By Lori Mork
I love the look of the outdoors, and bringing it inside to celebrate the holidays is my favorite way to decorate a table. I never get tired of that fresh, natural look, whether it’s for Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter, but there’s so much more.
Beautiful primary colors, bright and cheerful, can also give you a style all your own. Use what you love!
Fall offers many options. There are pumpkins and colorful leaves, of course, but there’s so much more to choose from. Acorns, pinecones, sunflowers, mums or hydrangeas can be added to a table runner or old wooden box, then accented with Chinese lanterns or bittersweet, and maybe some small branches, Indian corn and candles.
I have several birch bark candles that I use for just about every occasion, that mesh seamlessly with an outdoor, natural look.
Burlap can be paired with lace for an improvised table runner to give a look of shabby chic and soften your table scape. Throw in some fall colored or dried hydrangeas, a few candles or ribbons and you’re set.
How about a few thicker branch slices? Use them as perches for your votive candle holders, giving them different heights.
Select items that compliment your dinnerware. Using basic white? Add a splash of color with your napkins or tablecloth. There are also white pumpkins that would lend a neutral look to your table while still giving that fall feel. It doesn’t need to be complicated – soft and simple will do the trick.
With pine and berries, nature-inspired Christmas holiday decorating is a snap. The cool, deep greens of the pine paired with bright red berries such as Hypericum, Winterberry Holly or cranberries give traditional holiday colors.
Cedar, with its blue-green berries, can add that touch of fragrance you want for the holidays. Fill a glass bowl with it and add some apples for color, or cut a snippet to tie to your napkins. Add in a stick of cinnamon and tie with a piece of jute. You can also add a place card to finish it off.
Birch, again, goes perfectly with this idea, contrasting with the dark green of the pine as a beautiful accent.
HERITAGE ON DISPLAY
Being Scandinavian, many times I lean toward my Swedish roots for inspiration when it comes to decorating, using red, white and wheat.
A spray of wheat stalks tied with some red ribbon can be tucked into greenery in the center of the table. Then add just a few artificial red berries to create a beautiful centerpiece. Include some red or white candles and you’re good to go!
It’s easy to find red felt ornaments or “mock” cross-stitched ones to use as decorations for on top of plates or to tie on napkins.You could also use some wheat and even some purchased straw or wooden stars.
I have a beautiful hardanger table runner that I purchased in Norway and a cloth painted with the design of my ancestral region of Sweden. Both have adorned my table at the holidays.
White is beautiful at any time of the year, but never more so than at Christmas. A table set completely in white has a class all its own.
Add in red and you have many ways to go with your tablescape – whimsical, romantic or fun. Candy canes can be used as plate decorations, or you can use them for your centerpiece. Using a vase with straight sides, slide a sturdy rubber band around the outside, then tuck in candy canes with the hooks facing out. Fill until there are no empty spaces around the vase, then tie a bright red or green ribbon around the vase to hide the rubber band. From there, add flowers of choice for a great centerpiece.
Christmas isn’t all red, white and green anymore. You can use just about any color for decorating. How about using lime green and turquoise? Or pink and teal? Just look for matching Christmas bulbs and ribbon to tie on the back of chairs or to fill a bowl in the center of the table and you have a look that’s uniquely yours.