Easy Holiday Decor

December 16, 2016

Karyn R Millet_RM_9852R_r1

Oh how the holidays manage to creep up on us, despite having 11 months of preparation time and a fair bit of advanced notice. As in, the commercials actually start now in September (crazy)!

It never fails that we all end up scrambling to find those gifts, get holiday cards purchased and mailed, all while in the back of your mind knowing that friends and relatives will be descending upon your home very soon, and you haven’t done a thing to spruce it up. Well, first of all, breathe…it’ll be okay. There are quite a few ways that you can decorate your space for that “sudden” holiday gathering without going completely crazy.

The centerpiece of a table is its core. That’s where all eyes and focus will be until the food starts to make its way out, so it needs to make an impact. 

The centerpiece of a table is its core. That’s where all eyes and focus will be until the food starts to make its way out, so it needs to make an impact.

Suspended Twig Centerpiece

I think one of the easiest centerpieces is actually one that isn’t even on the table, but suspended above it. During this time of year, there are a ton of fallen twigs and small branches everywhere.

  • Gather up a nice sized branch. Maybe one that is at least two-thirds of the dining table’s length and half the table’s width. Make sure it’s free of any leaves holding on until the bitter end or very spindly tips. Then, take the branch and spray paint it a metallic color. Gold and silver are the obvious choices for the season, but how about a beautiful and unexpected copper color as an alternative?
  • Once you spray the branch, you can use it “as is” or take it a step further. A little hot glue or spray adhesive will give you all the incentive in the world to sprinkle a bit of iridescent glitter or small crystals to the branch.
  • Next, using fishing line and small cup hooks, or even the self-adhesive 3M hooks, you can now suspend that branch over your table. Keep in mind, you want at least 30″ to 36” clearance above the top of the table.
  • Then, pull out those tried and true ornaments that never made it to the tree, and hang them on the branch.

I like this suspended centerpiece because it’s there for all to enjoy throughout the entire celebration. So often, the centerpieces get in the way and are removed once the turkey and ham are presented.

Another great trick is to take a leaf (preferably a species with a large shape), spray it in a metallic paint, and tie it together with utensils using butcher’s twine or leftover gift-wrapping ribbon to create unique table place settings.


Mason Jar Candleholders

If you’re one of those people who went crazy with mason jar crafts and now have cases of this ubiquitous vessel (and you aren’t planning on making yet another batch of “easy pickles” or “overnight oats”) here’s a thought:

  • Gather up a handful of holly berry cuttings, or get a few small bits from your Christmas tree and a handful of cranberries.
  • Put a generous sprig into each jar. Make sure you push it to the bottom of the jar, so the top of the cutting doesn’t extend higher than two-thirds of the way up the jar.
  • Next, fill the jar with water and drop a votive candle in there.

You can cluster as many or as few jars as you have on hand to create these floating candleholders. It’s also more interesting with jars of various sizes that are grouped in odd numbers. Guests will appreciate them, and you will have spent no time creating them.


Light-Up Vases

Everyone has an extra strand or two of lights lying around that didn’t make it on the tree, and a great way to use them is to just keep them balled up. You can pop an entire strand in a glass vase. It doesn’t matter what shape or color, since it instantly becomes festive once you illuminate the strand.


Layered Tablescapes

Any designer will tell you: The key to a successful space is layering. This absolutely holds true for a great tablescape as well. Don’t ever knock yourself out with purchasing a ton of stuff, but the key is to vary the colors, textures and patterns to create visual interest. Your eyes should bounce around from the smoothness of the tablecloth, to the nubbiness and sparkle of a sequined runner, to the glint of light bouncing off a candle flicker.

When entertaining, you can go with the more is more rule. Maybe you’re not serving separate courses of soup and salad, but this is an excuse to pull those favorite china pieces out. If you don’t have a complete set, mix it up.

Avoid layering too many colors, or patterns that contain too many colors. Choose a color palette of about 3 hues and run with that. You can absolutely punch in accents, but keep the majority of colors in a family to ensure it looks cohesive.  Remember to it’s a celebration, so be playful. No one ever said you are only to use red and green.


Grand Cake Stand

If you insist on freshening up your tablescape with something new, I have a suggestion. A great cake stand with a glass dome can serve several purposes. In addition to displaying grandma’s famous red velvet cake, it can add height to a table, which is important for balance.

Height variations help draw the eye around, and the higher the dome, the more versatility, bridging the gap between utilitarian and decorative. Another plus is that this isn’t just a “holiday” item, it will be something that can be used year round.

At the end of the day, all the tinsel and sparkle around you does NOT a holiday make. It’s those who you surround yourself with. Lots of love in a house is the best décor you could ever have!

Happy Holidays!


Meet expert Tyler Wisler -...Want to hear more from Tyler? You can check back in with him on our blog and watch his Behind the Design videos on our YouTube page.

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