Holiday decorations

The Old House Web

By Gail McCauley

Looking for some inspiration for your holiday table?

painted placematsDesigning your holiday tables around your existing color scheme is one option. For instance, if your existing dining room color scheme consists of deep Victorian reds, cranberry or burgundy,  you are in luck! Many of this fall and winter season's hottest hues spotlight these deep, rich tones.

You may consider a poinsettia, winter berry or holly berry theme for your table. The jewel tones of ruby or fire engine reds make for a dramatic table, while a monochromatic color scheme can be the theme of your table. If your existing color scheme does not reflect the holidays at all, take heart! Even the most unexpected color combinations can be transformed into exciting holiday decor. Team your existing color scheme with winter white, shimmering silver or glistening gold accents to add holiday magic to the holiday table! Even unlikely colors can be turned into a holiday palette --  pair mustard yellow with white for a star theme; silver to suggest snowflakes or silvery white for an icicle effect. Add sparkling white lights throughout the dining space and you have transformed the dining area into a holiday winter wonderland.

Once the theme and color scheme have been selected, it is time to design the holiday table. Begin with the tablecloth, the first 'layer' of your table decor. Consider sponge painting or stenciling the desired theme onto a solid colored tablecloth. The most ordinary tablecloth can be made festive with a simple painted border design. Painted borders may also be applied to fabric runners, adding further interest and function to the holiday table.

napkinsHoliday placemats can be used to draw attention away from ordinary dinner plates. For the ultimate in easy clean-up, make disposable placemats from brown paper bags, heavy duty shipping or kraft paper, or inexpensive foam board purchased at the local craft store. Try tracing holiday cookie cutter shapes onto the placemat surface, then enhancing the image painted color. Add texture to a one dimensional surfaces by gluing leftover scraps of fabric to the placemat and mixing with designs that have been stenciled or painted freehand. Holiday gift wrap comes in many beautiful designs and can be an inexpensive addition to your homemade placemats. Enhance the gift wrap with painted borders to form whimsical, customized placemats.

Napkins and napkin rings are the "icing on the cake" for the holiday table. Disposable paper napkins can be transformed into table pleasers with a little paint. For a more permanent holiday decoration, paint a festive border on a solid color cloth napkin. Look in your own backyard for free natural decorations, such as greenery and pinecones. Spray paint these decorations to match your holiday color palettes.

Don't forget to include your dining chairs in your color scheme. Dining chair padded cushions or slipcovers can be customized with paint.

And remember, it is possible to avoid breaking the budget on pre-made, store bought holiday tableware. Allow color and paint to create cost saving, unique ways to enhance the focal point of your dining area- the holiday table.

This article was written for and is used with permission by theRohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute.

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