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Cover story: A few easy makeovers for holiday decorating
Ms. Franceski suggested leaving some open space on your tree, mantel and tabletops so you can see more of what you use to decorate.
Nearly everyone has a box of holiday ornaments that are beginning to look a bit dusty or have just been admired for too many Christmas seasons, but designers have some creative ways to reuse them this year.
“Take all your old tchotchkes — (all those Santa figures or nutcrackers, etc. — and dip them in paint so they become monolithic,” Ms. Munn suggested. “There is nothing cooler than a troop of all-black Christmas trees or all-white elves.”
Ms. Proxmire recommended placing tired tree ornaments on a tray with fresh-cut greens to display them as a “collection of holiday memories.” Sometimes just shifting the location of decorative items can make a difference.
“If a pair of reindeer has always been placed on the mantel, try putting them on the dining room table this year,” she said. “In other words, mix up the expected placement of your old holiday decorative items and think outside of the box as to placement.”
While tradition may call for you to decorate your mantel and your front door, and you may have a favorite spot for your Christmas tree, you may want to add a few decorative elements in unexpected places, such as your powder room or guest bedroom.
“Try grouping old decorations together by color, texture or shape and then put them all into a bowl or cache pot for display,” Ms. Meyer said. “For example, a grouping of older Christmas tree balls can be beautiful in a glass bowl; they reflect light and can even serve as a centerpiece.”
One of the liveliest ways to add joy to your home during the holidays is to bring in fresh greenery or plants.
“For natural decorations, think about using produce,” Ms. Meyer said. “If you normally use garland around the mantel, try nestling pomegranates, kumquats and other seasonal produce into the greenery.”
Battery-operated candles, available as votives or pillars, enable you to add light to your greenery without the fear of fire, Ms. Proxmire said.
“Just tuck away some of these lights into a collection of holiday greens and see them acquire a holiday glow” she said.
If your favorite holiday plant is a traditional poinsettia, Ms. Carley has some advice.
“My major pet peeve is red poinsettias, even though they evoke warm feelings from my childhood and make me think of my grandmother,” she said. “That’s the issue — they are so 40 years ago! The selection now is so varied, from pink, fuchsia, creamy white, yellow, orange and combinations of these colors. Get outside of your comfort zone and give them a try.”
This holiday season, you may want to allow yourself to be a little more creative than in the past.
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