Christmas Decorating At Home - Erin and Aaron RE/MAX Hallmark Chay Realty Brkg.

Erin and Aaron RE/MAX Hallmark Chay Realty Brkg.

REALTOR®️ | Entrepreneur | MCNE Specialist | SRS | MRP

Friday, 16 December 2016

Christmas Decorating At Home

Thank you to Laura Scott of Laura Scott Custom Interiors, for writing a wonderful post!


     Christmas for me has always been “The Most Wonderful time of the Year”. Family, food and of course decorations are essential elements in making my season bright. I feel if there is ever a time to go over the top with decorating, it’s Christmas. You’ll never hear me say “less is more” at Christmas time.
     I think an excellent place to start when contemplating your Christmas decor is to pick your theme. Rustic, traditional or simply a colour is all you need to figure out how to get started.  As the years go on I find myself feeling more and more nostalgic, and yearning for the simplicity of Christmases past. In that way, my theme almost picked itself this year.
     So, an old fashioned Christmas it is…now where to begin?  I instantly thought of homemade ornaments, burlap and brown paper packages tied up with string. Stuck for your own inspiration? Pinterest is a fountain of information. Simply enter in almost any combination of words and you’re sure to find something that speaks to your heart.

     I like to change my theme every couple of years. For that reason I try to make as many of my ornaments as possible. Not only does this save money, but I get to enjoy quality time spent with my family as we construct them.  Creating some of your own inexpensive ornaments also means that you can splurge on store bought ones without feeling guilty.

                               

For example, I purchased Styrofoam balls from the Dollar Store, and a quarter meter of red and white gingham. I cut the material in to squares. Wrapped the squares around the Styrofoam balls and secured the material with twine I had left over from summer gardening. Candy canes and twine made an adorable combination for my rustic hearts. I glued the twine to the candy canes and then glued the candy canes to each other. (I would be lost without my glue gun so if you don’t have one, go buy one right now!)
     Some of us find decorating our tree overwhelming and just don’t know where to begin. I happen to believe that there is a formula to ensure a stunning finished project. I always start with my garland. This way you can tuck it in or pull it out in different places without it interfering with your other ornaments. There are many different ways to hang your garland; barber pole, swag, and random assortment are some examples. Garland, however, is a personal preference.  Feel free to omit it all together.
     After you are satisfied with your garland, it’s time to move on to ornaments. I always start with the largest,   eventually making my way down to the smallest. Place your large ornaments symmetrically. Be sure to have the largest ones in every quadrant of your tree. I usually like to have 3 or 4 of the same style. Decorating in this way may seem methodical, but the finished project will have a carefree laissez faire look. It’s always important to remember to step away from your tree (5-10 feet) to ensure you are cloaking all areas.  Be sure to use this method while working your way down to your smallest ornaments. This will give your tree maximum coverage. By following this formula you can rest assured knowing that when completed, your tree will look full and fabulous, like something out of a magazine.

When it comes to tree toppers, I say anything goes. Of course I love an angel or a star, but this year I decided to really think outside the box. Since my tree has an old fashioned rustic look I knew that neither of those would really work for me, so I decided to use a stag’s head. I normally have it hung on my basement wall for the other 11 months of the year. Naturally, I loved the look. I think it helps to emphasise my theme while still having fun. Don’t be afraid to do something bold, which could also mean no tree topper at all. There is no wrong design.
     One of the main reasons why I love decorating at Christmas so much is because you are truly free to go as wild, traditional, over the top, or as understated as your heart desires. Decorating for the Holidays should feel as liberating as making snow angels. Unlike picking a wall colour or new couch, there is not nearly as much commitment. I say throw on some Christmas tunes, make yourself a Bailey’s and hot chocolate and have fun!

     I think I can speak for most of us when I say the pinnacle of holiday celebrations is Christmas dinner.  A delightfully set table will contribute to your overall ambiance. Guests will sink into their seats feeling warm and welcome and excited about the meal they’re about to feast upon. I really strive to make Christmas dinner a culinary experience that pleases all the senses. The combination of tantalising tastes, sumptuous scents and stunning decor will create a dining experience your guests are not soon to forget.
 


     In our house, I prefer to set all the different serving dishes on our kitchen table, and let everyone help themselves. The beauty of this method is that my centrepiece can remain on the table. We can enjoy the marvellous table setting without having to run around removing items before we sit down to dine. 
     Whether casual or formal there are certain things to remember when decorating your table. Tablecloths are not mandatory. But place mats or chargers are. It’s important to frame the individual seating area. You don’t want your guests to feel awkward trying to figure out which knife or wine glass belongs to them.   You may decide to not have plates incorporated into your setting. This is also acceptable. After all, when we go to a restaurant our dinner plates aren’t waiting for us!
    

        Much of the rules we followed when decorating our tree apply to setting our table, so that means you have to start by picking your theme. Feel free to choose something different from your tree, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the same. Although if you are going in a different direction at least keep your colours complimentary if your tree is visible from your table. If not, go crazy. As with your tree, layer in components of your seating arrangement from largest to smallest.  Starting with place mats and runners right on down to place cards. Remember to always step away from your creation to get a comprehensive view.  



Centrepiece's should have varying heights and texture for a more dramatic effect. Combining different elements also works wonderfully. You may want to combine a luxurious crystal candelabra with wood accents or greenery. If you plan on leaving your centrepiece on the table during your meal, remember to consider the height accordingly. You don’t want guests to have to look around objects to converse.  When it comes to tablecloths, place mats, and napkins they only need to match by being complimentary in colour. Although I would stay away from incorporating too many contrasting patterns. This will appear too busy to the eye, and take away from the overall look of your presentation.


For our family, no Christmas dinner would be complete without our traditional (and favourite) dessert of Sticky Toffee Pudding. The recipe provided is straight forward and easy to follow.  The batter can be made the morning of, or even the night before. Simply cover and refrigerate. I choose to wait until the oven is empty and just before we are about to sit down for our meal. That’s when I pop the cake in the oven.  This recipe (if you’re making it as a bundt cake) takes approximately 45 minutes to bake.  This gives you enough time to enjoy your meal, AND clear away the dinner dishes. Sticky Toffee Pudding is best served warm. Baking it as you enjoy your meal ensures a warm fresh from the oven delight just like Grandma used to make.   As the cake cools you can prepare your toffee topping.  Pouring the hot toffee on top of your warm cake creates an ooey gooey good piece de resistance for all to enjoy. The extra topping can be poured into a creamer or gravy boat for guests to add more should they choose.

      The tips above have been incorporated into my life. There were several hits or misses over the years, believe me. However,   I would never recommend anything that I don’t actually believe to be useful.  I think any one thing that can make our lives easier at this hectic time of year can be invaluable.  Remember throughout this Yuletide season to have fun and be kind. Be  grateful and generous with the love you give and receive. Merry Christmas!

Laura Scott
Laura Scott Custom Interiors
laurascott@bell.net

Thank you Laura, for taking the time to give us all a little insight for Holiday decorating.






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