December 16, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES II & IV • Page 13 Add some sparkle to your holiday decorating with these tips from award-winning interior designer Susan Tenny Keefe. Candles, candles everywhere. Soft glowing light is complimentary to you and your guests. Turn down the lights and bring out candles by the boxful. From tall and tapered to short and stout, candles set a celebratory tone. For the most dramatic impact, group them as you would other collectibles and display them on a silver platter for more shine. Haul out the holly. When choosing plants to help add holiday cheer, think beyond the traditional poinsettias. Fill metallic vases with bouquets of fresh flowers and holly, or choose beautifully shaped topiaries covered with pepper berries. You might also try draping the dining room chandelier with a pine garland or holly. Ornaments are not just for the tree. Display some on a coffee table in an oversized bowl or clear glass urn. You can even use round glass balls as place cards, write each guest’s name on the ornament, and set them around the dining table. Change your lampshades from ivory to black, and add a gold tassel, or holiday themed finial. Add a holiday bow to each of your planters and place the plants in holiday inspired baskets or containers. Add twinkle lights to artificial trees. Tie a holiday colored ribbon around three old books, and display them on your coffee table. Wrap toss pillows with beautifully colored holiday Holiday decorating ideas for every budget ribbon ala a present under the tree. Change your window treatment tie backs by adding holly, berries or a sprig or two of evergreen. Fruits and vegetables can be festive. Spray paint walnuts and gourds in silver or gold and display them in a holiday themed basket, or fill a large crystal bowl with red and green apples. Dress up the front door with a floral wreath or colorful holiday arrangement and light the walkway with luminaria. The foyer deserves special attention since this is the where the first impressions are made. The front hall must be welcoming with good lighting and perhaps a holiday arrangement on the hall table. Mirrors and candlelight will brighten a foyer nicely, and a rich oriental rug can add a luxurious touch. Perhaps this is the year to consider an elegant wall covering in your entryway. Holidays are the time of year to display your most elaborate accessories in all their glitzy glory. Since family and friends usually settle into the living or family room, careful attention should be paid to the arrangement of the furniture. Is the furniture grouped for the best conversational arrangement? Is there plenty of room to traverse the area? Are there easily accessible places for elderly guests to sit? In the dining room, the goal should be a stimulating ambiance for dining, conversation, and fun. Drape the table with festive holiday linens. For an enchanting combination, cover your table with two tablecloths: a richly colored solid ������������������ cloth topped with a sheer, sparkly cloth appropriate for the holiday. The centerpiece should be special but low-profile since you don’t want it to be a detriment to conversation. Candlesticks are perfect. Mixing and matching china and silver can be a charming and eclectic way to enjoy those special heirlooms. If you will have overnight guests, make them feel welcome by enhancing the guest room with fresh flowers or potpourri. Holiday-themed throw pillows on the bed add a cozy dimension. A good reading light and water carafe by the bed are thoughtful touches. Remember to put out plush towels and extra toiletries for guests. Be sure to incorporate your own family’s customs into everything you do. Preparing to welcome friends to your home is fun, and ensures a memorable visit for you and your special guests. 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