Monday, December 1, 2014

Holiday Style

Go Baroque without Going Broke!

After spending an exquisitely relaxing afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art yesterday with my family (recovering from the holiday), I am reminded of the incredible impact religious art had, and continues to have, on western culture. I was also reminded that it's time to pull out all the dusty, museum-quality medieval art -- perfectly festive this time of year!

Last week, Thanksgiving was a whirlwind.  I prepared multiple feasts, cleaned multiple meals and housed multiple people.  It was lively, it was chaotic, it was merry, it was fatiguing!  Needless to say, with the table ostensibly being set and cleared every 4 hours, when I got around to laying the table for the more formal Thanksgiving dinner, I didn't have much time to give it my normal highly attentive touch.  Fortunately, I relied on a couple quick tricks that make any table look lavish and amazing.

Firstly, make sure the linens are pressed.  Much like a beautiful diaphanous dress, an ironed table cloth not only looks neater, it falls more elegantly around the edges.  Be creative with the napkins, too! For this holiday, I simply fanned them out and slid a gold beaded ring in the middle. It was simple but tasteful.

Pair matching water and wine glasses.  Stemmed glasses, especially when elegantly doubled around each plate, give the table presence, height and ample volume.

Make sure you have fresh, tall taper candles. The taller the better. Again this gives the table height and elegance, it gracefully catapults the setting and once lit, adds some old fashioned romance. But don't forget to light them just before everyone sits down!

Finally, put something tall and bold in the center.  Of course flowers work well, but so does a jar full of holiday ornaments. Or a huge bowl of vibrant clementines. Pinecones work too! Use whatever is available.

Figurines are not typically a design element found in my home.  But at Christmas, all rules are scrapped.   It is truly the one time of year that we can be over the top, whimsical and atypical.  Go ahead, take out some of those darling holiday figures...

This is such a simple, yet powerful holiday design idea.  In your white wine or champagne ice bucket, mix in few of your silver ornaments --  Gorgeous!

Put lights and garland everywhere!

When purchasing your tree, be sure to take any and all the extra branches.  You will find a use for them (inside and out). If nothing else, they are a perfect foil for squirrels -- keeping them away from the recently planted spring bulbs!

Getting ready to buck the cold -- to get in some holiday shopping! 

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