While many of us are still recuperating from the Thanksgiving festivities of last week, the holiday season is in full swing. Whether you will be celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanza, the time has arrived to begin switching out our décor, crafting special items for family and friends, and picking up a tree or two.
One of my favorite places to begin holiday decorating is in the dining room because it is fairly easy and inexpensive to switch things up in this space. It is also the first space my guests see when they enter the front door, so it really sets the mood for the holiday.
If you are wondering how to get your dining area holiday ready, I have a few suggestions that will hopefully make the process easier and less of a financial strain.
Choose a color scheme that works for your home.
Before I went on my quest for holiday table décor yesterday, I made the decision to stay in a traditional color scheme – green, red and gold. However, there is no written rule that says you have to use traditional colors. Whether your home is achromatic or a blue hue, you can decorate for the holidays in a way that complements your current décor. Sticking with colors you love will help you avoid buying more stuff you do not need or won’t ever use again in the future.
Start with a basic palette.
This sounds like a contradiction to tip 1, but actually these two tips work together. In order to avoid having to purchase multiple sets of plates and chargers, stick with neutral colors. I recommend investing in a lovely set of white or ivory plates as a starting point. I have three sets of plates – white with a silver trim, white with a gold trim and basic white. My plate chargers are a silver/gold tone color so that they work well with both a gold or silver scheme.
Once you have your basic dinnerware, introduce color by swapping out the salad plate, the placemats, the napkins and/or the napkin rings. This will keep you from busting the budget every time you want to spruce up your table.
Use things that you already own.
Before you run to the store for holiday decor, search your stash to see what you already have. For instance, if you own a white tablecloth, use it and add a table runner that injects color. It is much less expensive to buy a few different runners than an entire tablecloth. Also, trays, cake stands, footed bowls, ornaments, mason jars, baskets, ribbons, candleholders and candles that you already possess can work with new items to make your table look well curated.
Use free or cheap elements from nature.
This is the perfect time of year to use things from nature. If you can easily access pinecones in your neighborhood, pick some up and put them in decorative bowls or glass containers. Using fruits like cranberries, apples, tangerines or pears is also a great way to add color to your table. Poinsettias, which are seasonally appropriate and relatively inexpensive, can also provide a beautiful punch of color.