Try some sparkle, glitter

We are just married and this is our first Christmas in our own place. And big surprise, everyone wants to come here for dinner. Help. Can you please give me some quick decorating ideas that don’t cost much?

Place a gold charger under each place setting and dress up the napkins with bows

Dear Debbie: We are just married and this is our first Christmas in our own place. And big surprise, everyone wants to come here for dinner. Help. Can you please give me some quick decorating ideas that don’t cost much? Thank you from my whole family — Roberta

Dear Roberta: It is very exciting and a little nerve racking to host your first celebration in your own home. You feel like everything you do is under scrutiny, especially when it’s your family. . . perhaps your biggest critics, but also your biggest fans. My advice is to set aside an afternoon and work out a strategy that suits the occasion.

For me, the holidays are all about sparkle and glitter. Daylight is in short supply and we all need some enhanced brightness in our lives. So go for the dazzle.

Decorations are in abundant supply at home stores. Silver, gold, blue and white with lots of gloss or sequins will all reflect light. Concentrate on the entrance hall to make a festive first impression, and the dining room where you will all be gathering for dinner.

Hang a selection of balls and beads from a crystal chandelier or glass pendant. Group hanging ornaments by colour or shape and keep the arrangement in balance with the object you are decorating. A simple pendant will dazzle with a single faceted silver ball; larger light fixtures can show off a full display.

Dimmers on dining lights add drama and the sparkling surfaces take on an enchanting appeal in low light as well as candle light.

For the table, build around whatever dishes and linens you have. A red or plaid table cloth is traditional as is white.

Something as simple as a set of gold chargers will transforms an everyday place setting into a party.

Napkins can be folded loosely into a simple fan held together by a lavish bow. Tuck in a small ornament, or a candy cane and cinnamon sticks, write place names on holiday postcards – this will make every guest feel special, which is the whole idea really.

You are starting to build memories that will last a lifetime. Remember to relax and have fun.

Dear Debbie: I am redecorating our guest room. The brass queen size bed is very beautiful and has sentimental value. I have contemporary taste and am looking for bedside tables and lamps that would go with the brass bed but update the look of the room. I’ll also be buying new linens. I love browns, creams and whites. — Barbara

Dear Barbara: Antique brass beds will never go out of style as they really are a classic.

They are often higher than most modern beds, so you need to look for bedside tables that are taller and in scale with the bed.

The top of a bedside table should be at the level of the top of your mattress. Take a look in your local antique store for pot cupboards.

They are usually quite easy to find, and are the right height, about 2 1/2 feet. Traditionally used to store your potty in between beds, they are often decorative with an antiqued finish and stencilling.

Don’t let their original purpose put you off. These cupboards can look amazingly contemporary if painted in a high gloss finish.

I have a great friend who sells them through her antique store, or check out your local flea markets.

Debbie Travis’s House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please e-mail your questions to

Just Posted

Candlelight vigil in Red Deer honours Sri Lanka Easter bombing victims

Dozens showed up to the event at City Hall Thursday night

Several Red Deer businesses’ phone/fax lines taken over by ‘spoofers’

Same ‘prank’ calls were made as happened with RedCliff RCMP

Red Deer apartment project opposed by some neighbours

Two buildings proposed for a site in Normandeau with existing four apartment complexes

Red Deer’s osprey cam celebrities are back

FortisAlberta has webcam set up at nest created as part of avian protection program

Red Deer PCN Women’s Fun Run introduces Community Diaper Dash

Central Albertans will make a dash in diapers to bring lunches to… Continue reading

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Local Sports: Clayton Pottinger reaching for new heights

There are times in anyone’s life when they make a decision that… Continue reading

Seniors: Smarter living for older adults

One of the major life transitions characteristic of aging is leaving one’s… Continue reading

Opinion: Schools can’t be exempt from scrutiny

This weekend’s meeting of the Alberta School Councils’ Association promises to be… Continue reading

Bishop now the Stars goalie trying to beat Blues in playoffs

Ben Bishop grew up rooting for the St. Louis Blues before being… Continue reading

Nashville gets its chance to step up for NFL draft

NASHVILLE — Broadway in downtown Nashville is as lively a place as… Continue reading

The Cranberries, still in mourning, return for the last time

NEW YORK — Whether or not there would be a final Cranberries’… Continue reading

Dance studio owner in dispute with Burton Cummings fined for noise ticket

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — The owner of a dance fitness studio who… Continue reading

Most Read