Entertaining and the Holidays. A word that can strike fear and anxiety in a
lot of us - especially when it comes to home decor. Why do we get all worked-up over the adorning of our homes for the Holidays? It's simple, I think. We want our friends and family to feel the warmth and joy of the Holiday - at ease and relaxed "at home" in ours. And, if we are all being truthful, impress them with our decorating skills (Ha!). More importantly, we want it to be a reflection of who we are and what the Holidays means to us.
We sat down with new friend and Interior Designer, Marc Durivage, and asked him what he would advise to help keep it simple and less stressful, and of course, how to include Candles as a key element. Here's what he had to say:
"For me, the holidays really is a special time of the year where we
slow down and appreciate family, friends, and all that we are grateful for. It’s a
time of year where everyone can get together and share. The great thing about design in recent years is that it has become increasingly personal. It’s about expressing your individuality, your tastes, your interests. You collect Fine French Furniture? Awesome. Garden Gnomes? Great. Mid-Century Chairs? Right on. The point is: Your home and its decor has to reflect you. Nothing is more satisfying than to be invited into someone’s home and feel like you are entering their universe. Your home tells your story. Your holiday decor should highlight that.
Another great thing about design right now is the plethora of styles out there.
Some of you like traditional. Some contemporary. While others are into
farmhouse style in the suburbs; or live in super chic lofts in the city. There’s
so many ways you can create beautiful holiday decor. Should you be more
low-key, subtle and elegant vignettes in concentrated doses scattered
throughout your space might be the answer. Since you asked about integrating scented candles, let’s start there.
Candles can be a little tricky, but with some help, you’ll pull it off like a champ. To keep it simple, as an example, let's take two of the most used rooms during the Holidays: the dining room and the powder room (aka, the Bathroom). Two perfect places to decorate with candles. From there, we can get into examples of different decor styles that apply to the main living area, where most of us spend more time on decorating that any other room in our homes (though you can extrapolate and work the ideas into any space in your home). Here we go!
When throwing a full-blown holiday party with all the trimmings, just remember to divide and conquer. Focus on the table, the sideboard, and maybe a vignettes or two. Keep it concentrated and don’t go overboard (unless that’s your look). One thing you have to remember is that dining rooms are really stage sets. You’re there for a limited time, so you can be theatrical and go for the gold. Literally. Think of your dining room table as a runway. Work. It. A beautiful center-piece such as a glass vase or silver bowl with beautiful floral arrangements or even an over-the-top birdcage filled with orchids. Pepper some luxurious candles here and there, and you’ve got a statement. Play with height, adding interest and elegance at the same time. Trust me. It will look amazing...and reflect your own personality.
The Powder Room
I just LOVE a great powder room where the host has prepared an experience for me. It shows that they really care. It can be as simple as crisp linen hand towels and decadent soaps, or a hurricane lamp nestling a delicate fragrance. Since most powder rooms tend to be small, stay away from overpowering scents. These can easily turn a pleasant experience into the nightmare at the Cologne Counter in a department store. Not what you’re after. If your powder room happens to also have a glassed-in shower, you have a recipe for some amazing showmanship. Votive candles on pedestals mixed in with greenery and flowers will have your guests talking about it for years to come.
You’re welcome. :)
Next up. Part 2 - Elements of style. Let us know what you think of Marc's tips and how you use Candles in your Holiday decorating.