7 Tips For Easy Holiday Decorating

By+Carol Brademas, Interior Designer

1. On mantels, buffets, or over mirrors, use a garland of artificial greenery for the base, and tuck in clippings of several varieties of live greenery (from your outdoor shrubs and trees) to add dimension and that wonderful pine aroma. The live greens will last up to two weeks; replace as needed, but you won't have to start all over because your base will last all season!

2. Mound fruit, nuts or pinecones in silver or crystal bowls. Tuck in tiny springs of greenery. For extra sparkle, spray some of the "naturals" with gold spray paint.

3. If your poinsettia is looking droopy or withered, clip the blooms and put in them in individual vases to scatter on your dining room table or mantel (these will last up to two weeks).

4. Tie sashes of silk, mesh or sheer fabric on your dining room chairs, with loose bows at the back. Tuck some sprays of greenery or red berries in the knot for a festive look.

5. Mass candles anywhere! Use different sizes and heights, including pillars, votives, and tapers. Or for "candlelight" up high, or in unattended places, use the new flickering battery-operated candles.

6. Use silver trays, glass cake plates, or prettily wrapped packages to stagger and elevate your traditional Christmas decorations to new heights!

7. Enjoy the decorating process! Put on some Christmas music, pour yourself a glass of wine or eggnog, spray some pine-scented potpourri, invite over a special friend. You're done decorating when you're done having fun. That is the perfect time to stop!