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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Colorful Ways To Decorate For The Holidays

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December is the month where the popular holiday colors – red and green – are on display every where you look. Decorating your home for the holidays doesn’t mean you have to stick to these two traditional colors.

Expand your holiday color palette and brighten up your home with some colorful details on your wreaths, garlands, ornaments, and Christmas tree.

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Unwrap a new wreath idea this year. Cover small containers, such as old jewelry boxes, with weatherproof paper, which will hold up outdoors, unlike wrapping paper; seal with all-weather tape. Add decorative bands in contrasting colors, if desired, and tie with ribbon.

1 Unwrap a new wreath idea this year. Cover small containers, such as old jewelry boxes, with weatherproof paper, which will hold up outdoors, unlike wrapping paper; seal with all-weather tape. Add decorative bands in contrasting colors, if desired, and tie with ribbon.

This full-bodied everlasting wreath is crafted from bundles of gold, pink, and silver glass balls on wire stems.

2 This full-bodied everlasting wreath is crafted from bundles of gold, pink, and silver glass balls on wire stems.

Brighten your walls with a wreath made of golden-hued ribbons fashioned into poinsettias.

3 Brighten your walls with a wreath made of golden-hued ribbons fashioned into poinsettias.

Golden beads become jewel-like decorations for a Christmas wreath. The beadwork flowers have wavy wire stems (they get their shape when the wire is wrapped around a spool).

4 Golden beads become jewel-like decorations for a Christmas wreath. The beadwork flowers have wavy wire stems (they get their shape when the wire is wrapped around a spool).

This substantial wreath, made with long Norway spruce pinecones attached to a bed of moss, can last for years if stored properly.

5 This substantial wreath, made with long Norway spruce pinecones attached to a bed of moss, can last for years if stored properly.

Having a beautiful rich blue ribbon will stand out on any wreath.

6 Having a beautiful rich blue ribbon will stand out on any wreath.

Make ornaments that shimmer with cardboard egg boxes, ornate beads, and trimmings.

7 Make ornaments that shimmer with cardboard egg boxes, ornate beads, and trimmings.

Transform quail and chicken eggs into shimmering ornaments that look as beautiful displayed in a pretty bowl as they do hanging from the tree.

8 Transform quail and chicken eggs into shimmering ornaments that look as beautiful displayed in a pretty bowl as they do hanging from the tree.

Pink and silver beaded ornaments look dazzling against a dark green tree.

9 Pink and silver beaded ornaments look dazzling against a dark green tree.

Fill the plastic balls for your pink Christmas tree with butterflies, beads, or a handful of glitter. Then tie a ribbon around each to hide the seam and create a loop for hanging.

10 Fill the plastic balls for your pink Christmas tree with butterflies, beads, or a handful of glitter. Then tie a ribbon around each to hide the seam and create a loop for hanging.

This glowing dragonfly can be hung up or wired directly to branches.

11 This glowing dragonfly can be hung up or wired directly to branches.

Filled with sparkly trimmings, these garden cloches add radiance to any tabletop.

12 Filled with sparkly trimmings, these garden cloches add radiance to any tabletop.

Icy dewdrops -- actually sprays of clear beads -- deliver glimmers of brightness to an arrangement of silvery faux branches.

13 Icy dewdrops -- actually sprays of clear beads -- deliver glimmers of brightness to an arrangement of silvery faux branches.

Pinecone

14 Pinecone "flowers" with glowing centers fill a simple vase in this exquisite arrangement.

Hurricane vases and votive candle holders can be wrapped in star-punched paper in the color of your choice -- an easy way to suffuse your party with warmth.

15 Hurricane vases and votive candle holders can be wrapped in star-punched paper in the color of your choice -- an easy way to suffuse your party with warmth.

A little sparkle transforms inexpensive toys into shimmering decorations for the dining table.

16 A little sparkle transforms inexpensive toys into shimmering decorations for the dining table.

What could be sweeter? Cut out 3-inch ovals from colorful card stock. Using a hole punch, make a hole at each end, and then neatly write your guests' names on the ovals with black ink. Thread ribbon scraps, each about 6 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide, through the backs of the place cards. Notch the ribbon ends, and set a card at each place setting.

17 What could be sweeter? Cut out 3-inch ovals from colorful card stock. Using a hole punch, make a hole at each end, and then neatly write your guests' names on the ovals with black ink. Thread ribbon scraps, each about 6 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide, through the backs of the place cards. Notch the ribbon ends, and set a card at each place setting.

These child-size paper parasols turn a side table into a winter wonderland. Plant them in miniature flowerpots filled with gravel. Tape the umbrellas open just a bit, then tuck in a cluster of batter-powered LED lights.

18 These child-size paper parasols turn a side table into a winter wonderland. Plant them in miniature flowerpots filled with gravel. Tape the umbrellas open just a bit, then tuck in a cluster of batter-powered LED lights.

While you need a little crafting experience to create these trees, they're

19 While you need a little crafting experience to create these trees, they're "so inexpensive to make and a clever way to recycle newspaper," says TV crafter Kristin St. Clair. She made a special one for Martha out of aluminum sheets, which turned out beautifully.

A mantel or side table becomes an other worldly forest when graced with a trio of cheery conifers -- the one on the left is trimmed with lametta, the other two are wrapped in fluffy tinsel; beneath the decorative garlands are polystyrene cones.

20 A mantel or side table becomes an other worldly forest when graced with a trio of cheery conifers -- the one on the left is trimmed with lametta, the other two are wrapped in fluffy tinsel; beneath the decorative garlands are polystyrene cones.

unusual and handmade trees mix with discount-store products on a mantel. The tallest is made from tin-can lids and a broomstick, and is decorated with gold balls.

21 unusual and handmade trees mix with discount-store products on a mantel. The tallest is made from tin-can lids and a broomstick, and is decorated with gold balls.

Because most aluminum trees were silver, colored examples like this pink one are rare and expensive.

22 Because most aluminum trees were silver, colored examples like this pink one are rare and expensive.

Two of the plastic trees are as useful as they are unexpected: the one on the left, intended to hold candies, now serves as a soapdish; the one on the right keeps cotton balls at hand.

23 Two of the plastic trees are as useful as they are unexpected: the one on the left, intended to hold candies, now serves as a soapdish; the one on the right keeps cotton balls at hand.

Ornamented and gilded brush trees provide the theme for a holiday table and complement the glistening trim on the dishware. The 1960s trees beneath the glass are highly sought, running $100 and up.

24 Ornamented and gilded brush trees provide the theme for a holiday table and complement the glistening trim on the dishware. The 1960s trees beneath the glass are highly sought, running $100 and up.

A three-and-a-half-inch tree -- first cousin to a cleaning brush -- has tiny ornaments and top that lights up. It was made in Japan, probably in the early 1950s for the dime-store market.

25 A three-and-a-half-inch tree -- first cousin to a cleaning brush -- has tiny ornaments and top that lights up. It was made in Japan, probably in the early 1950s for the dime-store market.

The sparse branches of a 1960s aluminum tree provide plenty of room to show off ornaments. The tree is anchored in a sand-filled vase, which replaces its base.

26 The sparse branches of a 1960s aluminum tree provide plenty of room to show off ornaments. The tree is anchored in a sand-filled vase, which replaces its base.

Having a snowy tree decorated with golden ornaments is the perfect touch to your table top.

27 Having a snowy tree decorated with golden ornaments is the perfect touch to your table top.

Here is a grove of 1960s tabletop trees, including (from left) an aluminum tree that seems inspired by an afghan hound; a couple of tinsel trees; a plastic tree, which may have come from a model-train layout, sitting in a glass saltcellar; and one made from aqua fishing line and sprinkled with glitter.

28 Here is a grove of 1960s tabletop trees, including (from left) an aluminum tree that seems inspired by an afghan hound; a couple of tinsel trees; a plastic tree, which may have come from a model-train layout, sitting in a glass saltcellar; and one made from aqua fishing line and sprinkled with glitter.

Aluminum trees look really great with balls and swags in one or two colors.

29 Aluminum trees look really great with balls and swags in one or two colors.

One year, Martha used a bronze tree in her dining room, with silver tinsel and vintage red ornaments.

30 One year, Martha used a bronze tree in her dining room, with silver tinsel and vintage red ornaments.

Japanese-lantern ornaments provide a pleasing change of scale on this artificial bonsai, but the crowning glories of this tree are the birds -- coated in glitter and grouped in flocks of like colors.

31 Japanese-lantern ornaments provide a pleasing change of scale on this artificial bonsai, but the crowning glories of this tree are the birds -- coated in glitter and grouped in flocks of like colors.

Homemade 3-D ornaments are made from bits of fabric stitched together and stuffed with quilt batting.

32 Homemade 3-D ornaments are made from bits of fabric stitched together and stuffed with quilt batting.

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Comments (4)

  • Hi Kevin
    Any suggestions for creative and elegant ways to display all the holiday cards that are starting to arrive?
    Cheers!

  • Gift Box Wreath is a great idea, and great colors.

  • Kevin, Your Japanese Bonsai themed is probably the first christmas tree in years i've seen that is gorgeous and can be set out all year round (sans the ornaments)! If you would be willing to share your sources for the latern ornaments and even the Bonsai tree stand, I would be extremely greatful! I didnt put up a tree this year with all the fuss, but three days before Christmas, I think you gave me my holiday spirit back!

  • [...] photo credit to: http://homedesign.marthastewart.com [...]

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