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Designer Quick Tips
The Incredible Christmas Place
Published: October 19, 2012
Take Your Decorations Higher
Adding variations in height to your decorations will make a dramatic difference to the look of your holiday house, porch, or dinner table. It can help to showcase your decorations while leaving more surfaces clear for everyday use of space, too.
What to do - and please don't try to make everything match - unless you already have matching pieces!:
1. Gather a collection of different sizes of small tables, footstools, old boxes, porch furniture, children's furniture, and interesting containers. Don't forget to raid the kitchen for cake stands, or pair plates and candle holders to make your own faux cake stand or tiered arrangement.
2. Repurpose tables already in use around the house, or pick a few spots that will be easy to rearrange for the season. Place the largest table(s) as a base. If your dining table is already positioned flush with a wall, how about adding a decorative display just for the season?
3. Mix and match smaller tables, footstools, boxes, a child's chair, or interesting containers on top of your base table.
4. Think about turning a box on its sides, giving you two spaces for decorations.
5. Consider adding a cloth covering to one or more of your surfaces for color and texture, whether a complete cover or a table runner*.
6. Cake stands will add height variations and make beautiful bases for special holiday decorations or lighted houses. If they are decorated in patterns or colors that aren't quite right for your Christmas decorating theme, cover with a doily, fabric napkin, or fabric swatch. Drape the whole stand, and either tuck the extra fabric under the stand, or add a circle of cardboard or plastic (such as a margarine tub lid) as a base to hide extra material (just tape it down out of sight). Try turning your cake stand upside down for an interesting change.
7. If you don't have any cake stands, it is super easy to make your own using plates and candle holders. Clear pieces are easy to mix and match, but you can have fun with colorful items as well. (Clear glass containers of all kinds are usually easy to find at the dollar store.) Double-stick tape is usually sufficient to hold the pieces together for the duration of the holiday - unless you want to make something permanent with a dab of E-6000 glue. Just be sure to keep the glue away from any surface that might be used for food products.
8. You can also glue a clear jar to a candle stick base to fill with a pillar candle or other seasonal decorations (faux snow and silk flowers, dried fruits and nuts, a favorite collection of ornaments).
Creating height in different ways, whether by stacking tables, adding interesting boxes or containers, or mixing in a cake plate or stacked candle holder, will add interest to any décor. It's all about mixing, matching, and setting up an arrangement that pleases you.
*Bonus tip for an easy table runner - several widths of coordinating ribbon layered on top of one another, widest to most narrow. Try a wide, sheer ribbon over a dark, contrasting ribbon, and a third, lighter-colored ribbon as the top layer