Madison Style at Home: Rustic looks go upscale for holidays with white, metallic colors

Silver Leaf antlers

A rustic centerpiece of walnuts and antlers in a birds nest basket. Antlers are a popular addition to current interior design, said Laura Groenier, owner of Silver Leaf Interiors.

Antlers, birch trees and accessories in white and gold. Remind you of the holidays? Maybe not, but at Silver Leaf Interiors they are some of the biggest design elements in home decorating. Adding a few touches of white and gold, or an antler or birch branches to a holiday display can be a new way to add a current touch to holiday decorating, said Silver Leaf owner and interior designer Laura Groenier.

“Whites are making a huge presence in all aspects of design,” Groenier said.

White pumpkins, real and artificial, decorate Halloween and Thanksgiving tableaus. White birch branches add a natural and modern feel to a fireplace hearth, or add a stark, contemporary look when birch branches are placed in a tall vase on the floor. Small, artificial antlers — some cast in gold or silver — can be placed on a mantle display, hung on a wall, fashioned into candlesticks or used to decorate the frame of a mirror.

“These rustic aspects gain a very modern feel when they’re whitewashed or cast in a metallic finish,” Groenier said.

In the Silver Leaf Interiors showroom, bunches of birch wood are stacked in a fireplace. The ends of the logs have been painted gold, a trick to make the branches “pop” and combine the gold and white design trends. There is still a prominent place for traditional fall decor colors of yellows, oranges and browns, she said. But when their designers are hired to help decorate a client’s home for the holidays, they frequently choose a white pumpkin over an orange pumpkin, or a birch branch over an artificial yellow leaf. And a few touches of whites and metallic can help highlight some of the traditional fall looks, she said.

Like many design businesses, Silver Leaf is busy over the holiday seasons.

“The holidays are always a time when people are interested in sprucing up their houses,” Groenier said.

The store will have Christmas decorations on display by Nov. 1, and their interior designers will typically start Christmas decorating jobs by mid-November. More clients are placing “holiday trees” in their homes as early as the beginning of November, she said. The trees will be decorated with Thanksgiving-appropriate bronze and mercury glass ornaments, perhaps interspersed with small sprays of autumn-colored bouquets. After Thanksgiving, the autumn sprigs can be taken out and replaced with evergreen sprigs and Christmas ornaments. The holiday trees are a way to enjoy a Christmas tree for a few extra weeks over the holidays, something some clients and especially their children are excited about, Groenier said.

Silver Leaf Interiors opened in 1990 in Northgate Mall and was primarily a custom framing shop. They expanded to interior design over the years and 11 years ago, Groenier built a new location on Sherman Avenue. The building is also home to Jeweler’s Workshop Studios. The Silver Leaf space houses their home decor store, a custom framing shop and an interior design business. Groenier and the staff interior designers work on new construction, remodeling projects, interior and exterior finishes and paint color selection.

“We do everything from major remodels to helping pick out sofas,” she said. The store’s online retail store shopsilvernest.com launched a year ago. The website is an online store of all their household decor items, including many that don’t fit in the physical storefront.

“It’s everything we love and we just couldn’t fit in our store,” she said.

Shopsilvernest.com ships throughout the United States. Local customers can buy online and have items shipped to the Silverleaf store for no cost.

More examples of natural design elements used in contemporary settings are on display on Silverleaf’s website under the collection “Luxe Lodge.”

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