You’ve cleaned the house, thawed the turkey, and finally figured out where everyone is going to sit—when you realize your table is looking a little bare. When you’re shopping, planning, inviting, and cooking, thinking about décor on top of that can make holiday entertaining positively overwhelming.
But it doesn’t have to be. My mantra for holiday decorating is to keep things simple, unfussy, and eclectic. And my secret? Using things I already own.
You might be surprised by how many great décor accessories you already have in your home—think serving trays and bowls, wooden crates and boxes, and natural objects such as driftwood or birch logs—that can make to turned into beautiful centerpieces and table settings.
So, if you need last-minute decorations for your holiday party, don’t panic. Pick up one or two varieties of flowers or greens from the market—I love boxwood for the holidays, as it doesn’t shed and it keeps the deep green color for weeks. Then, browse through your cabinets to find the perfect place to put them. Check out these three ideas for inspiration.
Think Inside the Box
You probably have a few clear vases laying around, but also look for more non-traditional containers, like wooden crates, hat boxes, or unique serving bowls. I love using this small wooden box for my floral arrangements—the open lid adds dimension and makes the arrangement an immediate conversation piece.
Photo by Pamela Rytter
You most likely have outdoor items stored things away for the winter anyway, so try bringing some of them in! Accessories from your garden or patio, like lanterns, baskets, or this watering can, look perfectly winter-ready filled with evergreen branches or flowers.
Photo by Christian Oth Studios
Tidings of Silver
Silver serving trays are one of my absolute favorite accessories to use for decorating. Yes, you can do the obvious and use them to serve cocktails or appetizers, but I prefer them as a base for decorative pieces. For an instant centerpiece, just layer candles, floral arrangements, or evergreens on a single tray. Or, place several trays down the middle of a long table to replace a fabric runner.
If you’re hosting a more formal dinner party, use a tray to present seating cards to your guests. Polished or tarnished, they add an instant touch of vintage glamour to your party.
Photo by Lilian Haidar
Check your basement, attic, and closets for unusual pieces or items you haven’t been used in recent years. Just a few seasonal accents combined with unique objects will bring instant holiday beauty your home and table. Happy decorating!
Matthew Robbins runs the New York–based events design and planning firm Matthew Robbins Design. Robbins is a contributing editor and creates regular features for Martha Stewart Weddings, and regularly contributes to InStyle, theknot.com, New York Weddings, O Magazine, and Martha Stewart Living. He is a member of the advisory board for Garden Design magazine and a contributor to many print and online publications. He writes a weekly blog for the Martha Stewart Weddings website and is a regularly featured guest on both the Martha Stewart Show and Martha Stewart Living Radio. He lives in New York City.More from this Author