Holiday Decorating Beyond a Christmas Tree

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It’s time to decorate your home for the holidays. Maybe this year you don’t have room for a holiday tree, you’re in a larger space and need additional decorations or you’re just in a creative spirit. There are many ideas to put a twist on the traditional Christmas tree décor. Try a few of these inspired holiday decorations.

- Instead of the traditional evergreen, try a homemade wreath of citrus fruits. Start with a circular piece of florist’s foam, then use wooden florist’s picks to secure large items, such as oranges, first. Continue with smaller fruit like kumquats, clementines, limes. Tie with a thick velvet ribbon.

- Place vintage ornaments on a cake stand nested with leaves for a stunningly simple centerpiece.

- Are you serving holiday dinner buffet style? Wrap each dish in a sheet of parchment paper and tie with a length of ribbon before stacking it. Guests will be rewarded with a pretty presentation.

- Lush greenery draped around the house, especially around doorways, creates an inviting atmosphere and a woodsy aroma.

- Use a string of pinecones to make an easy swag. Tie a big bow in the middle so you can center it perfectly over a doorway, then tack it up with nails.

- Decorate a small, artificial white tree with objects that share a color scheme – such as candy canes, peppermints and red bows – and place them on a side table or a coffee table.

- A grouping of old-fashioned ornaments hung from the ceiling makes a whimsical chandelier effect.

- Tie big silver bells to the front doorknob with festive ribbon. Visitors will jingle all the way into your home.

- For an elegant look, trim the mantel with a row of white votives and dramatic white amaryllises.

- Use leftover ribbon to tie around the stems of your Champagne flutes or wine glasses for an extra bit of festivity. A bonus: choosing a different color for every glass will help guests keep track of their drinks.

- A five-second centerpiece. Mix clementines or oranges and peppermint balls in a single glass compote or a grouping of three.

- Add a little sparkling style to your dining room table by filling a snifter to the brim with an array of shiny silver bells.

- Wreath filled with wishes. Hang an unadorned twig wreath in a spot where guests can’t miss it. Set out red Magic Markers and small plain cards on a table next to it. Post a little sign asking visitors to scribble a greeting or a wish for the upcoming New Year, along with their names, and have them slip the notes into the wreath.

- Decorative photo collage. Up on the mantel, collect your family’s holiday picture cards from previous years and clothespin them to a long, slim stick suspended between two vases. Put them in chronological order and you can date the pins.

- A staircase looks lovely with a garland of greenery. Easier than looping it around and around, lay evergreen on top of the banister, fasten in place with floral wire and wrap with extra-wide ribbon.

Karen_Carpino

About Karen Carpino

Karen Carpino is an interior designer and founder of Chicago-based Karen Carpino Design. A professionally registered interior designer with over 25 years of experience, Ms. Carpino's clientele includes both residential and commercial projects. She brings you techniques, trends and tips in “Style At Home.”