Try these ideas for decorating your dining room for special Thanksgiving and Christmas meals or parties.
Simple wreaths at the doors and greenery draped from the chandelier set a holiday mood in the eating area. Light floods the room, where fresh flowers and forced bulbs help keep away the winter chill.
Bring the fragrance of evergreens indoors by draping doorways and windows with generous clippings from your own backyard. The window wreath is hemlock, the window swag is cedar, and the framed door is white pine. Wire the garlands first, and hang them from a couple of cup hooks in the top edges of the trim.
Every guest will feel young at heart with a centerpiece featuring happy elves and delightful drums. Rose-medallion plates and Czech cut glass add more formal notes for balance.
Layer the linens for a homey look during the holiday season. Add stoneware dishes and evergreen clippings to further relax the decorating. Create a centerpiece with lemons, limes, pears, and Granny Smith apples, all tucked in a basket with more green sprigs.
Cool blue and snowy white form the background for tables set with miniature trees. Make them by wrapping the roots of tiny cypress trees in burlap, and set them into glass vases. Cover chairs with tailored white slipcovers, and top off the table with formal white linens.
Relax and unwind around a country harvest table. Decorations include natural greenery strategically tucked around the room. Mini Christmas trees and potted saplings adorn the table. Replant the potted plants outside after the holidays.
Adorn a chair like a gift-wrapped present by wrapping it with a "ribbon" of fabric. Cut two 8-inch-wide lengths of green fabric; turn under and iron the sides. Wrap one length around the cushion and secure it with a safety pin. Wrap the other length around the chair frame, and secure the underside as needed. Cover the gap with a throw pillow.
Each guest knows where to sit when chairs are marked with name tags. Write the name on a paper tag, and secure it at the back of the chair with ribbon and a sprig of eucalyptus.
With nothing more complicated than a pretty damask napkin and fancy ribbon, chairs look their holiday finest. Tie the ribbon around the chair to hold the napkin, then hang one lovely ornament from the knot.