I am so proud of myself: I actually managed to decorate for the Holidays this long weekend. It was prompted by us having dear friends over for dinner. Now we just need snow to turn the outside into a winter wonderland.I love having company during this cozy, yet festive time.
1. Create an inviting entry to your home.
This festive time of the year it is so wonderful to use twinkling lights wherever possible. Inside as well as outdoors. I just went wild with LED string lights around the outside of our house. Half of the old strands had burned out, so now was the time for an upgrade. I was pleasantly surprised with the color temperature. The warm whites look very close in color to the good old incandescent light strings that I find so warm and inviting.
2. Use string lights everywhere for fun and pizzazz
It is fun using string lights in unexpected places. Add them next to your tub (safety warning forthcoming: Water and electricity don't play well together!!) Or spruce up a simple guest closet - or the handrail on the stairs. Be creative. Fill a vintage glass jar with bundles of the miniature LED lights on silver or copper strands. Throw a few glass ornaments in with them and voila! My kind of 10-minute decorating that looks fantastic.
3. Let your festive Holiday table set the mood
From a rustic farm table with colorful reds and greens to fine china, silver, crystal and sparkles, it is all wonderful if the company, the food - and the lighting, is great.
This time of the year candles add a wonderfully festive and romantic touch to most table decors. There is in my book nothing more pleasing than eating by candlelight. It also helps out the pendant lights or chandelier that are intended to illuminate the table. In so many cases, these lights are mounted too high and are being tasked with lighting the table as well as adding general ambient lighting to the room. Quite a mouthful and therefore often not done successfully. In most cases the light over the table just appears bland because of the lack of focus. So, candles to the rescue! (And, as a special Holiday project you could lower your pendant or chandelier, so it is 30 - 36" above the table.) We always used to say 30" above the table, but with larger scale rooms, higher ceilings and open floor plans 32" - 36" might look better.
4. Use layers of light
When light comes from only one direction, usually the ceiling plane, the overall feeling of the room is boring. Like a hospital waiting room. Layers of light add dimension and character. Create pools of light at the important hubs of the room or places you want to stand out, like vignettes of treasures. Add table and floor lamps and now at Christmas time sparkly lights everywhere. Your guests will feel the difference, probably without noticing exactly what has changed. It just all looks "better" and more inviting.
5. Cozy bedding and reading lights for the guest room
The very first thing I nervously look for when I enter a hotel room or a guest room at friends' is the reading light situation. Once I have established that I can indeed snuggle up in bed with a book I breathe a sigh of relief. It doesn't have to be fancy, but just enough, so I can find my way and read in bed.
I just love scrumptious bedding, so I make a point of treating my guests to the same simple luxuries. Holiday bedding can be fun and festive and it sets a cheerful tone.