November 24, 2020

No Reservations Needed

Make your time at home for the holidays special with these decorating tips.

Most of us are home for the holidays this year. (And we’ve been home long enough, thank you!) It’s a complex year around dining, especially since the option of an occasional meal out has gone away. At least it has in Schwenksville, PA.

My husband and I are good cooks so the need to dine out for great food has not been the main draw. I have to say the prospect of a date night, not thinking about what to cook, no clean up, different atmosphere, or seeing friends was always something to look forward to. Maybe it was always about the anticipation of a night out. Regardless, dining at home is where we are right now.

If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to address your dining room. Maybe you’re using the table as a makeshift office or a place to throw things. Hopefully, you’re at least clearing it off at the end of the day in a neat little, or big organized bin. I’ve heard this is possible. So, where to start?

Let’s tackle atmosphere first

The dining room is a great place to create drama, and sense of occasion. It’s usually used at night, and at a time when we’re eating at home day in and day out, we could treat ourselves and not just use it for special occasions. The dining room should be a bit of escape from the daily grind.


I like to paint the walls a bold color. Living for years in my 18th century home has allowed me to experience many a bold color. I may try black next. Right now it is a deep gray. Paint is easy to change.

A reflective ceiling is also dramatic and fun to do. Wallpaper is back as well and may also be a great choice.


Don’t be afraid to use many types of lighting.

Up-lights can light up corners and create more atmosphere – especially if there’s an interesting wall.

Use picture lights above paintings.

Consider chandeliers and wall sconces.

Make sure there are candles (I’ve noticed I’m spending a lot more on candles lately) and if you must use overhead lights, DIM them.

In fact, anything that is electrified should be on a dimmer.

If you have a large gathering, try votives. This allows people to see each other and converse.

Hopefully, there isn’t a television in this room. This should be a time of connection with face-to-face humans.


There was a time when all dining room furniture had to match. This is no longer the case. Mix it up! This will keep the feeling of the room more approachable and usable for many other functions (office, game room etc.).

I love using some upholstered pieces – chairs, a bench, even a small sofa on one side of the table. The furniture should be comfortable.


Mirrors can create drama so easily and are perfect for reflecting glowing candles and happy faces.


Creating a gorgeous table is the icing on the cake in the dining room. This does not have to be fancy. But if you enjoy beautiful china, linen napkins, place cards, crystal glasses, fresh flowers, go for it. Even if you’re not a china person, some effort to make the table spectacular adds to making the gathering special.

Do not save the good china, crystal, etc., for later. Later has arrived.

Have fun with this and don’t worry about the food right now. Great cooking can come later.

Happy Holidays and All the Best, Courtenay


Need a little help making your time at home for the holidays special? I am here for you. Click here to schedule your free 30 minute Discovery Call 

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