When company comes for the holidays, it's time to give your rooms a facelift. Dress up an entry and dining room -- key areas that make big impressions -- with fresh paint, a few easy fabric projects, and Christmas decorations that bring tons of personality to the party!
Complements Earn Compliments
Help make a transition between rooms with two complementary colors (Twilight Meadow, #5007-8A, and Gentle Wave, #5007-7C). Add pops of contrast with a gorgeous sunny yellow (Pineapple Mousse, #3008-3C) on chairs or built-ins, and create a focal point with a new chandelier. Then layer on the seasonal cheer with greenery, a Christmas tree, and stockings.
Get It Together
Who knew gift wrap could be just as important as ornaments? Make the most of your Christmas tree's color scheme by choosing patterns, ribbons, and paper colors that accent your decorations. For overflow gifts that just won't fit under the tree, put them in unexpected containers such as old wire baskets.
Pick the Perfect Tree
Keep these tips in mind when you shop for a live Christmas tree.
Pick your spot. Before you leave home, decide where you want to place your Christmas tree. Keep it away from sunny windows, heat vents, radiators, and fireplaces. Measure the height of the ceiling and the width of the area you intend to use. Measure your tree stand so you know how thick the trunk can be. Write everything down and bring a tape measure with you.
Get the car ready. Take an old blanket for padding, twine or rope, and something to cut with. Put the tree in a bucket of lukewarm water to give it a drink when you get home. Or, skip the task of hauling a tree home and have Lowe's deliver one to your front door. Lowes.com offers Frasier firs in two sizes: 5-6 feet (#368803) and 6-7 feet (#368805). Prices include shipping, tree removal bag, and tree preservative.
Know your needles. The shorter the needles, the easier the tree is to decorate. Look for needles that are shiny and green on a straight tree with a fresh, woodsy smell.
Forget the mess. Real trees are wonderful, but they can be a lot of work. If an artificial Christmas tree is more to your liking, check out an innovative new adjustable tree from Lowe's (#351483) -- it's reusable and can be set up to stand either 6 feet or 9 feet tall.
Green Up Your Lighting
Place greenery -- live or artificial -- and small ornaments onto a new candle-look chandelier (#133541) to add instant cheer.
Place Your Stamp on the Decor
Add festive patterns with a table runner made out of a drop cloth (#74135). Then try a variation of the designs on curtain panels. Estimated cost: $42 plus paint.
Make Easy Christmas Decorations
Simply wrap dazzle twine (#349239) around empty ribbon spools and hang. Or, give them as gifts -- they're so easy, kids can make them, too. Estimated cost: $3.
Let in the Light
Add holiday spirit to a window area by hanging glistening ornaments from Lowe's with fishing line. Stamp solid (#349708) curtain panels to go with cushion fabrics, throws, and your wall color for a new look. Estimated cost: $68 plus paint for the pair.
No fireplace mantel? No problem. Just mount a hooked shelf (#368972) on open wall space and add whimsical stockings (#388150). For an easy-to-make door swag, gather leftover greenery, tie it together, and then use wire to attach some ornaments and hang.
Revive Old Furniture
Choose a color (La Fonda Teal, #5007-8B) similar to the wall color to repaint an old piece of furniture. Arrange a collection of plates above it and top with simple-but-classic holiday decorations such as a white mini Christmas tree (#329293, not available in all stores), pillar candles (#395329, 395328, #395327), and small-scale, solid-color ornaments.