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How to Bring “Winter” In (Without Going Full Holiday…Yet) With Target

I hate starting a post with bad news, but we only have three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. Last year, we had just over 4. I don’t know who decided that Thanksgiving should be so late, but they should be canceled (also, I know it’s just how the last Thursday of the month landed, but still). So, the question becomes, how do we stretch out the feeling of the holidays, create moments earlier and honestly get the most out of all the effort of decorating for as long as possible? We got you. Today, we are showing you how to “winterize” your home—how to make it feel like a snowy wonderland with a nod to the holidays (yes there are stockings, but no tree…YET) in early November that could easily be added to for the holiday you celebrate but also stripped back a bit to last you through February. This, my friends, is not a “Christmas” post; instead, it’s a “winter decorating” post that is giving me all the cozy feels.

We shot this up at the mountain house, in a few different rooms, using 100% Target product that is in this beautiful winter vibe. Our general aesthetic thesis was “Scandi hygge ski village” so we kept everything simple and minimal to work with the style of the house up there. The main palette was set with whites, grays, woods and greenery rounded out with lots of soft ambient (faux) candles (those lanterns up there are battery-operated, FYI) and twinkle lights…starting at the front door.

Create a Simple, Subtle Welcoming

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That entry shot actually kills me. It looks so pretty. Faux greenery is your long-term friend and you don’t just have to use it on the mantel. We fastened it together with wood and twine to make a little winter moment instead of a big wreath for the door, and also wrapped it around the top half of the round mirror, which is incredibly welcoming with very little effort. (Oh, and sorry, but those skis are vintage…I know, it hurts.) BONUS: No messy pine needles to sweep up constantly, because nothing robs you of your joy quiet like getting needles stuck to the bottom of your feet every day or finding rogue ones deep into March and thinking they’re sprouting from your floors. 

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Just around the corner near the stair landing, is this little “moment” we set up. Yes, since we were going for Scandinavian, we went all hygge on you with a lot of texture, warmth and coziness, which we get easily through more textiles. Layer it on and go for chunkier textiles (like the sherpa-like fabric on that great chair that’s new to Target this fall) if you want it to last longer.

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The runner over the table tones down the black of the console so the etched glass trees and votive holders feel less high-contrast. Oh, and if you want to start early, real greenery won’t last you so here (and throughout the house) we used faux garland and greenery—this flocked wreath is great—everywhere (and yes, you can reuse year after year).

FYI, trees are year-round natural elements, guys, so I think it’s perfectly acceptable to bring them in early. Those glass hurricanes in the shape of trees add a lot of light reflection/glimmer. Again, we kept it quiet by keeping them in a very light color palette. The baskets store extra textiles nearby.

Bring in (Toned Down) Iconic Holiday Elements

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This star focal point is pretty awesome, guys. It’s big but still subtle and just made us all so happy. At night, the ambiance was incredible in this room because of all the soft ambient glow coming from the star’s twinkle lights, the fireplace and all the candles smattered across the mantel. Lighting is extremely important during these darker days, and with small, grabby kids, I am pro faux candles. These glowed like the real deal, both pillars and tapers.

I wanted to note that while yes, this house is already pretty neutral, going with softer colors instead of traditional holiday hues like red and green (or even blue and silver) neutral colors really extends the life of the “winter” look. Plus, I don’t know if you’re like me, but just a few days after Christmas, I get what I call “clutter body” and want to rip everything down. I can’t imagine getting tired of cozy, pet-able pillows and glowy candles, tbh, so I know this is something that I could carry until at least spring.

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It wouldn’t be a shoot with Target product without my favorite Esters chair. This is an “evergreen” product in that it is sold year-round because it’s not seasonal, but a squishy sherpa pillow and a nubby throw makes it instantly even more welcoming. Set it up near a fireplace or reading corner with a wood table (this one here is from Threshold’s 2018 fall collection and is technically a “coffee table” but it’s a great size and height as more of a drinks-and-popcorn table).

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You could easily hold off on the stockings until after Thanksgiving because the faux greenery garland and candles would definitely stand on their own here. And when you’re ready…stockings up! We loved these because of their sweater knit that felt nostalgic but also really fresh and modern (and it’s always a “yes” for me when it comes to faux fur this time of year).

Add a Few Festive Touches to Get Party Ready

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There’s something about a ceramic tiny house village that instantly makes it feel like wintertime, but I know a lot of them can feel very…present, like you stumbled into a Cracker Barrel and bought the whole lot, which is why these white porcelain ones are so, so great. You get that “holiday village” feel without the visual noise. These could easily work on a console table somewhere, but here we brought them into the dining room to create more of a party vibe. And FYI, these are SUPER affordable—under $10—from Wondershop. 

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If you want something more casual than a big sit-down dinner, take your table and transform it into a winter scene with a few textiles (like the subtly sparkly tablecloth here). We used a faux fur runner here which is so fun because it kind of gives off snow vibes but is really just something I bet everyone will end up petting. A few more bottle brush trees (also a great budget buy) and some great faux branches (these are only sold in stores, FYI) and ta-da…you have yourself the perfect dessert or buffet table. 

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Quick party hack: don’t feel like you have to run out and get a cake stand that you’ll probably use twice a year if you don’t want to. Using a larger dinner plate in the same setting (or different setting, whichever!) you already have keeps things cohesive and just simpler for you. Mix in some brass flatware (grounded by linen napkins) and anything feels special.

Fit In Unexpected Moments

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How to decorate your bathroom for winter/the holidays is probably something that has (likely) never crossed your mind. If it has, maybe you should work here. But if you have a “window moment” like the one in my master bathroom, a simple (battery-operated) lit wreath goes a long way to remind you about seasonal stress while you try to unwind from seasonal stress (kidding). It’s just a smile-inducing addition to an unexpected room.

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A bubble bath and a wreath moment = my winter happy place.

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Those etched glass hurricanes are so pretty and high-end looking and frankly, could be used from now until…always. They have that “magic” of the winter season but would also just be so special on a random day in March.

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The same goes for a corner in a bedroom (this is in the adjacent master bedroom). I love those little lit trees; they’re such a great scale to fit into basically any and every vignette around your home. Throw in a knit blanket (I LOVE the oversize tassels on this one), something to squish your toes into (may I recommend a faux fur pelt?) and the perfectly updated buffalo check wing chair and you’ve got yourself a dreamy, comfy “winter” reading nook.

Don’t Forget Your Littles

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We love to let the kids decorate their rooms, but if you don’t want to hand over the reins, it’s really just about sprinkling a few little touches throughout to add a little wonder.

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The soft Christmas calendar is so sweet and easy for the kids to take off the wall without fear of breaking anything. Then it’s just bringing in a little lit faux green tree, another (smaller) star and fuzzy, furry, plush textiles.

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Oh, and a kid-sized wreath, of course. The lights are battery-powered so you don’t have to worry about any cables or wires if outlets are scarce. This would be so sweet over twin beds, on the door, over windows or in a nook like this one above.

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Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m full-on ready now to bring in winter (even though it’s 75 in LA). The snow will be falling up in the mountains in no time and all that will be left is bringing in the tree.

To shop each of these looks, Target put together these super useful collection pages by vignette (or scroll down to the Get the Look to shop that way, too).

Emily Henderson Target Mountain House Holiday Entry

1. Large Metal Glass Lantern | 2. Small Metal Glass Lantern | 3. Doormat | 4. Black Rattan Basket | 5. Cedar with White Berries Dried Arrangement | 6. Artificial Cedar Stem with Pine Cones and Glitter Green | 7. Woven Plaid Pillow Square White/Brown | 8. Velvet Pillow with Linen Reverse | 9. Tipped Faux Fur Throw Blanket Cream | 10. Short LED Distressed Shimmer Flameless Pillar Candle | 11. Large LED Distressed Shimmer Flameless Pillar Candle | 12. Round Mirror | 13. Upholstered Bench | 14. Raffia Basket | 15. Wreath | 16. Metallic Fringe Table Runner | 17. Tripod Table Lamp | 18. Sherpa Chair | 19. Metal Console | 20. Tall Fair Isle Embossed Glass Christmas Tree | 21. Short Fair Isle Embossed Glass Christmas Tree | 22. Small Fair Isle Glass Hurricane Pillar Candle Holder | 23. Tassel Pillow | 24. Faux Rabbit Fur Throw | 25. Solid Plush With Faux Fur Poms Throw Blanket | 26. Large Basket with Curved Handles | 27. 2pc Bottle Brush Trees Decorative Figurine | 28. 4pc White Bottle Brush Trees Decorative Figurines | 29. Light Camel Knit Beanie | 30. Pink Knit Beanie | 31. Christmas Tree Candy Dish

Emily Henderson Target Mountain House Holiday Living Room

1. Large Lit Standing Metal Christmas Star Decorative Star | 2. 2pk LED Distressed Shimmer Flameless Taper Candle Set | 3. Cable Knit Christmas Stocking | 4. Artificial Cedar Garland | 5. Tall LED Distressed Shimmer Flameless Pillar Candle | 6. Short LED Distressed Shimmer Flameless Pillar Candle | 7. Small Ceramic Taper Candle Stick | 8. Medium Ceramic Taper Candle Stick | 9. Accent Chair | 10. Cylinder Vase | 11. Cedar with White Berries Dried Arrangement | 12. Log Holder | 13. Black and White Throw | 14. Faux Sheepskin Throw Pillow | 15. Wood Accent Table | 16. Snowflake Coaster Set | 17. Chunky Knit Pouf | 18. Corded and Tufted Throw Pillow | 19. Channeled Faux Fur Throw Pillow | 20. Snowflake Serving Bowl | 21. Empty Bottles Full of Stories by Robert M. Drake & R. H. Sin | 22. Coiled Rope Square Base Tapered Basket

Emily Henderson Target Mountain House Holiday Dining Room 1

1. Corded and Tufted Throw Pillow | 2. Mongolian Faux Fur Throw Pillow | 3. Faux Fur Pillow | 4. Chunky Knit Pillow | 5. Striped Lumbar Pillow | 6. Large Ceramic House | 7. Small Fair Isle Glass Hurricane Pillar Candle Holder | 8. Medium Ceramic House | 9. Small Flocked Bottle Brush Tree | 10. Large Flocked Bottle Brush Tree | 11. Glass Jug Vase | 12. Decanter | 13. Dinner Plate | 14. Salad Plate | 15. Wine Glass | 16. Cloth Napkin | 17. Gold Flatware | 18. Serving Platter | 19. Gold Turner Spatula | Tablecloth (available soon)

Emily Henderson Target Mountain House Holiday Kid S Room

1. Wreath | 2. Cable Knit Chenille with Sherpa Reverse Throw Blanket | 3. Short Faux Fur Square Throw Pillow | 4. Euro Channeled Faux Fur Throw Pillow | 5. Tipped Faux Fur Oversize Lumbar Throw Pillow | 6. Hanging Fabric Christmas Countdown | 7. Faux Fur Christmas Stocking | 8. Dew Drop Hanging Star | 9. Large LIT Flocked Hard Needle Tree Decorative Christmas | 10. Judith Faux Fur Ottoman | 11. Wooden Tractor Set | 12. Corded and Tufted Lumbar Throw Pillow | 13. Mongolian Faux Fur Rug

Emily Henderson Target Mountain House Holiday Master Bath And Nook

1. Hook Rack Black | 2. Wreath | 3. Tall LED Distressed Shimmer Flameless Pillar Candle | 4. Short LED Distressed Shimmer Flameless Pillar Candle | 5. Small Fair Isle Glass Hurricane Pillar Candle Holder | 6.Large Fair Isle Glass Hurricane Pillar Candle Holder | 7. Soap Dish | 8. Bath Towel | 9. Hand Towel | 10. Candle | 11. Apothecary Glass Storage Bottle | 12. Bath Mat | 13. Black Accent Table | 14. Burlap Wrapped Plastic Flocked Tree | 15. Wood Accent Table | 16. Accent Chair | 17. Small Glitter Tree | 18. Large Glitter Tree | 19. Cream Throw Blanket | 20. Mongolian Faux Fur Rug | 21. Cedar with White Berries Dried Arrangement | 22. Mug | 23. Glass Bud Vase | 24. Light Filters In by Caroline Kaufman

***photography by Sara Ligorria-Tramp, creative direction by me and styling by Velinda Hellen

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4 years ago

Please, please, invite me for Christmas 🙂

4 years ago

Gorgeous! Target is like the number one American store I wish we had in Europe. (I gotta say, I think the skis are a bit much, but that might be because I’m Finnish and have childhood trauma about them. 😉 )

4 years ago
Reply to  Sam

Totally agree about Target in Europe (UK for me)! So jealous of all this…

4 years ago
Reply to  Sam

it is both a blessing and a curse to have Target available to you

Charli Brown
4 years ago
Reply to  laura

Hahaha agreed, Laura!! But man does Emily make it inspiring to live in one.

4 years ago

A bit OT, but the more I see that German Schmear fireplace the more I like it. You folks hit it out of the park on that one.

4 years ago
Reply to  Margaret

Me, too! I find myself trying to figure out where else I can use that technique, because I’m really starting to love it!

4 years ago
Reply to  Margaret

Same! I love the fireplace so much. Every time I see it featured, I think about how glad I am that they “worked with it” and did the schmear rather than starting from scratch. It looks so warm and gives an otherwise super-modern space a lot of soul. And with that winter decor on it? Ugh get out of here. So beautiful.

4 years ago

It’s all so beautiful, except I just can’t do stockings yet!! Love the black and white checked chair.

4 years ago

How did you hang the wreath in the bathroom window?

4 years ago
Reply to  Kim

Yes, I was wondering the same thing! How did you hang the wreath, please?

4 years ago
Reply to  Kim

With a Command hook? A suction cup hook? 😉

4 years ago

Absolutely love all of this! I’ve been slowly winterizing my house this year. Crate and Barrel has some really good holiday decor as well. Love seeing your designs with Target! I spent 30 min in those aisles last night seeing the new decor.

Can we see the outside of the Mountain home soon? I’m curious how it turned out.

4 years ago

Perfect timing as I was wondering how you would decorate for the holidays without a ton of traditional colors, and this is exactly what I needed to plan winter decorating in our new home. Many thanks for your continued inspiration ( and for keeping it affordable)!!

4 years ago

YES! YES! YESSIE YESKINS! Well, I’ll probably wait on the stockings till next month but I’m there for the rest. I’ve already planned to step into “seasonal decorating” mid November. My needle felted pumpkins and acorns have been out long enough.
We’re limited to a two bedroom condo with a small balcony. I’m looking for battery powered outdoor twinkle lighting for the balcony. I’ll add faux greens and pinecones to our planter boxes to help carry us through the gloomy months.
Inside I’m pulling out my blue willow pitchers and bowls and adding faux greens and more twinkle lights. Question: is there such a thing as too many twinkle lights? Asking for a friend.

Mary Hayes
4 years ago

Must must must know where that kitchen table light fixture is from!!!

4 years ago

As someone living in northern New England and expecting our first snow tonight, it does make me laugh a bit to see so much “frosted” greenery inside against the lush green leaves outside! I’m all for faux greenery and wreaths (but I draw the line at artificial Christmas trees), but fake snow doesn’t quite do it for me.

4 years ago

This is all beautiful. SO inspirational. Thanks for sharing. One question, the wreath looks “thinner” in your pictures than it does on targets website. Did you clip out any of the branches or does it just look different in person? Thanks again!

4 years ago

Not exactly on topic, but since it’s another Target post, does anyone have any information about when that leather lumbar pillow is going to be available?? I’m dying for it, and I still cannot find it on their website!!

4 years ago

Check out CER Design Build home renovation!

4 years ago

Emily, can you share where your boots are from? 🙂

4 years ago

Why are the numbers out of order on the house Christmas countdown?

4 years ago
Reply to  angelica

I think it’s like a traditional Advent calendar, where you have to hunt for the right number. Seems like a good way for kids to learn their numbers, too!

4 years ago

YES this is just what I needed!!!! I was so excited when I saw what today’s post was all about!!

4 years ago

Is the faux fur runner also from target? 🙂 I think that would look great over our upright piano to “winter-fy” it. 🙂 Thanks ahead of time!

4 years ago

Emily! How can I preserve the non-matted fluff of the faux Sherpa. My kids love to wiggle all over the chair and matt it up!

4 years ago

They should be cancelled, I agree. But only because the 28th is my birthday and I hate sharing it with Thanksgiving. ?

4 years ago

Hey team! I’m curious about the term “sherpa” in this context. A couple of the items are described as “fleece-look” or “faux sheepskin” by the maker, but called sherpa in the blog post. Since there are so many alternatives, it seems better to me to use a term that is not considered appropriative.

4 years ago

I wait all year for EHD Christmas posts!!! Keep it coming.

Also, I purchased the bottle brush trees and little white houses last night and I’m feeling very proud that I styled it together in the dining room. This fan girl moment has me riding high!

4 years ago

There’s actually 27 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas….that’s one day short of 4 weeks.

Tina Schrader
4 years ago
Reply to  mary

Thats what Inwas thinking! I was confused, thinking maybe I had the math wrong, but…

4 years ago
Reply to  Tina Schrader

I think they mean we really only have three full weeks (week of 12/2, 12/9, 12/16). Last year Thanksgiving was so early that we really had four full weeks!

4 years ago

Love it all! Can you please tell me what specific color of the Esters arm chair from Target you purchased for your house? They have 4 choices online and I like the one you have but can’t tell if it’s Natural or Millbrook Husk.

4 years ago
Reply to  maria

I was wondering this too!

Renee Fine
4 years ago

Where is the entry foyer ceiling light from?

4 years ago
Reply to  Renee Fine

Rejuvenation, it gives a wonderful soft glow!

4 years ago

Where is that lovely wood bath caddy (bathtub tray?) from?

4 years ago
Reply to  Katy

We got it custom made from our friends at Ross Alan Reclaimed!

Teri Carr
4 years ago

Love every single thing about this. Nicely done!

4 years ago

What a terrific post! So many great ideas! I’m grateful that in Canada we have our Thanksgiving in October when the maples are blazing red and we have a long rest period to prep for Christmas!

PS: Love, love those skis! Need to find me some!

Tina Schrader
4 years ago

I’ve still got all the Autumn stuff up and will until Thsnksgiving is over, but you really did a beautiful job here! And since it is snowing in several places across the country, this probably
reflects those residents’ surroundings better. But unless I have my math wrong, there is just one day short of four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which to me is plenty of time, but that’s me.

4 years ago

Oh wow Emily that all made me so happy…warm and cozy. Now can you come to Colorado and do that in my house please. XO

Jessica lacher
4 years ago

Looks beautiful! How do you hang things on the wall without ruining the paint?

4 years ago

Hi, did you ever share the exterior paint color of the mountain house? I keep asking. Please share!

4 years ago

This is absolutely beautiful and ohhhh so very helpful! “My cart runneth over!!”

Brooke & Kelcy @ The Inspired Abode
4 years ago

LOVE all of the shop the looks!! We’re dying to get a faux mantle for above our non-working fireplace & can’t wait to hang stockings from it!

xo, Brooke & Kelcy

4 years ago

Just perfect!!!!!!

4 years ago

Hi! Thank you sooo much for this post. I love the idea of putting up neutral decor that will last through the winter.

How did you hang the faux branches along the mirror in the entryway?

Sheila Pauls
4 years ago

Hi, the wreath you have hung in the entry is different than the wreath that is linked (the one you have hanging has pine cones and white berries and is much lusher looking). Was that one definitely from Target? I went through ALL the wreaths and couldn’t find one that resembled it.

4 years ago

Scrooge here, there’s only one less day between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year than there was last year.

4 years ago

I love every single thing featured on this post!!!

4 years ago

It looks amazing!

Mariya |

Elise Stopper
4 years ago

Love! I’m ready to decorate now ?