Howdy, Delighted Readers!
Today we have a fun guest post from first-time visiting author, Leigh White. Leigh’s Coming Together, sassy heroine, Coley Garner has some advice to beat the Winter blahs in decorating. Stick around to the end because Leigh did not come visiting empty-handed.
Coley Garner’s Top Tips for Easy Winter Farmhouse Décor
Coley Garner is the main character in Coming Together: A Starling Place Romance by Leigh White, and she’s got it bad for sexy neighbor Dean Alexander. Only she refuses to admit it. So to avoid the call of her heart, Coley throws herself into another lifelong dream: owning and operating the Starling Place, a wedding and special events facility in the mountains of Laurelvale, Georgia. While trying not to fall in love with Dean, Coley attempts to save her town—and her dream of running the Starling Place—from being sucked into the expanding city of Waldenberg. All the while, she works to renovate and decorate the Starling Place for its grand opening in the spring.
Coley decorates the Starling Place with a farmhouse flair that you can replicate in your own home. Historic farmhouses were decorated for practicality and functionality with fewer of the purely decorative items you might see in the farmhouse style today. Coley doesn’t suggest stripping down your house to the bare necessities. Instead, replicate the frugal, farming mindset and reuse what you already have to celebrate all things winter: snow-covered landscapes, long nights full of stars, and hot encounters by the fire.
Here are Coley Garner’s top tips for easy winter farmhouse décor.
Now that Christmas is over, the house can start to look a little bare. Instead of suffering through a post-holiday décor lull, consider converting your existing decorations to a winter theme. Items you already own can be tweaked to keep your house warm and sparkling in the deepest of winters.
Convert Your Christmas Tree to a Winter Tree. If you have an artificial tree, leave it up! Just remove the ornaments and switch out your festive holiday tree skirt for a something that says winter to you. Coley wraps the base of her flocked winter tree with an old painter’s drop cloth, but you can use burlap, faux fur, or even a galvanized steel tub. Leaves the twinkle lights on to add more sparkle.
Leave up the lights. You don’t have to go full-on Griswold, but leave up some of your indoor lights. Nothing says winter like the gleam of starlight off the snow-covered ground, and twinkle lights can make your house feel magical on long, dark winter evenings. Simple white light strands create a magical, romantic atmosphere, and that’s why Coley uses fairy lights in all her wedding venues. So keep the white lights shining all winter long. If you have other lighted greenery, like a garland on your mantel or bannister, leave it up but remove the holiday floral picks or Christmas balls.
Already packed up your holiday décor? (Unlike Leigh White whose Christmas decorations seem to linger around the house well into the New Year, you probably have.) No problem. Use the above tips next year. Here are some things you can do with what you have now.
Light Things up. In the deep of winter when the sun shines only a precious few hours each day, light is important. Keep your house feeling warm with the gentle glow of candles—real or flameless. If you’ve left up your simplified winter garland, flameless candles can be a great addition to the look. Don’t have candles on hand? Consider turning on your accent lights or put them on a timer set to come on as the sun sets. Either way, light up your room and elevate your mood with the ambient lights around your house.
Think Snow. Bring in the sled or other snow themed items. If you have an old wooden sled or worn out pair of ice skates lurking around the garage, bring them in. Keep the fun aspects of winter in the forefront of your mind.
Stock up on Warm Beverages. Who says hot chocolate has to be limited to the holidays? What kid—or adult for that matter—doesn’t want a cup of hot cocoa after building a snowman or sledding? Stock up on inexpensive warm drinks like tea, coffee, and hot chocolate. Use your favorite mugs and put plenty of marshmallows in the cocoa!
Snuggle with Your Man (or Current Book Boyfriend). Break out the knit or faux fur blankets, light a fire in the fireplace, and get a mug of cocoa (or a glass of wine). Long winter nights are made for intimacy. Grab your man and enjoy the ambiance you created at home.
Or enjoy other things entirely!
Incidentally, I don’t think Coley is going to be able to resist Dean Alexander for long. To find out, snag a free copy of Coming Together. Also, check out the winter-themed short story “While Snowed In.” In these stories, you’ll meet Dean and Daniel, two men from Laurelvale, Georgia, who would be happy to be your current book boyfriends.
Happy winter and happy reading!
Starling Place Romance 1
(Coley and Dean)
Coley Garner’s dream of refurbishing the Starling Place and turning it into the most popular bed-and-breakfast in the North Georgia mountains is about to come true. But when a nearby city threatens the future of her small, farming town, Coley must swallow her pride and ask for the help of Dean Alexander, the man who left her—and Laurelvale—years ago.
Dissatisfied with the life he created for himself in Atlanta, Dean Alexander returns to Laurelvale to claim his inheritance. Hoping to deal with his family land and escape town quickly, Dean’s plans are foiled when he encounters Coley Garner, the only woman who might have convinced him to stay.
Will Coley and Dean come together to realize that their past might be complicated, but their future doesn’t have to be?
Warning: This novel does not fade to black when things get intimate. Naughty behavior ahead.
Download Coming Together Free!
Here’s a free sample of “While Snowed In.”
Get Access to Free Quickies (Romantic Short Stories), Special Pricing and Sales, and Book Release Updates by Joining the Leigh White Romance Mailing list.
About Leigh White
Leigh White is an aspiring jogger and an amateur crafter. She believes in happily-ever-afters and the power of a good cup of coffee, but most of all, she believes that Love Makes Life Better.
Her secret, guilty pleasure is binge-watching corny chick flicks. You know, the ones with sweet, romantic stories that always fade to black just when things begin to heat up.
Leigh loves the sexual tension of those romantic scenes, but always felt a little empty when they cut to commercial. A slow build-up of tension deserves a satisfying release! So she decided to write the Starling Place Contemporary Romance Series in order to combine the best of both worlds: Sweet Stories but without the fade-to-black when things turn intimate.
If a Sweet Romantic Comedy and a Bodice Ripper had a baby, it would be a Contemporary Romance Novel by Leigh White.
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Leigh is giving away one paperback copy of Coming Together for US residents or an ecopy for international readers. The giveaway will be open for one week.
To be included in the giveaway, all you need to do is leave a comment about the guest post. Comment ideas: what do you do to beat the Winter blahs or what do you think of Coley’s list or about her story, Coming Together.
The winner will be randomly chosen from the comments left on the post and will be contacted by email when the giveaway ends. Winner will need to provide US mailing or Int’l email address for Leigh to send out your prize.
Thanks so much Leigh and Coley for stopping by today!