Autumn Table Settings for Your Dinner Party

Table Settings for a Fall Dinner Party

Autumn is here, and it’s evident through the cool breeze and the wonderful colors in the trees. For most, this season is one of the busiest in the year, what with the fall dinners to prepare and the coming holiday rush that brings with it a joyful list of chores. A fall dinner party need not be stressful, however, and these simple fall table settings will help give you get a headstart on your fall preparations.

The Farmhouse

If you’re hesitant to bid the summer farewell, keep the fall leaves at a minimum and focus on a harvest theme that comes with brighter colors reminiscent of the summer. For a centerpiece that symbolizes abundance, arrange clusters of wheat in a clear glass or silver container. To dress up the container, use a small wreath underneath it. For the individual plates, use silver napkin holders to go with the silverware. Add some pumpkin-scented votives to the centerpiece and you have an ideal table setting to help you transition from summer to autumn. If you want to add some fun to dinner, you can add a small scarecrow to the centerpiece and use plates that go with the theme, such as those with farm animals or a farmhouse design. A burlap runner also adds to the country charm, especially when combined with place mats in the shape and color of leaves.

The Woodlands

Most fall décor themes feature pumpkins in some way, and this table setting is no exception. Select pumpkins with neutral tones and use them as big, bold centerpieces; then use the smaller variety as candy bowls to add some accents. The main element of this table setting are the dried twigs and branches, which give it an earthy feel. Wrap the pumpkin centerpieces in them and use matching table linen to complete the look.

To add a modern touch to this rustic mix, place some dried twigs and branches in a clear glass vase or container and place a candle in the center. Add this to the pumpkin centerpieces for some warmth. If you decide to do away with the pumpkins, pinecones are an excellent alternative because they add to the table ambiance and work as a prelude to the holiday season.

The White Autumn

Color plays a major role in many fall décor themes, but the absence of the bright thematic colors will give your table setting an air of mystery and anticipation. For the centerpiece, use white pillar candles and small white pumpkins or gourds of varying sizes. Crystal tableware will tie up the white elements with the silverware. You can also do away with the conventional tablecloth and use several linen table runners placed crosswise on the table for an elegant but laidback look.

Give the monochromatic table setting a touch of autumn by placing a fall leaf and some dried twigs on each individual plate or tying them with white ribbon on the table napkin. Adding natural elements will elevate a simple table setting to a grand display of the season’s beauty.

Make sure that you incorporate elements of nature into your décor every season, whether as accents or as a focal point. These small touches will act as the fulcrum of any seasonal décor theme, unifying other design elements into a cohesive—and stunning—whole.

Photo by Gisela Francisco via Flickr. CC BY 2.0

 

Decorating Tips: Make Your House Bloom this Fall

 

Welcome the fall with a burst of blooming color and breathe life into your home with the help of flowers and foliage accents. These natural fall décor pieces will make scenes around the home more vivid and heartwarming by adding the sights and scents of the season. Find out how you can decorate your space with fresh blooms and prepare your home for the coming season.

The Front Porch

 

Make a good first impression on your guests by decorating your front porch with flowers placed in a tin watering can and tin pails. These give the flowers and your other fall décor a rustic touch and a welcome change from conventional vases and containers. You can complete a countryside look by adding antique wooden furniture and a few floral patterns. If you want the flowers to be visible indoors and out, place them on window boxes on your front porch and around your home.

The Living Room

 

Use flowers to provide colors in your living room by placing a large or medium-sized bouquet on the coffee table and a few smaller bunches around the room. Try using clear vases or containers to help these blooms blend in more in your decorating theme. Make sure to add some water to prolong the life of the flowers and keep them looking fresh throughout the season.

The Dining Room

 

Over-sized floral arrangements may look impressive, but in practice, they only serve to block dinner guests’ view and make it harder to converse with each other. You can create an equally impressive fall tablescape with smaller bouquets and a few tea lights. Use small jars as candle holders and sprinkle some fall leaves in floral arrangements to give your tablescape a seasonal flavor. Adding some twigs and branches will also add an earthy and festive appeal to your decorating theme.

Autumn provides a myriad of decorating options through a natural medley of colors that change as the season progresses. Taking advantage of the season’s natural gifts will help you in redecorating your home—especially if you’re looking for some fresh ideas.

How to Turn Random Objects into Instant Christmas Ornaments

The holiday season is the perfect reason to brighten up your abode with greenery and a variety of decorations. With the Christmas tree as its centerpiece, your home is a place of warmth and radiance. But contrary to what others think, you don’t really need to break the bank to complete an ornament collection for your tree. With a little bit of imagination and creativity, you can transform ordinary objects into timeless ornaments that can add a charming touch to your home. So bring out your trinkets and treasures and get inspiration from these ideas by Tree Classics:

Toys

Your children’s old toys from the storage room may contain some real treasures for the holidays. A great way to draw attention, toys adds whimsy to your Christmas tree when combined well, making the centerpiece an incredible sight for your little visitors.

Lego Snowflake Ornament
Snowflake Ornament Made from Lego Pieces

Legos. Legos are versatile decorating pieces. By forming shapes and combining colors, you can create accents that appeal not only to children, but also to adults. When hosting a party, why not set up a Lego corner in which guests can create their own ornaments to hang on the tree! By allowing them to participate in decorating, you can make the party more fun and unforgettable.

Puzzle Christmas Wreath
Miniature Puzzle Christmas Wreath

Puzzles. Puzzle pieces make colorful additions to your tree. But even if they only come in a single color, they can still add interest with their quirky shapes. Try taping some puzzle pieces together to form snowflakes or wreaths and let them dangle from the tree.

Trinkets and keychains

Bird Keychain Ornaments
Plush Bird Keychain Ornaments

The more random and colorful your trinkets are, the better the effect on your Christmas tree. These pieces may range from the sophisticated gold toned ones to the most adorable miniature plushies. Throw in some of the keychain souvenirs you bought (or someone bought for you) from past trips. Not only do they add character to your tree, but they also make great conversation starters for your guests.

Bracelets, pendants and earrings

Bracelet Tree Ornaments
Stylish Bracelets as Christmas Tree Ornaments

Bracelets come in a variety of designs ranging from the most loud and colorful to the most subdued and luminescent. They are a fantastic choice for Christmas ornaments because they don’t need a string to be hanged on the tree. If you have a collection of bracelets, select the pieces that will stand out against the color of the Christmas tree. Black or dark green trees are a great backdrop for metallic and light-colored jewels, while white trees look stunning with luminous or pastel-colored bracelets.

Earring Ornaments
Adorable Earring Ornaments

The stunning quality and intricate craftsmanship that make up pendants and earrings make them beautiful adornments for the holidays. Lend your favorite accessories for the Christmas season to enrich the charisma of your tree.

Wine Cork Holiday Ornaments
Wine Corks as Versatile Holiday Ornaments

Wine corks can be turned into a lot of nifty things. They make excellent raw materials for unique and remarkable ornaments, which you can add to your Christmas display. Just string some beads onto a small piece of wire and tack it into the cork, or simply tape the wine corks together to form a snowflake. You can also make angel ornaments out of corks with ribbons, laces and cords.

Pearl necklaces

Necklace Tree Ornaments
Necklaces as Fashionable Christmas Tree Décor

Pearl necklaces lend a fashionable touch to your tree when used as a garland or an ornament. You can either drape each of the necklaces throughout the tree, or wrap them around it after linking them all together. You will never go wrong with adding a touch of elegance with pearls because of the radiant quality and timeless appeal they bring to your greenery.

Button pins

Button pins are colorful accents, and can be easily added or pinned to your Christmas tree’s tips and branches. Some pins and badges come with unique statements that you can use to add personality to your tree. Some are made with colorful printed fabrics, while some display interesting icons or symbols. Different types of button pins can add color, texture and character to your holiday display this Yuletide season.

These are just some of the objects you can find at home every day and turn into Christmas ornaments. Let these ideas inspire you to be resourceful in order to decorate your Christmas tree economically and creatively.

Photo by Peter Johnston via Flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Photo by alliecat1881 via Flickr. CC BY-NC 2.0

Photo by Audrey B. via Flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Photo by Lea Kähkönen via Flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Photo by Madzik via Flickr. CC BY 2.0

Photo by Mike Graham via Flickr. CC BY-NC 2.0

Photo by McBeth via Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Deck the Walls: Unique Décor Ideas for your Wall

The walls of a home are blank canvases that homeowners can use to elevate their homes. The typical amateur designer paints it with a fresh coat of paint, or embellishes it with framed photographs or artworks. Those are classic ideas that never go out of fashion. However, if you want to set your home apart, you might want to try something different. Courtesy of the Tree Classics blog, here are several delightfully unique décor inspirations perfect for your wall.

Framed photographs and artworks can make for a great focal point, but if you add a series of images in different sizes, you can create a collage of delightful visuals that are sure to highlight your passions and fascinations. Try these out for white walls and for rooms that have a simple décor scheme to make it unique and captivating.

Stencils are another wonderful way to add character to your home. Using these décor ideas allows homeowners to add a dash of their personality to their spaces. Try a winter stencil decoration to bring in the beauty of the snow season to your home. Pair these with wood and other white fixtures to complete your theme and to produce a more charming effect.

Maps are another classic addition to walls. For something unique, you can try placing a fragmented map composed of varying pieces to your living room wall. This decorating idea adds a contemporary spin to a timeless décor.

Another wonderful idea is to bring the beauty and wonders of nature into your home. Preserved and painted tree stumps installed on the wall can create a distinctive look that gives your space a rustic charm. This is an excellent idea for homes that use wood as its dominant material.

If you’re not a big fan of trees or plants, try hanging some images of animal life on your walls. Animal shapes created from cut paper and laminated for extra protection can add some much needed life to your walls.

For something stylish, try your hand at decorating the wall above your mantel with umbrellas. Not only does it add color to your wall, but it also brings the distinct charm of a novelty item to your space.

Give your home a unique appeal by trying out these wall décor inspirations! Stay tuned to Tree Classics for more attractive design ideas for your home.

How to Care for Vintage Clothing

How to Care  for Vintage Clothing

Vintage clothes are a treasure to keep because they remind us of the wonderful years gone by. Aside from that, they also make great pieces in creating a unique ensemble even if a particular fashion trend hasn’t come back yet. Learn how to take care of your most cherished articles of clothing with these surefire tips from Tree Classics.

Storing vintage clothes

Intense heat. The most important thing you need to remember is to never store your clothes in a hot place. A space without insulation can damage your vintage pieces, especially those with fur.

Using hangers. Hangers tend to stretch out a top’s shoulder, adding folds and marks that aren’t supposed to be there. Heavy knit sweaters will expand if hung for a long time. Fold your vintage clothes carefully instead of hanging them. Cushion the piece by stuffing it with some tissue paper to minimize fold marks. Some clothes however, are better hung. Men’s suits for example, will look new when hung with a wooden hanger and secured with a fabric cover to keep away from dust.

Storing fur. Use a large padded hanger to hang the fur in a spacious closet where it won’t get squished. Make sure that the storage is a cool place that’s away from the sun. Have your fur pieces cleaned and conditioned regularly to make it last for many years.

Jackets and coats. Your old jackets and coats must be stored in a fabric dress-bag to make them breathe and keep them dust-free at the same time. Store them in a cool, dry place; unless you see a dirty spot, then you will need to bring them out for dry cleaning right away. Inform the dry cleaner that it is a vintage piece, and that it needs to be handled by hand and with extra care. Add in some herb sachets such as rosemary and mint to keep insects at bay.

Hats and bags. Store your precious hats in boxes or trunks, but not before stuffing and wrapping them with acid-free paper to make them last for at least a decade. Purses are best kept in fabric bags as they should be able to breathe. Do not store them in a plastic bag because this can dry them out, which can cause them to crack. Keep your vintage items in a cool, dry place, or somewhere with no direct heat of the sun.

Leather. Storing leather is essential to keeping it in suprb shape. Make sure that your storage space is neither extremely cold nor hot, or too dry or humid. A dry environment may lead the leather to crack, while a humid one may grow molds. Stuff your leather jacket with acid-free paper to retain their shape and store in a breathable container. If you want to hang it, use a wide padded hanger to keep it from getting unwanted creases. Protect your leather piece with a fabric cover. Air it out every now and then by taking it out of storage.

Cleaning your clothes

Keep your vintage pieces from easily wearing out by machine washing them on “delicate” setting, with cold water and less detergent. Printed T-shirts are best turned inside out before washing to keep the prints from fading. Leather on the other hand, should not be washed with too much chemicals. A little soap and water is enough to take care of a little stain on your leather jacket.

While dry cleaning is recommended for some fabrics such as velvet, it should not be done frequently especially for vintage clothes. Dry cleaning involves harsh chemicals in the process and too much of it will only harm your fabric.

After your clothes have been washed make sure to line dry them. Be careful is using a dryer too frequently as it can shrink your clothes with the extreme heat. The process also breaks down your the elastic fibers in your clothes causing the material to stretch.

Follow these tips to care for your treasured vintage clothes and your treasured pieces will look fresh and last years.

 

How to Create a Visually Stunning Display Using Garlands and Centerpieces

Garlands and centerpieces provide a myriad of options when it comes to decorating various parts of your home. From your mantel to your dinner table, these décor pieces will help add a touch of the holidays to your living space. If you’re looking for variety in your home décor, check out the tips below and take the first step toward a holiday home your family will love.

The Layered Garland

A lush garland is always a welcome sight in any part of the home. To enhance an already beautiful garland, try adding some flowers and other foliage while using the garland as the base. You can even try layering two garlands together for a fuller look. Top it off with some lights to create a stunning foliage display that can also help light your way in darker stairwells or entryways.

The Paper Flower Centerpiece

For low-maintenance accents, consider making paper flowers instead of picking real ones. Using simple tissue paper or art paper for some color, you can craft neutral or colorful accents that will add a seasonal touch to your mantel or tablescape. Display several paper flowers scattered on a wooden tray or use them as accents to your foliage centerpiece.

The Frame Garland

Highlight your décor, mirror, or framed family photos by wrapping them up in a holiday garland. As a décor piece, garlands naturally drape over certain spots in your home. Consider enhancing your old artwork, mirror, and other framed paraphernalia with a decorated or layered garland. You can even wrap a garland around an empty frame and use it as a wreath.

Sweater Votives

Votives are an essential part of holiday displays as they easily add an inviting ambiance to living spaces. For a perfect centerpiece, use a small cutting from the sleeves of an old sweater to wrap around the votives’ glass containers. These sweater votives will definitely add some coziness and warmth to your living room or dinner table.

The Backdrop Garland

Bring out those small figurines and create a miniature winter scene at home using a garland as your backdrop. You can also use a garland as a backdrop to your family photos and other small ornaments for a simpler display. If you have multicolored ornaments and displays, a garland can tie them together into a unifying color scheme.

Garlands and centerpieces are excellent additions to your holiday décor because of their versatility and ease of use. Complete your holiday décor by following the tips above and add a touch of the holidays throughout your home.

How to Display Your Family Photos Elegantly

Photographs capture special moments in time. For families, they can serve as reminders of an important milestone during special events and holidays. While most of us typically just place photos in albums or tables, these precious images can also be used as unique and uplifting décor accents. By creating a sophisticated display using photographs, you can fill your space with both warmth and nostalgia. Courtesy of Tree Classics, here are a couple of décor inspirations you can immediately use for your home.

 

An empty white wall is always a great canvas for a photograph display. Encase your photographs in minimalist frames and arrange them in the order you prefer. You can display them chronologically or even at random. The important thing to remember is the entire display should be symmetrical. This creates a clean and refined look that’s simply pleasant to look at.

 

The wall beside a staircase is also an ideal space for your photographs. These spots are mostly left vacant, so putting framed pictures in that area can add a special classiness to your home. Add a couple of pictures near the steps and family members will feel like they’re taking a journey while they tread up and down the stairs.

 

The area near the stairs is also a great location for your photographs, since it provides the same effect of the previous decorating concept. For this section, try to mix it up a bit. Different positions create an interesting but still delightful effect. Adding a few mirrors can provide a nice contrast, creating a theme that’s charming to look at while still being heartwarming.

 

The dining room is another wonderful location, since this is where the family gathers and spends time together especially during holidays. Having them surrounded by their most cherished memories is nothing short of perfect. Pick out a frame that complements well with your table and dining room table. If you have wood and hardwood floors, get a frame with a dark border to create an interesting contrast.

 

If you have no space in your home or if you prefer something fancy and jolly, you can always wait for the holidays and just hang those lovely photos on your Christmas trees. Placing photos of past Christmases in small frames and tying them to your branches can create a look that’s both dazzling and uplifting.

Create a sophisticated and charming home filled with memories using your family photographs! Stay tuned to Tree Classics’ for more décor inspirations for your precious home.

Autumn Dinner Party Essentials

Preparing for a fall dinner party and have no idea what to serve? Feel like a chef without spending too much time in the kitchen with these simple dinner recipes for an unforgettable fall gathering. These recipes will help you spend more time with your guests and show them how gracious a host you can be.

This simple four-course menu will help you get started on your fall dinner party—while also adding some of the crisp and colorful flavors of the season to your dishes.

First Course: Hors d’oeuvre

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Finger foods are a great way to start a meal.
  • Caramelized Onion Flatbread
    You can make an amazing appetizer with caramelized onion and flatbread or pizza dough in just 45 minutes or less. To reduce baking time, start with refrigerated pizza crust dough. Finger foods are a great way to whet your guests’ the appetite.
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Soup is a traditional way to start a meal.
  • Pumpkin Soup
    Soup is a traditional dinner appetizer, providing a glimpse of the feast to come. This pumpkin soup brings a twist to the traditional recipe with the addition of curry powder, which adds a very subtle flavor to the overall taste. Leftovers can be frozen and consumed later.

Second Course: Entrée

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The size of your beef roast should depend on the size of the party.
  • Parma-wrapped beef topside with orzo salad
    For a versatile beef roast, this recipe allows you to vary the size of the beef depending on the number of guests. A good value roast, it comes with orzo pasta, fine beans, and nuts, making it a filling and sumptuous treat.
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British free-range pork is juicier and tastier.
  • Roast Loin of Pork with Crackling and Spicy Pear Recipe
    If you’re looking for flavor, this roast loin of pork recipe won’t disappoint with its helping of sage, apricot and cider compote, and unique crunchy stuffing. To ensure you get the tastiest and juiciest meat, look for good-quality British free-range pork or ask your local butcher for one.

Third Course: Salad

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This beetroot salad is a delight to both the eyes and the palate.
  • Shaved beetroot, radish and grapefruit salad recipe
    Salads can be served before the main course as an appetizer, during the main course as a side dish, or after the main course as a palate cleanser. This shaved beetroot salad, bursting with color, is a great way to kick off your fall dinner party.
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Leafy greens and cheese cleanse the palate.
  • Green salad with radishes and manchego
    After a scrumptious entrée, this salad with a traditional twist is the perfect preface to the sweet delight you have prepared for dessert. Cleanse your guests’ palates with leafy greens and the distinctive piquant flavor of manchego cheese.

Fourth Course: Dessert

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Chocolate pie is a surefire way to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth.
  • Chocolate and raspberry pie
    Who doesn’t love chocolate? Give it a twist with some raspberries to give it that tart flavor. The crumbly biscuit base adds texture and substance to this bittersweet and sour treat.
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The fool is a great substitute for ice cream or sorbet.
  • Strawberry and rhubarb fool
    For those watching their weight, go light with some strawberry and rhubarb in half-fat cream. The sweet wine and maple syrup add the perfect amount of sweetness without spoiling your sweet tooth.

With these dinner recipes, you can make sure that you and your guests enjoy your fall dinner party. Keep in mind that socializing with guests is as important as cooking up a feast. Spend more time with your guests and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of autumn.

How Does Tree Classics’ Real Feel Technology Set Our Products Apart?

During Christmas time, family members leave their professional lives in the city and travel to their hometowns to celebrate everyone’s favorite holiday with loved ones. One of the things they look forward to when they get to their childhood home is the Christmas tree, the star and centerpiece of the Yuletide season. Wouldn’t it be great if they could come home to a tree that looks and feels just like the real thing? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they could see something that would remind them of the warmth of Christmases past and cherished family traditions? It definitely would make the journey home even more special. With Tree Classics’s Real FeelTM Technology, you can have the perfect artificial Christmas tree to highlight these timeless Christmas reunions.  Fraser 1

What is Tree Classics’ Real Feel Technology?

Beautiful realism in Tree Classics’ Christmas tree branches.

Real FeelTM Technology is Tree Classics’ innovative solution to give our artificial Christmas trees with superb realism. In this process, our experts gather actual branch cuttings of trees and use them as models for their wide array of products. We also construct the foliage using high quality PE needles. When taken together, this creates the branches and tips on our Christmas trees and wreaths that capture the shape, color and lushness of trees found in evergreen forests.

The realism of our Christmas trees elevates homes to new stylish heights and evokes the serene and much cherished ambiance that’s associated with the holiday season. What’s particularly marvelous with Tree Classics’s Real FeelTM Christmas trees is that you get all the beauty and heartfelt atmosphere of a real tree, without the hassles involved, such as sap, needle shedding and constant disposal.

What are some of Tree Classics’ Real FeelTM Trees?  .

 Our Ontario Spruce Christmas Tree is made using our Real Feel Technology.

One delightful product that has our Real FeelTM Technology is the Ontario Spruce Christmas Tree. Inspired by the white spruce commonly seen in Southern Ontario, this tree has one of the finest PE needles in the market, producing a level of realism that’s simply breathtaking. Looking at the needles, you’ll notice the similarity in color and texture much like its inspiration.

Our Monticello Regency Fir has branches that resemble its inspiration.

Another product that captures the spirit of the real tree is our Monticello Regency Fir Christmas Tree. With its teardrop shape and abundance of PE needles, this tree looks like the healthiest of fir trees in the middle of a dense forest. Its bountiful appearance will both charm family members and impress guests.

Fill your home with the unmatched beauty and classic appeal of Christmas using Tree Classics Real FeelTM technology. View our wide selection of products to find the perfect tree for your home and holiday celebrations.

Home Design Ideas: Kitchen Counter Solutions

In our previous post, we showed you how you can give your kitchen a fresh look with little effort by paying attention to the little details. We now focus on the kitchen countertop, the most commonly used space in the kitchen. This post will show you how you can maximize counter space through a few simple decorating ideas.

The Mobile Countertop

For people who have small kitchens, finding enough countertop space can be challenge. You can solve this dilemma by using a rolling cart as your very own mobile countertop. All you have to do is to slide it out whenever you need extra counter space. You can push it aside and out of the way after use or when you need the extra floor space instead. Having a mobile countertop can also be useful in larger kitchens. Its versatility will allow you to move it around while you’re busy cooking up a big meal. It can even serve as a handy meal trolley when you present your food to your guests.

The Space-savers

When organizing your kitchen, start by examining which items take up too much counter space. Pots and knife blocks, for example, are a couple of kitchen objects that don’t really have to be on your counter. One fine alternative is by hanging them neatly on a rack. This way, they’ll always be within reach but safely out of the way. If you run out of wall space, use a pot rack that hangs from the ceiling. These ceiling-mounted pot racks are a boon because you can hang just about any manner of cookware on them.

The Dual-purpose Island

Adding a kitchen island is another great way to utilize the space in your kitchen. Aside from giving you an extra surface you can work on, kitchen islands can also provide additional storage space for your kitchen items. If you decide to have an island installed, make sure to maximize the space at the bottom. Use it for shelf space or install a warming drawer or wine rack into it. See if you can fit some of your smaller appliances under the island. If you often eat or socialize in the kitchen, it’s a good idea to save some room underneath the island where you can stash chairs or stools when not in use.

Organizing your kitchen is not as complicated as it may seem. By simply learning which kitchen items belong on top of the counter and which ones should be kept away, you can make good use of every space available as well as give your kitchen a clean and uncluttered look.