Category Archives: Holiday Decorating

Holiday Traditions

As many of you know I have four children, and we are big on rituals and traditions.  Christmas is our favorite time of the year and even though all my children are in their twenties they all look forward to the traditions of when they were small.

Many years ago we decided that the children should not buy gifts for each other but pick secret Santa’s.  (My husband and I, not wanting to be left out, also participate in this activity as well.)  Through the years, it has become a tradition we all look forward to.  There is a dollar limit and we choose our recipient after Thanksgiving dinner.  After choosing the recipients the secrets, torturing and fun begin right up to our Christmas Eve dinner when the secret Santa’s are revealed.  To make sure no one cheats we have a guessing game on Christmas Eve and those that guess correctly win a small prize.  It keeps the secrets and the competitiveness alive!

From the time our children were small we always involved them in Advent.  We started with lighting candles once a week and reading Bible verses.  Then unfortunately as they got older we moved from this beautiful tradition to the Advent calendar and boxes.  This tradition was started somewhere in the 19th century, and it was a tradition that I did as a child.  It counts down the first 24 days of December and on the 25th the celebration of the birth of Christ takes place on Christmas Day.  This tradition still continues whether they are in college or on their own and are 27!

One of my very favorite traditions is one we decide upon on Thanksgiving Day.  We decide as a family how to share our blessings with others during the holiday season.  It will be interesting to see what we choose this year.  In the past as a family, we have volunteered at clothing drives, adopted families, supplied gifts and Christmas dinners, and donated to charities.  Everyone has a different heart for things, and it is always fun to see what they are thinking and what we agree upon…

Whatever your special traditions may be this holiday season, the Correale family wishes you the best as we close out 2012.  Please share, what your favorite holiday traditions are?

Indoor Decorating for the Holidays

As a designer, I love to watch the trends in design; have you noticed that the BIG thing this holiday season is mercury glass?  It originated in Germany around the 19th century as a less expensive option to silver.  The beautiful shine and silver color add a wonderful sparkle to any holiday arrangement.  You can find it EVERYWHERE…and it’s beautiful and affordable!  You don’t have to have antique glassware to make this work; many stores are offering reproductions such as PotteryBarn.com and Target.com.  For you crafty types, click here for instructions on how to can take a piece of inexpensive glass and turn it into a mercury glass look.

Decorating the Holiday Mantel
Here is a beautiful idea from, click to view from CountryLiving.com where they tie the glassware together with green and red for a beautiful mantel idea.  For other great holiday mantel decorating ideas from HGTV, click here.

You can tie the look of silver and gold together simply by adding various types of gold and silver ornaments in a glass cylinder which can be purchased from your local craft store (Click for photo from SouthernLiving.com).

Decorating the Holiday Table
If you’re hosting the holiday meal this year, start your table design with a lovely center piece.  From there, it’s easy to add details to each place setting.  Martha Stewart offers an easy and beautiful idea using roses and cranberries, click here to view those instructions.  Mix this idea up by using any flower color combination that you prefer, using the cranberry filled vase.

For a simple center piece idea, bring the look of nature into your home.  Place a glass votive into a glass cylinder and between the two layers place small pinecones, evergreen clippings, and a little faux snow and you have a beautiful arrangement.

If you are in need of some unique napkin folding ideas for your place setting, click here.

Don’t forget to include place cards so you can be sure to seat everyone in an order that you think would work best for all personalities!  (Click here for some great place card ideas from Martha Stewart.)

I would love to see some of your holiday photos and ideas, please share them!  Happy Holidays!

For more information on how Redesign Right can help you with your decorating projects contact us at debbie@redesignright.com or 610.955.8202.

Outdoor Holiday Decorating

It is that time of year when the smell of evergreen and cinnamon is everywhere! I love it and can’t wait to spend special time with my family. But before I can get that planning done, it’s time to decorate the outside of my home.

There are many choices available in terms of color schemes, and my advice is to come up with a color plan and stick with it. This will also help minimize the amount of things that you purchase, too often when we go shopping, with no vision in mind, we spend too much on things we end up not using and then we have to store it somewhere…let’s avoid that this holiday season! Here are a few simple ideas that you can use varying the color arrangements depending on your overall color scheme. Let’s have some fun!

Use the pots that you use for your summer arrangements and place evergreens, and weather appropriate ornaments in your urn style pots. You can use sticks, branches from your yard and simply spray paint them the color you desire. Target.com offers twigs with lights built in if you wish to illuminate your decoration! These great ideas are complements of BHG.com.

Use cuttings from your Christmas tree or evergreens and place them in baskets or benches, using whatever you currently have, arrange them with oversized ornaments for color ensuring that you can see the arrangement from the road view.

There are many ideas for wreathes; I found some really exceptional ones from Southern Living from Chili Peppers to snowy looks, very fun! Click here to check out the variety to get some ideas.

Don’t forget to decorate your mailbox! Use cuttings or faux weather resistant garland from your local craft store and drape with outdoor ribbon to create a festive look. Keep in mind that simplicity is easy to do and the result is beautiful!

Enjoy your outdoor holiday decorating!

For more information on how Redesign Right can help you with your decorating projects contact us at debbie@redesignright.com or 610.955.8202.

How to prepare (and decorate) for holiday guests!

The holidays are coming!  The relatives are coming!  Before the panic sets in…take a minute…and come up with a list!  Look around your house and decide what is realistic to get done before the busy holiday season begins.

Is the guest room ready?
This is the perfect time of year to do that painting that you have put off.  With lower humidity it’s a perfect time to update your guest room!  Click here to read a prior blog of mine on tips for picking a paint color.  You can update the look of a guest room by placing fall accessories in the room to complement the existing decorating style.  Use pillows, new photos for artwork, a fall colored throw to accent.  Be sure the room is comfortable for guests as you want them to feel as though there is a place for them to go and have some comfortable quiet space.  Here’s a check list to quickly update the guest room:

  1. Ensure that there is proper reading light and not a bright overhead light which is not soothing or “cozy” feeling.
  2. Add a winter colored flower bouquet or a decorated tree to the room.
  3. Be sure there are enough pillows.  I tend to like lots.
  4. Make sure there is room in the closet or drawers for your guests.

Is the guest bathroom ready?
If the bathroom is shared, be sure to clear out space for the guests.  Clean towels should be available, along with any necessary toiletries that the guest may need.  You may wish to stock up on new toothbrushes and toothpaste, make up removal wipes, disposable razors, a variety of soap/skin lotions, shampoo and conditioner. When my guests come I have a large wicker basket full of these items and I leave it in the guest room with the the towels I want them to use!

Is the house ready?

This is a good time of year to purge.  I know you did your spring purge, now it’s time for the fall purge!  All of the beach and summer items should be stored away!  In terms of cleaning, always start with the obvious first!  Here’s a list of  items to-do from HouseLogic.com:

  1. holiday guestScrub your entryway.  Wipe down your front door, give the doormat a good shake (or replace), and make sure dust and dirt haven’t collected on floors and furniture legs.
  2. Focus on the kitchen.  People tend to gather around the food during the holidays, so make sure your kitchen looks and smells nice.  Don’t forget to dust the light fixtures and replace burned out light bulbs!
  3. The Bathroom should sparkle.  Don’t just wipe surfaces; break out the stiff-bristled brush and scouring powder to really scrub things clean.
  4. Clean your windows!  For more information on sparkly streak-free windows, click here.

Do me a favor; I want you to change the first item on your holiday to-do list to HAVE SOME FUN!

For more information on how Redesign Right can help you with your decorating projects contact us at debbie@redesignright.com or 610.955.8202.

Decorating Your Table for Thanksgiving

I love this time of year!  A time for friends and family and very yummy food!  Let’s get started!  The first thing you need to determine for a beautiful table setting is to plan the menu, so you can determine what plates and flatware will be necessary.  I would actually set the table to see how much room you have on the table.  Will you be serving food from the table, or buffet style?  Determine how much available space you have on your table to decorate and the height of the center piece you will need.  Now, for the fun, let’s come up with some ideas!

thanksgiving tableFirst of all let’s review how to set a table properly.  Who better to consult than the expert on etiquette, Emily Post!  Fortunately, you can find instructions on setting a Basic, Informal and Formal table setting, click here to read those instructions.  To watch a video on how to set your dinner table, Emily Post Fashion, for Thanksgiving, click here.

If you don’t have a lot of space on your table consider three small arrangements.  I love the idea of incorporating natural elements into the setting.  Click here to find other lovely Thanksgiving center piece ideas from Better Homes & Garden.

For those of you that love sparkles, check out this great idea from BHG.com which can be created using adhesive decals in shimmering silver, bronze and gold tones in various patterns.

Here are some simple and clever ideas for place card holders, use any type of pear that stands upright and matches the color scheme that you are working with and use a fabric pin to attach a nicely printed card to it for the name.  Idea complements of Country Living.

Another idea is to roll up your napkin like a cornucopia, tie with some craft floral and ribbon or raffia and attach a name tag, complements of Martha Stewart.

Please be sure to include your kids in this process as it will help improve their table manners as well as teach them how to set their own table.  Happy Thanksgiving!

For more information on how Redesign Right can help you with your decorating projects contact us at debbie@redesignright.com or 610.955.8202.

Thanksgiving Decorating Traditions

I love Thanksgiving!  It’s the one holiday that involves three of my favorite things:  family, friends, and food!  Historically, Thanksgiving is a holiday started in North America to give thanks for a wonderful harvest.  There’s no gift giving or hype, just gratitude.  I love that!

If you don’t have any Thanksgiving Day traditions, here are a few ideas that may spark an interest to start one or two in your family!

Create Thank You Chains to decorate your dining or banquet table.  Click here for instructions.

I love the idea of a gratitude bowl or blessing bowl.  You can use any bowl you’d like, or have a designated one that you pull out especially for Thanksgiving.  Place it in a prominent spot with a pad of paper and pen and ask all guests to write something in gratitude.  After dinner as you are enjoying your dessert, pass the bowl around and have everyone pick out a note at random and read aloud.  Watch as the smiles abound!

In writing this blog I came across a sweet article by Garrison Keillor, author and radio host that he likes to sing and encourages all to sing prior to the thanksgiving meal.  I love this little prayer that a friend’s family always sings prior to the meal, in harmony:

Evening has come
The board is spread
Thanks be to God
Who gives us bread
Amen

Whatever tradition you choose to incorporate into your Thanksgiving meals, the joy, love and gratitude felt by all is the best blessing.

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” ~ Maya Angelou, Author

OliverOliver is waiting for relatives to come and drop turkey on the floor…

Happy Thanksgiving from the Correale Family to Yours!

For more information on how Redesign Right can help you with your decorating projects contact us at debbie@redesignright.com or 610.955.8202.

Thanksgiving Decorations for your Home

What comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving decorations?  Let’s have some fun and come up with some interesting Thanksgiving Home Decorations.  There are many ideas for the crafty types; the goal is to add the decorations without going over board.

Decorating the Mantle
When researching ideas for this post, I came across a lovely “Give Thanks” display though you could use any phrase you would like to emphasize for this season.  To create this look click here.

Here is another idea for decorating your mantel that incorporates a “message” into your decorating scheme such as, Family, Thanks, or Blessings.  Click this link for wonderful step-by-step instructions on how to create this look.

Combine things that you love to make an interesting mantel display, this mantel featured on BHG.com combines rustic and vibrant elements.

Decorating the Side Table or Buffet
This is such a beautiful idea, it requires three store bought items and absolutely no glue or wire and looks stunning!  Click here to read the instructions, I’m sure you could go to any craft store of your choice and find a beautiful already made wreath to create this table top or buffet candle display!

Another classic Thanksgiving look is the cornucopia.  Martha Stewart offers instructions on how to achieve this look, click here to view.  They start with a purchased cornucopia which can be located at your local craft store.

Enjoy your time with friends and family, relax and be thankful for this beautiful life!  Happy Thanksgiving!

For more information on how Redesign Right can help you with your decorating projects contact us at debbie@redesignright.com or 610.955.8202.

Decorating Outdoors for Thanksgiving

I know Halloween is only a few days away but it is time to start thinking about decorating for Thanksgiving and the best place to start is with your front door.  Since Thanksgiving brings to mind, harvest, cornucopias, Indian corn, there are many materials to work with therefore many options.  If you would like to make a simple, but colorful statement, follow these directions on a lovely Indian Corn Hanging.  I found a website that lists 101 Fall Wreath ideas, click here to be visually amazed with the many wonderful ideas!   (I love the one with all the baby pumpkins on it!)

Decorate your front porch or deck using your planters with corn husks and pumpkins, it makes such a beautiful statement and very easy to put together.  This idea came from BHG.com, click here for instructions.  

Take your empty planter boxes and fill them with corn husks, and various pumpkins and gourds to create a fall harvest look (this idea is from MarthaStewart.com).

Click here for a great video on decorating the frame of your doorway with mesh, ribbon, and seasonal floral items.  I recently found this mesh in various colors at A.C. Moore.  To create a clever Indian corn garland for your front porch, Martha Stewart recommends stringing the corn together using wire and raffia to get an unusual look.  For those instructions, click here.

To incorporate some sparkle and light to your front porch, PotteryBarn.com offers many options.  Check out those beautiful lanterns!

thanksgiving decoratingEnjoy this lovely east coast weather and Happy Thanksgiving Decorating!

Planning a party? Decorate your table for Halloween!

Depending on your tastes there are many quick and easy options for decorating your table for a Halloween Dinner Party.  Here are some easy and original ideas I compiled that I thought you would enjoy.

Create inexpensive placemats – use Halloween or orange and black scrapbook paper!  If you go to your local scrapbook paper/arts and crafts store, such as Joann’s Fabric and Craft, you will find so many choices.  Be sure to look for the large 12”x12” paper.  Match the paper with paper plates or your own white plates.  Also, consider the background that you will choose if you are going to go with an all black table cloth, or you could pick white if you don’t wish to have such a “dark” look and accent with orange and black!

Create Wine Glass Accents – using little spiders, which you can purchase online very inexpensively from Oriental Trading, click here to view black spiders or here for jeweled spiders.  Or take a trip to your local party store, they should have many options like skulls, ghosts, whatever your preference.

Make festive place tag holders – I love this idea – they are so cute – from Martha Stewart, who else!?  Click here to view the training video on how to make these very simple and cute tags.

Add a pumpkin table center piece – Hollow out the bottom of small pumpkins and use a battery operated votive for a flickering light.  Tier your display with a cake stand or candle holders until you have the desired height.  For those who like a little sparkle in their decorations, Martha Stewart offers a training video on how to create glittered pumpkins, click here to view that video.  Use a pumpkin as the vase for flowers, click here to view instructions.

Another inexpensive decorative idea is to use Halloween stamps and ink on clear glass hurricanes or votives.  Add an orange or black candle, with some candy corn, or black jelly beans at the base and you have completed a great Halloween Candle display.  After you’re done, glass cleaner will completely remove the stamped ink and it will be ready to be used for another season!

Be sure to create a great digital invitation to your party, check out PunchBowl.com to view the free digital options available.  After you’ve picked the date, be sure to let me know, I’ll bring the wine!

Enjoy your Halloween and have a wonderful party!