Here are some easy, budget-friendly ways to add color and fun to your Holiday decorating. Start with candles, candles everywhere!

Soft glowing light is complimentary to you and your guests. Once you’ve turned the lights down low, 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. Instead of lighting the fireplace, and cleaning the mess that goes along with it, try filling the fireplace with candles of different heights. Your fireplace will glow!

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. Or how about draping your dining room chandelier with a pine garland or holly?

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Ornaments aren’t just made to be placed on your holiday tree!  Try displaying 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. Oversized glass balls can also accent the fireplace mantle.

Replace your tablecloth with one featuring a holiday theme. If red and green doesn’t match the dining room décor, try white with gold or silver to dress up your table. Change your lampshades from ivory to black, and add a gold tassel, or holiday themed finial. Add a holiday bow to your planters, or place your plants in holiday inspired baskets or containers.  Add twinkle lights to the year-round artificial trees you may have filling empty corners. Tie a holiday colored ribbon around 3 old books, and display them on your coffee table. You can also wrap toss pillows with beautifully colored holiday ribbon ala a present under the tree!

Fruits and vegetables can be festive!  For example, spray paint walnuts and gourds in silver or gold and display them in a holiday themed basket. Or simply fill a large crystal bowl with red and green apples! The possibilities are endless!  Enjoy your Holidays! Submitted by Cheryl Smith, Decorating Den Interiors, 973-701-0550 or 908-580-9644.  www.cherylsmith.decoratingden.com, email: csmith@tctms.com,