer, weave a narrative of celebrating nature's abundance during the holiday season. Their loft becomes a canvas painted with locally sourced greens and flowers, celebrating the transition from fall to winter.

        Their playful mistletoe-laden light fixture invites kisses and joy, fostering an atmosphere of warmth and camaraderie. The couple embraces a sustainable approach, adorning their space with edible arrangements and unexpected elements, creating delightful surprises for guests.

        bright living room with natural holiday decorations

        In their decorating endeavors, Ms. Standefer and Mr. Alesch prioritize minimal waste, opting for locally sourced plants and edible or compostable food items that can serve multiple purposes and be repurposed at the close of the holiday season. Credit: Stefano Ukmar

        Rayman Boozer: A Fusion of Memories and Wanderlust

        Rayman Boozer's holiday decor journey is a fusion of nostalgia and globetrotting experiences. Drawing inspiration from diverse cultural influences, his NoHo apartment becomes a reflection of his upbringing in Alabama and his travels across the globe.

        From homemade gumdrop trees to an eclectic mix of ornaments, stockings, and vibrant table settings representing various corners of the world, Boozer's space exudes a sense of abundance and inclusivity. LED candles in paper bags lend a warm glow, echoing cherished traditions from his family's past.

        Each designer's approach to holiday decoration encapsulates a unique blend of tradition, creativity, and sustainability. As we navigate the festive season, their insights remind us that decorating is a personal expression, inviting us to infuse our homes with our own stories and cherished memories.

        blue library with natural holiday decorations

        One more cherished holiday tradition for Mr. Boozer's mother: crafting a gumdrop tree using twigs and candies. Credit: Stefano Ukmar

        4. Careful Considerations for Implementing Natural Decor

        While embracing natural decor, consider factors like allergies to certain greenery or sensitivities to scents. Additionally, ensure sustainability by opting for ethically sourced materials and exploring reusable or biodegradable decorations.

        Sustainability and Wellbeing in Winter Home Decor

        Prioritizing sustainability in winter home decor entails choosing eco-friendly materials and opting for energy-efficient lighting and appliances. It's about crafting spaces that not only look beautiful but also contribute to a healthier environment.

        5. Create natural holiday spaces at Forest Homes

        Ready to transform your space into a haven of natural holiday beauty? Explore Forest Homes' collection of sustainable decor pieces and embrace the timeless allure of natural holiday decorations.

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