Wednesday, January 16

It’s a big festive wrap

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From the perfect lighting on outdoor tables in windy conditions to making your own wreath for the front door and setting a holiday table, we sourced great ideas for you

A range of experts answer some of our festive season questions

Q Family is coming for the holidays and I feel obliged to at least have some of their photos out. Please give me a creative way to showcase them.

A Besides gallery walls you can use a floating shelf to create a stacked layout for a more casual aesthetic. Consider hanging photos outside your bookcase for a curio feel. You may be tempted to leave them there after family have left. – Nancy Fire

Q I don’t like faux candles, but lighting my outdoor table with real candles is frustrating on a windy day. Do you have any new ideas?

A I use hurricane candle holders on our outdoor dining table and side tables. They prevent the wind from blowing them out, and you can use a large candle for events that run long into the night. I also layer in colour with fruit or flowers on the bottom for a colourful touch to the table. – Designer Marika Meyer

Q We like to make our own wreaths for our front door. What materials do you think will be popular this year?

A Try rose gold eucalyptus and bleached pine cones. For a more dramatic focal point, dried protea blossoms are making a strong showing. – Greg Lehmkuhl, creative director Terrain

Q Every year I wonder what to do with my large, round wood table for Christmas dinners. What can I do to make it look festive and formal? Should I try place mats or a runner?

A Think about layering your table. Use a textured charger, something woven such as sisal or raffia, to create height, then layer coloured fabric that is smaller than the charger but larger than the dinner plate. Use a patterned napkin to bring in colour and design to establish the aesthetic. Don’t forget about updated flatware finishes, such as mixing different metals or even matte black. Have fun, be creative and allow your centre piece to work with your table setting. – Nancy Fire, design director HGTV Home

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