Decorate Using Touches of the Piney Woods


This time of year, East Texas' fall scenery offers an abundance of inspiration and "special effects" for festive interior displays. Here, local experts share some of their favorite tricks.

Nuts, Berries and Reindeer Moss

The color and fun texture of a variety of nuts and berries add interest to table vignettes. Add them to a large wooden bowl with some colorful leaves or to a vintage nutcracker dish for a great centerpiece. Pumpkins added to each place setting and cranberries filling glass vases all bring coziness to your seasonal decor. 

Also, reindeer moss glued to a loose grapevine wreath adds a bold pop of color to your door or above your mantel this season, and fruit like apples and pears make beautiful statements and are an economical way to decorate. Add them to hutches, fireplace mantels, wooden bowls, tiered plates and vintage candle molds for a warm touch.

— Shelley Krupa, Tyler
Designer and Co-owner of The Cozy Perch

Magnolia, Pine and Smilax

We often use natural forest-found magnolia, pine and smilax. They make great garlands for mantels or tables. Just add ornaments and ribbon for color. Sometimes we spray the top of the magnolia leaves gold or silver, depending on the theme. I also like to show the brown on the back of leaves for contrast. Magnolia lasts about two weeks. For mantels, we just place it behind our customers’ Christmas treasures, which makes it easy to remove and replace if needed.

Pine branches and cones last a long time and add warm greens and browns to decorations. You can drip wax on cones for a wintry look and while the wax is hot, sprinkle glitter for extra brightness. Smilax is great for mantels and tables too. It drapes off each end and has a lacy effect.

—Jack Murff, Nacogdoches
Owner of Avenue Flower Shop & Greenhouse

Moss, Rosemary, Pine and Narcissi — Plus Some Tyler Roses

This Christmas, I am trending toward an organic and natural holiday décor, using a variety of moss, rosemary, fresh-cut pine limbs and large pinecones — both natural and hand-dipped, scented wax pinecones (that can later be tossed in a log fire to fill a home with that wonderful holiday scent).  To add some color, I force paper white Narcissi bulbs in time to bloom for the holidays. This has such a wonderful, fragrant scent and when mixed with the pine and rosemary, it’s like you’re walking through a winter forest. Tyler Roses are a great option for a little extra color — with small bunches of placed in wooden boxes or mercury glass wherever you want.

— Esther Yeager, Tyler
Owner of Plan It Events

Mistletoe and Cones

I have two favorite things that I use from my own backyard for holiday decor. My first and favorite is mistletoe. I love to make the traditional hanging mistletoe as well as use it in wreaths. I also love using pine cones. They smell wonderful and add a fun festive touch to centerpieces, wreaths and other decorations. 

— Laci McGowan, Athens
Owner of McGowan Event Planning

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