It’s that time of year. Time to add a few festive touches to your home as you prepare for gathering with friends and family over the holidays. While your options run the gamut from traditional to whimsical, homespun to luxurious, you also have the option to not let the task of decorating for the holidays overwhelm you.
In this feature, we have identified four key areas—excluding the tree—where you might want to focus your attention. Instead of spreading your effort throughout the house, perhaps you might gather your fir branches, figurines, lights and thoughts and create one space that showcases your family’s personality.
Here we share ideas for decorating your front door, staircases, mantels and fireplaces.
Make a grand entrance
Invite your neighbors and guests to share in your holiday spirit by adding a swag of white pine above the door or reimagine your summer planters to create clusters with a celebratory flair. Pinecones, lanterns, bows, oversized ornaments and even vintage toys are effective when creating an elegant and inviting case of curb appeal, holiday style.
And while they set the standard for front door décor, wreaths can be used just about anywhere in the home. They’re especially wonderful when they add an inviting scent to the space. While that often comes in the form of pine, other items you may have in your pantry—like cinnamon, cloves or citrus—add a delightfully unexpected aroma.
Step it up
Whether they are inside or out, a staircase sets an inviting stage for holiday décor. How about taking advantage of all those beautifully wrapped presents by stacking a few up the side of the steps instead of keeping them all under the tree?
If you’re lucky enough to have a magnolia tree on your property—or have a friendly neighbor nearby who does—crisp and shiny magnolia leaves add an elegant touch to a banister treatment. If you have any extra swag a lush strand of garland works wonders when draped on an oversized mirror.
Cloak your mantel
With the exception of the tree, the mantels above our fireplaces are often where much of our holiday decorating happens. Anything goes when it comes to this decorating real estate.
A roping of garland with soft white lights and a statement bow is a classic choice. Or you might want to create a snowy scene indoors with a medley of whites, creams, and ivories. A sprig or two of vibrant green pine adds a natural contrast to this grouping. But sometimes it just needs to be all about those stockings.
Also, don’t be afraid to repeat yourself. It makes life a bit easier and it creates a cohesive look throughout your home. Use the same type of icy blue baubles on the mantel as you did on your dining room chandelier.
Add a gauzy ribbon to the back of your chairs to bring a festive touch to your dining room without sacrificing that much-needed real estate on the tabletop. Add in a sprig of pine, or tie on a colorful ornament and you will have a beautiful setting that carries through from breakfast, lunch or dinner and often on to the next day of entertaining.
Another idea that works when table space is at a premium is to hang ornaments, greenery and baubles of all sorts from your chandelier. Give it a little personality by adding cherished ornaments that have a story behind them. It’s a great conversation starter, especially for family members ready to share their precious memories.
Whatever holiday your family celebrates—we wish you the happiest and the merriest this season.