14 FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2009 THE DAILY GLEANER Tips for understated holiday decorating By MARY CAROL GARRITY Scripps Howard News Service After years and years of decorating my home and oth- ers’ for the holidays, I’ve come to this conclusion: I think Christmas decor looks its best when it’s subtly woven into our year-round displays, adding just a whisper of the sea- son in a few key spots, rather than being the centre of the show. Understated displays feel more natural and less con- trived, and keep your house feeling like a home, not a Christmas store. To pull off an elegant but edited look for the holidays, all you need to do is add a few fabulous seasonal accents to your existing decor. Here are a few of my favorite picks this year. GREAT GREENS Gorgeous greens are the heart of memorable holiday displays. My favourite is pine garland, loose and lanky and dotted with pinecones and berries, that looks so real you’d swear it will drip sap on your furniture. Wind some garland around your banister — not in tight, regular circles, but in random, natural-looking loops. Weave twists through the arms of your chandeliers. Let a rope of garland lazily hang off your mantel, cascading to scripps howard news service photo the floor. Tasteful: simply adding a garland of winter greens will transform any room for the holidays. I also adore lifelike evergreen picks. Cluster them in urns for crisp and clean winter bouquets. Tuck them into amazed by how the honeysuckle vine instantly takes on a I’m crazy about ribbons made from burlap, wool plaid and the branches of your artificial Christmas tree so it looks holiday feel when you mix it with evergreen picks and sil- satin that’s so soft, it wilts and flops, giving it a charming more natural, or use them to fill in bare spots in your fresh ver and gold accents. vintage feel. Christmas tree. If you want to make the presentation a bit more glamor- Pick a few ribbon patterns you love to accent your holi- For a rustic, organic look, knit your faux greens in with ous, mist the honeysuckle vine with silver, gold or ice spray day decor, then use them to hang ornaments from your the honeysuckle vine you already have up for fall. You’ll be paint. chandelier, tie up napkins on your dining table, hang wreaths from the windowsills or turn a plain package into PINECONES an irresistible present. I am a huge fan of oversized pine- GLASS ORNAMENTS cones because they are both naturally beautiful and decidedly dramatic. To I am addicted to Christmas-tree ornaments. Even glitz up your holiday look, hang glit- though I already have boxes of balls and baubles, every ter-covered Sugar Cone pinecones on year I fall in love with something new and just have to add your Christmas tree or work them into it to my collection. your dining-room centrepiece. This year, clear glass ornaments have swept me off my I also like to include glittered Sugar feet. Apparently, they’ve had the same effect on everyone Cones in my exterior displays because, else, because they are flying out the door at my home-fur- believe it or not, they are so sparkly, nishings stores. you can see them from the street. You’ll find clear glass ornaments in a myriad of styles, from simple globes etched with a sweet design to oversized RIBBON works of art that twist and turn and seem to stretch on for- ever. Beautiful seasonal ribbon is the The beauty of these versatile ornaments is that they go crowning touch for holiday decor. Ev- perfectly with every holiday look, from glamorous and tra- ery year I like to pick a group of sen- ditional to playful and contemporary. sational holiday ribbons to repeat Cover your tree with glass ornaments to give it a hint of throughout my displays. This year, shimmer and shine that doesn’t obscure the tree’s natural beauty. Glass ornaments also make a perfect backdrop upon which you can showcase a few standout ornaments. But don’t stop with your tree. Clear glass ornaments also look wonderful hung by beautiful ribbon from your chandelier. You can also suspend them from the pine garland or picks deco- rating your mantel, slung over your doorways or above your windows. Mary Carol Garrity is the proprietor of three suc- cessful home-furnishings stores and is the author of several best-selling books on home decorating. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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