By Natalie Weinstein, Allied ASID
The holidays are fast approaching, shopping for loved ones this year seems to be an even more stressful task and you want your home to look its company best. So what to do, if time is running out and your major decorating projects are still undone?
For one thing, do not attempt to begin a design project that may leave you in a disrupted or incomplete state. It’s better to put off a kitchen renovation or a whole house paint job until after the holiday season. Instead, devote yourself to a major clean-up project. Start with the entry foyer and move into the living room, dining room, kitchen and powder room areas (all highly visible visitor spaces). Throw out what is worn, put away or store (in labeled boxes) articles that make your rooms look overly cluttered or sloppy and donate or consign what you don’t use anymore. Remember neatness counts! A restful orderly room can now be punched up and have a new look with simple additions such as area rugs, throw pillows, new curtains and some interesting art.
Basic repairs should be a priority (leaky faucets, toilets that don’t work properly, fireplace flues that need to be cleaned, etc.) Good lighting is also important. Replace all blown out bulbs in lamps and fixtures. See to it that your front porch is well lit and free of leaves or ice so that no one is in danger of falling.
Holiday decorations are wonderful additions to a home and can usually transform a room into something special all by themselves. More may not be better. Proper showcasing can make inexpensive objects look grand and beautiful. Try to group holiday accessories as you might any other collectible. For example, your existing bookshelves may be the perfect place to display a whole Christmas village. Focus on staircases with decorative garlands and plants (if the steps are wide enough). Fireplaces can also be wonderfully dressed for the season with mantle covers, candles and stockings. Most of all, place your tree in an area for greatest enjoyment leaving enough space for presents and people opening them! Think about rearranging the furniture just a bit for maximum use and effect.
Chanukah can be holiday celebrated with festive displays, as well. Many families have large collections of menorahs from old and traditional, to contemporary, to child made. Judaic art collectibles are very popular and are available in specialty shops and department stores.
Whatever holiday you celebrate, the dining room table plays a most important role. Dress it beautifully with table runners, cloths and napkins. Light it with candles, scent it with flowers, and display your best china, crystal and silverware. Use your special things, enjoy them and share them with those you care about.
Happy Holidays to all!