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Everyday Holiday Touches

Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow
Everyday Holiday Touches
Let's face it: Come holiday time, your living room will get the most attention. After all, it's home to the twinkling tree, stacks of presents, or shiny menorah. Still, that doesn't mean the rest of your house shouldn't see some holiday love, too. Here are some of our favorite ways to spread the spirit from room to room.

Go Beyond the Mantle


Resist the urge to put all your non-tree decorations on the mantle and you'll be rewarded with beautiful, creative looks that are surprisingly easy to pull off. Take garland, for instance. Ditch the mantle and stairwell and drape it around a large mirror, over doorways, or on the backs of dining room chairs. And instead of lining up holiday cards side by side, hang them on the wall in the shape of a tree or place them in a cute card display


Dress the Table


The dining table is a hotbed of holiday happenings, so make sure it's dressed accordingly. Think snazzy tablecloths, runners, placemats, chargers, dinnerware, napkins, napkin rings, decorative bowls - whatever comfortably fits the space and shape of your table. Using linens of the same pattern or print is hassle-free, but mixing different ones is more visually exciting. To pull it off, start with a simple, neutral tablecloth - we like a plain white or off-white on and layer with a smaller printed cloth or a patterned runner or two. Top off with napkins in coordinating accent colors.


Spice Up the Kitchen


Putting a holiday feast on the table requires some serious face time in the kitchen, right? Make the hours spent slaving over a hot stove much more festive by bringing Santa and friends along for the ride by way of printed oven mitts, pot holders, aprons and dishtowels.


Add Accent


A few accent pieces can transform a room from ho-hum into ho-ho-ho. Some simple ideas: Hang a row of stockings, seasonal wall hangings or a beautiful indoor wreath in a common area like the entryway or guest bathroom. Or go DIY and print out a greeting, like Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, leaving one or two letters to a page. Then frame each page and hang them gallery-style. Coffee or end table centerpieces are also a cinch to make. Fill a large glass vase with lighted branches or layers of small bulb ornaments and pinecones, or stack shiny red apples in a decorative bowl. Put a scented candle in a large bowl and surround it with unopened chestnuts (nut cracker optional). And don't forget about the sofa. Liven up yours with a patterned throw or candy cane-striped pillow.

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