Creating a festive home for the holidays: Small touches make a big difference
It’s always fun to wander through a high-end department store to admire the holiday displays. Even leafing through a magazine will make you imagine a fantastic scene on your mantel, a tree that’s the envy of friends and relatives and a bit of winter wonderland tucked in every corner.
And then you look at the price tags at those stores and, suddenly, simple seems to make sense.
Fear not, festive decorators. We’ve done a bit of research and discovered that it won’t kill your wallet to bring a bit of cheer to the home. If there’s a crafty person inside of you, stores like Michaels will offer inspiration. An Artminds Paper Mache ornament can be decked out by you and the kids with paint, beads, glitter, fabric—you name it. And the best part? The piece is only $1.49. Beads, fabric and paint? If you have kids, you have them around.
But if you consider yourself the polar opposite of Martha Stewart, head to a few stores that offer great bargains. We love the fact that you can find treasures from all over the world in places like Ten Thousand Villages, Cost Plus World Market and Pier 1 Imports. Head to places like Marshall’s or HomeGoods to get other deep discounts.
Michele Loeper, spokeswoman for Ten Thousand Villages, agrees it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to bring a festive touch to the home.
“Adding sparkle and illumination to a space with just a few inexpensive accent pieces can capture the holiday spirit and transform a space into a winter wonderland,” she says.
Add a few handcrafted decorative pieces to the mantel, tree or table, and remind yourself that the holidays don’t have to mean spending a lot of money.
“Sometimes, beauty and meaning can be found in some of the simplest of treasures,” she says.
When looking for places for those little touches, Chrissy Madison, spokeswoman for Pier 1 Imports, suggests choosing two or three of the rooms in your home to focus on.
“Add a few key pieces while staying true to your budget,” she says. “When in doubt, remember to focus on high-traffic areas.”
That would be the entryway, to wow them before they even step inside. And dress that mantel up with more than just a few stockings, she suggests.
“Mantel scarfs add an unexpected touch to the often bare mantel, and will totally make over the space,” Madison notes.
It also doesn’t take much to create a festive table setting, or layer new holiday décor and dinnerware with your basics.
A few suggestions to add a bit of sparkle to your home:
This inexpensive piece looks great attached to a mantel. And what better to way to encourage a little holiday caroling? Oh Joy! Falalalala banner, $4, target.com
This simple touch will add elegance to what is often a cold spot in the home (unless the fire is going). Beaded metallic mantel scarf, $59.95, pier1.com
This set of two rustic star wood ornaments hang from natural jute rope, and are hand-carved by artisans in India. Wood star ornaments, $9.98, worldmarket.com
Swap out your regular white dishes for these special Parisian-themed dessert plates. Ooh la la! Parisian holiday dessert plate, $14, Anthropologie.com
We fell in love with this funky hand-crafted stag head made with real twigs and dusted with snowy glitter. In fact, we may just leave it up year-round. Twig stag head, $49.99, worldmarket.com