I’m not much of a holiday decorator. I don’t spend two days unwrapping little chotskies out of bubble wrap (you know, the same ones I spent two days re-wrapping last year) and setting them up all over my home. I don’t hang hundreds of blinking lights from my roof or station large plastic figures on my front lawn. My holidays are a tad less elaborate and adorned. And I like it that way.
First of all, I hate packing and unpacking of any kind. I’d rather stick needles in my eyes. And I don’t like excess stuff sitting around, especially theme-oriented, color coordinated stuff.
Having said that, autumn is upon us and with the changing weather and falling leaves comes a feeling of nostalgia and celebration. But not to worry – there are plenty of simple, subtle ways to express the approach of the holidays without going over the top.
I’ve gathered an idea or two for garnishing your home – from tabletop to mantle to martini. Things that aren’t always exclusive to the holidays but that celebrate the seasons nonetheless. Here’s hoping you’ll see something that tickles your yearning for decoration, in the simplest most sensible sense.
On the top of my list but the farthest from reality, is this platinum and diamond encrusted skull (image above, For The Love of God). It’s the creation of British artist Damien Hirst, who has a morbid fascination with death and dying, and it sold for $100 million dollars in August 2007. No it isn’t simple or sensible. It’s glamorous and shocking, but I couldn’t resist.
Speaking of glamor, I’m a glutton for black. It goes with everything and makes everything look good. Just check out Leigha’s post last week for more details about bringing on the black.
I’m loving these touches of black with the slightest twist of orange or cream or candied apple (images above). And dried anything, from twigs to flowers, placed in a simple vase, turns an ordinary tabletop into interesting, without going gauche (image below).
All things metallic are hip right now, so use your imagination with gold paint and old buttons or beads. Preferably not all at once, just dabbing a little here and there does the trick.
So the table is set, but what’s the point of a party without a flavored martini?
Pumpkin Pie Martini (image above)
1/2 oz Sylk Cream Liqueur
2 oz Vanilla Vodka
1/2 oz Pumpkin Liqueur (or substitute pumpkin spice syrup)
1 tsp (or more) Whipped Cream
1 Cinnamon Stick for garnish
Pour the cream liqueur and vanilla vodka into a shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Add the pumpkin liqueur or syrup and shake again. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with the whipped cream, and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Serves 1.
Of course, you can’t have autumn without pumpkins, although I fly on the shy side with these gourd-like squashes. Carving with the kids is great fun, but when it comes to decor for your home, let’s leave the knives in the kitchen.
I’m needing a few of these velvet critters, so soft and snugly (image above). Or try your hand and paint them in plaid or polka dot; winter white or graphic delight (images below).
Draw a black raven or bats, use a doily as a stencil or monogram your initials (images below)….
…clothe them in old black stockings or leftover lace.
Let’s move on to flowers and wreaths; mantles and cakes.
Like I’ve said, crafts and such just aren’t my thing – I seek out simple and easy. So these orange calla lilies (image above) do just the trick. I’m loving how they’re arranged leaning to one side – asymmetrical is where it’s at.
I often have an aversion to wreaths – they are so easily overdone and embellished with too much garnish and frill. But these two gems (images above and below) capture the pure and crisp of the changing seasons and upcoming holiday cheer. You might even find one on my front door this year.
I’m crazy about these cheesecloth covered glass vases (images below), in all heights and sizes. Look closely and you’ll notice the black medical stitches down one side. Fill them with dried flowers or twigs and you’ve got a subtle way to share the Halloween gore without going too far. Add a spider if you’re so inclined.
Last but not least, these cakes made the cut. I’m not a pastry chef, nor am I competent in the ways of the kitchen, but I had to include them for the mere fact that they say Halloween at its most simple and sophisticated. Bon appetit and happy holidays.
Images: Better Homes and Gardens, Molly Findlay, this is glamorous, Delia Creates, Shelter Pop, Wise Craft, coco + kelley, green wedding shoes, style me pretty, Michelle Rago Ltd., Pinterest, Martha Stewart, Simply Grove, Country Living, Fina Art & Paper