1. Group a set of prints for greater impact than with a single image. Before driving a nail, lay your framed prints on the floor and experiment with different configurations.
2. As an interesting variation on the above, hang four or more painted tiles in a grid to fill wall space.
3. Add personality to each room by displaying children’s artwork and projects.
4. Hang childhood pictures of you and your spouse in your child’s room
5. Give a room comfort and color with wonderful pillows. Use remnant fabrics to introduce vivid hues and different textures.
6. Add decorative details to built-in cabinets by changing the pulls. Painted ceramic and iron are some of the more popular selections.
7. Construct display shelves from crown molding. When used above the fireplace instead of a conventional mantel, they provide a place to feature plates, prints, and other collectibles.
8. Improvise a coffee table using a grouping of two or three low stools. You can also use wooden boxes or crates.9. Add an elegant fringe to a lampshade or hang decorative objects from your chandelier. Have a lamp shop turn an unusual object into a lamp.
10. Cover exposed chandelier bulbs with clip-on paper lampshades adorned with wallpaper cutouts that pick up the colors and patterns in the room.
11. Coordinate an unmatched pair of lamps by giving them the same paint finish.
12. “Plant a Candle.” Apply two coats of paint to an ordinary terra-cotta pot. Rub wet paint with a rag for a textured effect. Next, partially fill the pot with shimmery aquarium rocks or marbles, and stand three tapered beeswax candles in the pot. Fill remaining space with rocks and trim with colored ribbon.
13. Fill clear glass vases with treasured seashells, and add water. Place colored floating candles on top, and group the vases together on a table or dresser. Add small seashells or cuttings of greenery around the base for interest.
14. Arrange fresh fruit or vegetables on a tray for a centerpiece with summer color. Use an attractive pottery bowl (18 or more inches in diameter) to keep bottled drinks on ice while brightening the table.
15. Place hurricane shades over candles to provide instant ambience even on breezy nights. Complete the festive mood with soft music.
16. Add a classy touch to your outdoor setting by covering chairs with easy-to-remove slipcovers made of washable cotton duck. Sew a table runner from matching yardage.
17. Use materials clipped from your garden such as ivy, dried nandina berries, cleyera leaves, and holly to trim some of the most distinctively wrapped presents ever. Wrap your gifts in brown kraft paper. With florist wire and wide raffia ribbon, attach a small bouquet of the trimmings you’ve gathered.
18. Create a quick centerpiece by placing gaily wrapped gifts on the kitchen table. A few twists of ribbon and some glistening ornaments will add to the festivity.
19. Make a large bow from one or more kinds of ribbon, and attach a collection of large gold ornaments. It’s an easy way to make a tree topper or an embellishment for a newel post.
20. Illuminate a buffet with candles, or use them to designate gathering spaces at a holiday party. Display same-colored candles in varied sizes and textures to create an interesting vignette. Surround the glowing display with fruit and snacks, or tuck in fresh foliage.
21. Purchase a package of paper dinner napkins and add a holiday message or drawing with gold and silver paint pens.
*BONUS IDEA Serve flavored coffee at any special meal by adding orange zest or a cinnamon stick to each cup.