Key: use changes in level, mix old and new, combine different textures, add reflective accents, and finish with uplighting in the back to create a dynamic display that's beautiful from far away and even more intriguing the closer you get.
I made this display for the top of the bookshelf in our dining room and used some cool tricks I thought you might enjoy.
1. Create different levels using shallow boxes or books. I covered mine with a white sheet to hide all my sins.
2. Add interest with different textures. The holidays mix old traditions and exciting new experiences, so it makes sense to have matte and glossy, rough and smooth, flat and curved in your display. At Goodwill, I found a vintage green book of stories by Charles Dickens, author of the holiday classic "A Christmas Carol," to contrast with my modern candlesticks.
3. Include sentimental elements. Holidays are about memories of those with us and those departed. I painted these penguins for my grandmother and the angel for my second cousin before they passed away.
4. Put in reflective surfaces like metal or glass. It's all about sparkle!
5. Back the display with a horizontal element that draws the eye across the whole arrangement. In this case, the branch I picked up with my niece and nephew at a local park also adds a nice natural touch.
6. Finish off with uplighting at the back. I used a string of Christmas lights, tucked out of sight (took a bit of fiddling). It's tempting to put these under the sheet, which looks beautiful, but they get hot, so it's a fire hazard. Resist temptation!
I hope this helps you create something that you love. If you don't have enough holiday items, you can always go to the thrift store... I decided to start a collection of little light-up houses for the front window. Maybe it's not Macy's in New York, but it's my contribution to making the holiday beautiful for my family and me. What will your contribution be? Hope you're having a wonderful holiday season.
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