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Tis the Season... All Year Long.

Ever notice the envy-inducing, ever-changing window displays that upscale department stores seem to effortlessly switch from season to season, month to month, mood to mood? Me too. And believe it or not, you don't have to become a secret squatter in your downtown Nordstrom to have this same amazing (albeit downsized) effect in your very own living space.

First things first, you're going to need to find your "window". For me, it's a five tiered serving platter that lives atop our kitchen island. Others I know have dedicated a table bowl or an empty lantern centerpiece to this same strategy and it works beautifully. These pieces tend to be a permanent fixture in the room - all that will vary are the innards, also endearingly known as THE BEST PART.

Like our fancier counterparts, colors and theme will obviously reflect what season, month or mood you're in. Many and most of the decor and knick knacks you'll use, you very well may already have! And if you're anything like moi, simply head to those holiday decoration tubs and gather up anything that speaks to you and your designated space. If you're not a tubful-of-wax-pumpkins-and-tiny-santa-clauses type of person, fret not. There are oodles of places that carry exactly what you'll need and for cheapity, cheap, cheap, cheap.

Ever lose yourself in the dollar sections of Target and Michaels? You're nodding, I can feel it. That's because they're FULL of tiny drops of heaven for a decorator on a budget. Another fabulous and wallet friendly idea is to incorporate fruit and vegetables into your design. It may sound loony, but it's a marvellous way to inexpensively take up extra space while also looking elegant and health conscience. What is that - three birds with my one stone?

If you're using a lantern or bowl, be sure to find a "filler" to cushion your items, help fill in any open gaps, provide a backdrop, and also supplement the theme you're producing!
Ideas for these might be:

  • garland
  • Fall leaves
  • cotton snow
  • faux spider webbing
  • unspooled ribbon
  • silk flowers
  • pinecones
  • river rocks
  • winter berry branches

As with many decorating techniques, it all begins with layering textures, heights, shapes and colors. When deciding on placement for my serving platter, I like to build from the heaviest look at the bottom and lighten on my way up. Numbers and symmetry can also be fun to play with when working on a leveled piece. Once the season or moment of your theme has passed, do yourself a favor and designate a box to store and mark your group of treasures for the next year. This will keep you both organized and sane when in three hundred and fifty some days you're on the prowl for the perfection last year's display gave (pictures are a handy reference too!).

This really is a wonderful way to effortlessly move through the year and its meanings all within the confines of a single piece. Most of us don't deck every hall with red, white and blue come the Fourth of July, but you can bet those sweet little wooden stars and ceramic bald eagles will have a perfect home in your new over-sized dough bowl! Come February, find yourself cutting out red Valentines and stealing the entire set of hearts from a deck of cards. March might bring about the collection of clovers, and so on. The most important thing is to bask in what you create. Have fun with it. Incorporate your children. Form traditions. Take risks. Celebrate your vision.


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