Staircases and The Dining Room Table

Beginner Series: Part Two –

By Alisa Murray –

Last month we began discussing the easiest ways to create a impeccably decorated home that looks like you hired a decorator. We covered the basics of mantles and entry doors. This month, the focus is on seasonal décor with tables and stairs. Both areas are important with the stairs giving your home that extra special touch. Why? Because very few people, other than designers, decorate that space seasonally, and in doing so, you raise the bar for your guests and residents as a hip and hopping place to celebrate the season.

The Four Scaping Areas

There are four main points of interest in terms of seasonal scaping: the door, the table, the mantle and the staircase.  The dining room table can be simple or complicated based on what level of décor you have chosen for that holiday. All areas should coordinate. For example, if you have added to the green base for fall a plethora of fall leaves and gold ribbons with touches of velvets in burgundys and deep greens, then incorporate those colors into the mantle dressings, the staircase, the table and the door. Add all sorts of fun items for October by adding to the green base some orange lights, gold and sparkly purple ribbons and metallic pumpkins.  After Halloween, pull only the purple and metallic and add in more natural looking leaves in fall colors and a few brown feathers. When Thanksgiving is over, remove the orange lights and leaves. Add red velvet ribbons, gold and red sparkly balls and white twinkly lights. In less than an hour, you’ll have transitioned and be ready for the big man in red!

The Table

The table should have a centerpiece that reflects the theme chosen and can incorporate both a formal dining room and a casual eating area.  I always decorate both spaces, but the dining room by far is an area I decorate in a more elaborate style.  The ribbons chosen for the other spaces are tied on bows around the candlesticks to add further flourish. The placements and dressings, and even the backs of the chairs, all reflect the annual theme.

The Staircase

Scaping the stairs and the table can be a little more challenging. They require quite a bit of patience and time. The staircase, depending on how elaborate yours is, will require quite a lot of greenery. I wrap the stairs in greenery in late September and add into that fall garlands of changing leaves. The lights are orange as I like the way it glows from the street at night, and it photographs very well. That is certainly plenty just there in terms of décor, but if you have small children, they can make small hand turkeys to tie into the greenery.  It adds a nice touch and gives you something to have the grandchildren do as well as a way of family traditions, and who doesn’t love those?

The same procedure is used once Thanksgiving is over.  Pull the leaves and orange lights, add white lights and wrap into the greenery beautiful decorator ribbons.  Then, tuck some of those sprigs with little presents or whatever theme you chose for that year here and there up the stairs. Don’t forget to tuck the same goodies and use the same ribbons for the front door and mantle.  Remember everything should coordinate for a more professional look. As soon as the holidays are over, pull the white lights and those ribbons, and add red rose garland and red lights and you’re dressed for Valentine’s Day. It’s as simple as that!

During the last months of the year, since there are so many opportunities to have friends over, I go all out giving to each meal a holiday flair. As you get the hang of it, you’ll get comfortable spotting little things to tuck into your décor for your family to fondly remember for years to come. That’s what making a home is all about and how you really love where you live!