It's amazing how a new and refreshing paint accent colour can really brighten up your current home décor and create a welcoming atmosphere!

For the next two weeks, you are bound to be busy entertaining family and friends with everything from simple hors d'oeuvres and cocktails to a full sit-down extravaganza.

If you are anything like me, you may not have the food all perfectly planned down to the last detail, but you have been giving lots of thought to the decorative atmosphere and the all-important table setting!

Doesn't any meal seem much more enticing with a fabulous presentation? Well, if the culinary arts are not your real specialty, then read on, take a look around your home, and follow these quick hits that can help you refresh your space just in time for the masses!

If the table setting is all that you can handle during this busy season, then remember that elegance is key. Simply pick a colour theme and follow it through with the tablecloth and dinner napkins.

Traditional holiday colours such as red, white and green can easily be traded for a turquoise like Benjamin Moore's cool aqua (2056-40), which can also convey an inviting and congenial atmosphere. Pair it with accents in a current fuschia and touches of silver for a contemporary spin on the traditional palette.

A festive table setting will not be complete without candles and some colour from nature! Fresh flowers always look great—but you can also make your own seasonal centrepiece with decorative pine and cedar branches, found just outside your door, coupled with some pearls and berries as a finishing touch.

You might even consider creating your own name cards to organize the seating plan. I like to have my 8-year-old son write the names of our guests so that he gets to participate in the decorating (and practice his printing! :-).

It's easy to spruce these up with decorative beads, glitter glue or candied fruits. A great idea I will share from a wedding I attended this summer is to pin the name tags to a fresh red or green apple and place one on each plate. Simple, yummy and no waste!

Charm your guests with your creativity this season and keep in mind that with a little imagination, you will be able to bring the holiday magic to your table.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season filled with happiness, fond memories, and many colourful surprises!


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