If there's anything that really helps deck the halls, it's garland.
We all know garland looks great circling the stairs and draped along the mantel, but where else can we add garland to punch up the decorations a notch?
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Did you ever think of draping garland around the windows? It looks pretty dramatic on large windows. Swaging and draping garland around each doorway makes every room special. Another good location is the dining room -- swag garland across the backs of the chairs. It will make the room extra-formal-looking, and will also make those who might sit in the chairs for dinner feel special.
Don't forget the mailbox. Put garland on top and add a red bow, and all who drive or walk by will certainly feel the Christmas cheer.
Do you have those popular pendant lights hanging in your kitchen? Add garland to them from the ceiling down to the lamp. Any columns or posts you might have inside or outside the home will look nice with garland spiraled around them. Add lights for sparkle, but even without the lights, the garland makes Christmas magic in any room.
Of course, always be on the lookout for any possible fire hazards.
Let's talk about the windows again. Snowflake curtains bring the wintry scene into focus and are easy to make. Just go online and find templates of snowflakes. Print several different types and sizes of the snowflakes; just pick the ones that look best to you. Print them onto crisp white paper or card stock. Fold and cut the snowflake templates according to the instructions. When you open up the finished snowflakes, they will have creases where you originally folded them. To get the folds straightened, place them under something heavy, like a book.
Let them sit for a day to get all the folds out. Measure the length of the window the snowflake curtain will go on, then cut fishing line to various lengths within the length size of the window. Attach the snowflakes with invisible tape to the fishing line at varying places. Then attach your hanging snowflake-laden lines to the top of the window. Let it snow!
Christmas-tree ball ornaments aren't just for the tree. Put them in large glass bowls, or in tall cylindrical vases or large wicker baskets. Place wineglasses on the table, and put one large ornament in each or several tiny ones in each -- for decoration, of course. Do not drink from these glasses. Be sure to thoroughly wash these glasses before drinking from them again.
There are some ideas to make the season bright. Enjoy the decorating, and enjoy what you've decorated.
•Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of "Mystery of Color."