For those of you who still need to add a few more touches – or many more touches – to make your home more welcoming this season (without investing too much time or money), not to fear. Transforming your home into a special place to gather with friends and family can be as simple as putting some fresh cut greenery in a beautiful ceramic vase. Eric Buterbaugh, florist to the stars, shares his holiday tips:
Buy live Amaryllis and Paperwhite plants early in the season and they will last through the holiday. Make sure the blooms are still closed if the big day is a ways off. (You can also use your favorite Christmas ribbon to tart them up. This is the one time of year you can get away with putting bows and ornaments on everything.)
Decorate with live greenery. When using a fake Christmas tree, live branches of greenery, especially Noble fir boughs, in water in a tall ceramic vase will give the house the scent of real Christmas. And the boughs will last the whole season.
Pick one or two colors for your decorations, and stick with it. A simple color scheme gives you more bang for your buck and looks much more sophisticated. (If you have small kids, you may find that you just can’t limit yourself – but when they start to leave the nest, you can sleek it up a bit.)
Keep centerpieces fresh and interesting. A favorite trick of mine for a holiday table that doesn’t cost much is to place Boughs of Noble fir branches down the center of the table, interspersed with greenery bud vases with a singe red or white rose in each vase. I also mix in votive candles (again, red or white depending on color preference). If you are really ambitious, you can use your favorite holiday ribbon and fashion a bow in the center. Once the dinner party is over, you can give your centerpiece new life. Put the branches in a vase, and line the bud vases along your mantle. You can set the votive candles all around the house.
Embrace candlelight. You cannot have enough lit candles in your home during the holidays. Nothing gives more of the holiday feeling than their glow.
Brighten your tree with amber & white lights. When putting lights on your Christmas tree, consider placing amber twinkle lights deep in the center and then bright white twinkle lights on the outer branches. The combined effect gives the tree a much warmer glow.
Liven things up. I love setting up a side table with miniature Christmas trees of varying heights in a grouping – I add fake snow around the base or nestle them in red fabric. They look so festive, and can be planted outside after the season.
With a quick run to the nearest nursery or grocery store, you can transform your home into something worthy of a magazine – and of your friends and family.
Image Source: Flickr CC By cygnus921