CHALLENGE: Currently, my interior design and set design business has taken
a turn away from the more traditional types of interior designing.
More and more of my clients are asking that I decorate rooms specifically
for the holiday season, incorporating window treatments and table
The Thanksgiving season is quickly approaching and I need some exquisite, yet inexpensive ways to decorate a main dining room. As it currently is designed the interior incorporates simple, yet elegant window treatments with soft shades in a neutral tone along with a simple, tailored cornice in deep green textured fabric. The cornice is padded with welting around the edges.
The flooring in the dining room is medium-colored oak. The room features a long oak table that must seat about 15. The table is Mission Style and the chairs alternate between two different styles. The seats of the chairs are upholstered in the same rich green that adorns the window treatment.
Could you please offer some ideas for the windows and table for the holiday season, as the client loves texture and pattern?
SOLUTION: New and fresh ideas around the holiday season—presented in a colorful, yet inviting atmosphere—will keep guests (and your clients) coming back for more! I recently visited a new store in my area (yes, retail, not wholesale), and I was amazed at the wonderful selection of merchandise for the Thanksgiving season. Not only was I inspired for myself and for my clients, but I could not wait to purchase many of the unique items.
For the window treatments, I would pay a visit to a local fabric store such as JoAnn Fabric [(877) 465-6266] or a large craft and fabric store in your area. The great selection of textiles incorporating rich colors of deep orange, gold and seasonal neutrals are beautiful for decorating this time of year. You may want to purchase about 15 yards (for a small window) or more depending on the size of the window and drape the fabric, creating a swooping effect. This will serve as a focal point in the room. Trimming the window in rich harvest colors will give a special look to the window treatment that will serve as a temporary, yet elegant setting on the window.
Try sketching out some ideas with the fabric first and ask the client which design he or she prefers. This should be a lighthearted, yet elegant look for the window. Do not over think or over create the window treatment, as it may take away from the real reason for the celebration: the abundance of the table and all its trimmings!
A simple turkey motif (small scale) and harvest design will provide a very festive atmosphere without overwhelming the guests. Table runners and linen napkins embellished with embroidered turkeys can be found at many stores such as The Pottery Barn. I also found ceramic candleholders and place card holders in a turkey theme.
Try designing a leaf cut from thick craft paper in autumn colors and use it with the place card holder. Incorporating trays and coasters made from natural jute or straw will offer texture and pattern to the table in keeping with the harvest design. Rattan also is a big hit this year. It offers additional texture to any accessory or furniture piece. Look for bright and festive table settings for your client in rich gold or brown. As I continued my shopping I found a Wheat Sheaf centerpiece (available through the Internet—potterybarn.com).
Candles, candles, candles . . . large and small, thick and slim, short and tall. Candles are a perennial pleaser. They will create ambiance and mood for your beautiful table arrangement.
Remember to abide by the rules of scale when it comes to proportion and balance, whether the room be formal or informal. Formal balance is created by having a centerpiece with objects of equal proportion on both sides. Informal balance is offset, such as a large centerpiece, then incorporating objects of different proportions on each side of it. Overall have fun and be creative!
Editor’s note: This is a continuing series of articles written by Sharon L. Anderson that will answer some of the many questions we receive at Draperies & Window Coverings as well as questions Anderson has encountered in her own business. If you have a question you would like Anderson to address, please send it to:
c/o Draperies & Window Coverings
1724 E. Grand Ave.
Lindenhurst, IL 60046
Fax: (847) 356-9013
Sharon L. Anderson has more than 20 years experience in the residential and commercial areas of interior design. She is currently a faculty member at two Southern California colleges. Anderson has been featured in numerous books and publications.