Preserved boxwood garland is a fresh take on traditional evergreen garlands. HGTV fan MaureenGeorgia dresses the garland with pinecones, bronze and silver ornaments and apple green ribbon.
All That Glitters
Sparkle is a holiday essential, according to Cathy Barnhardt, Floral Displays Manager of Biltmore Estates in Asheville, N.C. \"At Biltmore and on my own tree, we use many inexpensive 'shiny brites' as the base of the color scheme, tucked into the tree to give depth, add color and reflect the lights. The more decorative ornaments are hung closer to the tips of the branches where they can be seen and appreciated more easily,\" she says. Photo courtesy of Sarah's Holiday Party
How to Light the Tree
\"Light the tree from the top down working in sections rather than round and round the tree,\" says Barnhardt. \"Work the lights in toward the trunk of the tree, and then back out to the tip of the next branch, securing it by slipping the tip between the two wires of your strand of lights. When it's time to take the lights away, just pull gently on the cord for each section. To get the lighting evenly placed on your tree, step back, squint your eyes to make things blurry and look for dark spots. Rearrange or add lights as needed. These techniques work well on our towering trees at Biltmore and on my little seven-foot fresh tree at home.\" Photo courtesy of Biltmore Estates.
Use one color to make a statement. HGTV fan Manzardo mixes gold ornaments and accents into a mantel garland to create a holiday focal point. Any metallic, like bronze or silver, adds sparkle, while a more colorful choice, like red, blue or lime green, makes for a bold, eye-catching display.
Dazzling Table Decor
Create an easy decoration for any table in your home. Barnhardt suggests gathering favorite ornaments, in colors that complement your decor, and mix with pine cones or pods into bowls. Photo courtesy of Cindy Aplanalp
Go For the Gold
Don't settle for any old candles in your Christmas centerpiece. It's only a little extra effort to dress up some mismatched candlesticks with gold leaf. The gilded treatment ties the candlesticks together so the table looks warm and unified.
Supersize Your Garland
Intertwine fruits, feathers, pine cones and mini glass ornaments throughout garland for a designer look. For the holidays, Britt Scripps Inn in San Diego, Calif., runs an intricate garland up the grand staircase, which is original to the house, built in 1887. Photo courtesy of Britt Scripps Inn
Bright Lights, Green Solution
As part of the Virginia Green Lodging program, The Holladay House in Orange, Va., is dedicated to proactively reducing their carbon footprint. One of the ways they do this during the holidays is \"by using Forever Lights, which are made from LED bulbs. They last for thousands of hours longer than traditional lights and use almost 80 percent less electricity.\" Photo courtesy of The Holladay House
Let It Snow
Even if it isn't a white Christmas outside, you can still enjoy a few falling flakes indoors. This snowflake curtain is so easy to make, but it turns even the smallest windows into a winter wonderland.
Vintage items feel traditional, and Christmas is definitely a time to celebrate tradition. But you don't have to spend a fortune scouring flea markets or estate sales for goodies with old-fashioned holiday charm. Try your hand at these DIY faux \"mercury glass\" votives for the mantel.
Light fixtures are a great place to add extra holiday cheer. Wrap glittering leaves around a chandelier's base or hang favorite glass ornaments.
Stunning Mantel Display
To create the perfect mantel, Barnhardt says to take down everyday mantel decorations, including any framed prints. Hang a fresh evergreen wreath and then gather items from around your home that coordinate with each other. For example, she collects any porcelain and pottery with a green glaze displayed throughout her home and creates a vignette on the mantel by filling the pieces with fresh holly and white pine. Add favorite ornaments or safely place candles for a warm glow to complete the display.