4 Simple, Stylish Tips for Last-Minute Decorating
You’ve wrangled the family together under one roof for the holidays, brought out the lovably kitsch sweaters to see the light of day once more, and are frantically trying to guess the perfect, individualized gift for everyone you know; it may be marketed as The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, but it can often feel like The Most Stressful Time. Having to make your house reception-ready to host unexpected guests—perhaps Did I mention I’m bringing my boyfriend home for Christmas? or Well, Dad and I just thought we’d travel down for New Year’s Eve! or Say, wouldn’t your house work great for the company white elephant party? sounds familiar—would just be the star on the tree, so to speak. Here are some quick tips to help transform your home into a dazzling winery wonderland in a pinch.
Upgrade Your Garland
If, like many of us, you have a forgotten, bunched-up artificial garland somewhere in your box of holiday decorations, this is the perfect way to breathe new life into it and make it into a designer-worthy piece. If not, you can find one at low cost at most grocery stores this time of year, or your local Target. As seen on HGTV’s blog, it can be easy and fun to make even the dinkiest string of fake needles into a lush, festive piece. Make a quick trip to the closest Christmas tree seller or nursery, and ask for clippings, from a variety of trees if possible. Then, using the garland itself or with floral wire, attach sprigs and branches along the length of the garland, add some branches of artificial berries from your local craft store, some fairy lights, some ribbon, and voila! A thick, fragrant strand of winter splendor, ready to drape over the banister of your front porch or wind along your mantle.
Silver and Gold
Another easy way to decorate is to transform objects you already
have on hand or things you can easily find at no cost to you. Pick up one can
each of silver and gold spray paint, and select your chosen items—if you have
kids in the house, it’s fun to make this into a game! You can go with them to
collect pine cones from the nearest park, or have them sort through old toy
figurines for holiday-suitable ones such as deer, trees, birds, rabbits, etc.
Next (away from the kids this time) take your things outside and spray away! Try
to have an equal mix of both silver and gold, or if you already have a holiday
color scheme going, stick to which ever one of the two complements it best. Once
they completely covered and left out to dry, distribute your new shining
decorations around the house! If you were using pine cones, arranging them in a
bowl or a vase as a centerpiece is a great touch to any family room or dining
For this table craft, all you need are glass containers,
such as small vases or candle holders, some greenery, tea lights, and tap
water. Visit one of the many local, artisan flowershops in the Valley—such as CamelbackFlowershop, Foothills Floral Gallery, or Rowan Tree in Tempe, to name a few—and
grab your favorite holiday greenery, whether it be holly, eucalyptus, rosemary,
or ferns. Or you can also use the leftover Christmas tree clippings from the
first craft! Add something to give it color: fresh cranberries, an orange wheel
slice, or a few springs of baby’s breath will brighten the arrangement. Then
simply add water, float a tea light candle on top, and you have yourself
simple, elegant luminaries to line your dining room table with and spark
Smells Like Home
One of the simplest and most low-effort ways of adding that special something certain to impress any guest that crosses your threshold is to have the right candle burning when you begin your reception. Our sense of smell has a powerful connection with our emotions, and making the right first impression can set the tone for the entire evening. Local artisan candle-makers Burn Candle Company and Vim and Vigor Candle Company both offer a selection of sophisticated and unique scented candles to choose from. Scents such as Holiday Bonfire or Holly Berry + Fir are the perfect finishing touch to a home already decked in stylish winter cheer. Even if you do not have the time for anything else, a strong festive scent can be enough to get the mood going and bring back happy memories of holidays past.