We love the idea of using natural elements as decor where possible, so we went out back and snipped a few nice sized branches from the holly tree, ripe with red berries.
After giving them a good shake, we brought them into the dining room and Mary began trimming up the branches into smaller, workable pieces with wisps of green leaves and little bundles of berries.
Note: If you have small children or pets around, keep in mind that holly leaves have sharp points on the leaves and holly berries can be toxic.
First up, we framed out the sideboard mantle and counter to make it look like garlands of holly:
It's pretty amazing how a few sprigs here and there can really transform the feel of a space. In prep for the shoot, we'd also pulled out the fine china and silver place settings to change up the table setting from the last spread and give it a little bit more of a formal touch for Christmas:
We also pulled out the gold dipped mason jars we'd made for our wedding to add into the mix (find all the instructions for how to make these here).
A really simple way to create a holiday glow and instant ambiance is with floating tea lights. We filled up the jars to just underneath the gold paint edge with water, popped a tea light into each (they float!) and lit them on up:
There are so many ways you could use these floating tea light jars, but we loved the way they turned out with the touch of gold paired with the bright greenery and pops of red from the berries:
See how the tea lights float and flicker at the top of the water line inside the jar? Since they're floating, they keep that feeling of movement and illumination while lit:
It turned out to be a really simple way to pull together a holiday centerpiece and we're hoping to create either the same or something similar for our Christmas dinner.
Tomorrow Mary will spill all the details on the place settings she pulled together for this tablescape — how have you been decorating this year?