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Set a festive mood in the entryway with a wall collage, says designer and do-it-yourself expert Christopher White. Mix in decorative vintage plates and natural elements like pinecones or a bunch of bayberry branches tied with velvet ribbon. Later in the season, display holiday cards or ornaments in the frames, he suggests.
Here's how: Buy a variety of wood frames from the flea market or thrift store. Spray with metallic gold paint. Line frames with decorative flocked paper or wrapping paper backed with foam core.
Hansen walnut bench, roomandboard.com
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Give your sofa a plush upgrade by switching out everyday cotton pillows for velvet. To personalize the fabric, make sun-dyed prints.
Here's how: Treat a piece of velvet in cyanotype solution or buy pretreated fabric (see blueprintsonfabric.com/instructions.php for details). Pin velvet flat to a piece of foam core or cardboard. Arrange and pin desired greenery or leaves onto fabric and place outside in direct sunlight. Once an image appears—in 10 to 30 minutes—bring fabric indoors, remove greenery and rinse in plain water until the water runs clear. Lay flat, out of direct sunlight, until dry. Use for pillows or as desired.
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Chrysanthemums combined with wild plants like golden amaranth, sorghum, green foxtail and bittersweet bring in color and nature-inspired beauty.
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Center of Attention
Create an inviting setting for guests with golden accessories and simple floral arrangements of plum branches, coleus and dahlias, says White. Tie flatware with ribbon and lay a velvet runner down the center of the table. A variety of napkin patterns keeps it casual.
Doyle side chair with upholstered seat, roomandboard.com
Woodware ceramic vase and plate, mamekennedyceramics.com
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Jewel tones, fresh botanicals and velvet accents are great ways to usher in the holidays, says White. Make a striking statement over the mantel or on the front door with a wreath of red sumac.
Here's how: Use a wire form as a base. Snip bunches of sumac, leaving 6-inch stems. Push them firmly into wire form, moving from left to right. Work your way around, layering and securing branches with wire until completely full. Don't worry about perfection: You can always fill in small gaps later using a hot glue gun. Tie a velvet ribbon to hang.