Home & Garden

3 Easy Steps

By Janet Armstrong,
Certified Interior Designer, CAPS

To a beautiful seasonal centrepiece

The holiday season is fast approaching and while this year may be different than in years past, it may still mean having a few family members or close friends visit and celebrate. The dining table  typically takes centre stage and I know you want the table to be as festive as the other areas of your home.

While the food and celebration are an important focal point, equally important is the tablescape — not only for the festivities themselves, but as part of your overall seasonal decor. In planning your table decor, you can take direction from the seasonal decor around your home or your dishware. Whichever you choose as the basis for your colour palette, rest assured there is seasonal decor in a coordinating colour — gone are the days of only having access to the ‘traditional’ colours!

Of course, centre stage is most often the centrepiece and there  are a myriad of options from which to choose — floral arrangements, candles, a hurricane lamp tucked into a wreath. Rather than a last-minute addition to the table, consider creating your centrepiece early, so you can enjoy
it for a few weeks, not just one or two days.

To assist you and alleviate some of the stress, I am sharing instructions for a simple DIY centrepiece using faux elements that is both elegant and will last throughout the holiday season.

Select the base

The first step is to choose the base for your centrepiece. I chose a round white platter — l love how the shape softens my space and keeps the look informal and homey. A platter, tray, or trifle bowl, are all equally functional and attractive as the base for your centrepiece and are items you might already have on hand.

Foundation elements

Foundation element(s) form the basis of and ground your display. They are typically the largest and are what draw the eye. The first element I added was the tall ceramic tree. It holds a tea light and the small holes throughout the tree allow soft candlelight to shine through. To fill in the platter, I added two more trees of different heights. The second ceramic tree can also hold a tea light and the star cut-outs let the candlelight shine through. I love battery-operated tea lights; they are readily available and you don’t have to worry about leaving candles lit. The silver textured tree lights up and the sparkle of the tree adds an extra festive touch — every display needs sparkle! Remember to use items of varying heights and textures to add depth, movement and visual interest.

Filling in the display

Every display needs botanical elements to add vitality and life. I used a wreath with faux pine, eucalyptus and bay leaves and love how the eucalyptus picks up the blue in the velvet table runner. If you don’t have a wreath, small stems are easy to add as are floral spheres. The final step is to fill in the spaces with items that provide additional colour and texture. I selected ornaments of varying sizes in blue and sliver to coordinate with the foundation elements and wreath. To provide additional texture I used ornaments with various finishes — shiny, matte and glitter. In addition to ornaments other items that work equally well include grapevine stars, icicles, pine cones, cinnamon sticks, nuts or fruit.

Have fun and enjoy creating your own one-of-a-kind centrepiece; play with the elements and their placement until you  have a look that you are satisfied with. And keep in mind that a display such as this works equally well on a coffee or sofa table, or an entrance way table, to add a festive touch to those areas of your home. Wishing you a very happy holidays and peaceful and blessed 2021.


Janet Armstrong (simplyswankdecor.ca) is a graduate of the Interior Design Institute of Canada, CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) and Chair of the Decorators and Designers Association of Canada (DDA Canada).