Almost-instant holiday decor

It doesn't have to take weeks of planning or cost a fortune to add festive flair to your home

The holidays seem to arrive sooner every year. (Is that possible?) We all have good intentions to beat the rush and get the house decorated in time and on budget, but for many people, the task is daunting. This year, we’ve got six quick and stylish decor ideas that won’t cost a mint or take more than a few hours.

Dazzling dining rooms Everyone admires the instant twinkle mini-lights add to a Christmas tree. This year, run a few strands of battery-operated lights down the centre of your holiday table. Look for styles that include stars or other decorative designs. For extra glow, fill the spaces between the strands with tea lights in votives.

Photo credit: Ikea
Mini twig trees Create a dramatic look for your front door by building twig trees using bundles of tall branches planted in outdoor urns. Keep the branches in place by filling the urn with kitty litter or sand. Go rustic by leaving them au natural, or spray-paint glossy white for a more modern look. For extra oomph, hang break-proof plastic ornaments (birds are a hot accent this year), in the branches.
Tip: Visit your local garden centre for pre-bundled branches three to four feet in length.

Powder room punch Often overlooked, the powder room is a high-traffic area come holiday time. Don’t take up valuable floor space with your decor. Hang a fresh green garland directly over the frame of your bathroom mirror. Small picture-hanging nails or temporary adhesive hooks will keep it in place with little damage to your walls. Completely cover the frame on all sides, leaving guests an unobstructed reflection.

Better than a fruit bowl Instead of Christmas oranges, fill your kitchen counter with bowls of colourful ornaments. Not only are they festive to look at, but they can be interactive. Invite guests to grab a few ornaments from the bowl and help decorate your tree.
Tip: An ornament-only tree can be stunning. Save your jingle bells and glittery beaded garland for other rooms. Drape a garland over the back of each of your kitchen chairs, and add jingle bells to doorknobs.

Photo credit: Ikea
Mantle magic Nothing says holiday like a potted amaryllis or poinsettia. Add instant style to your living room by placing three pots of your chosen bloom directly into gorgeous silver containers lined up side-by-side on your mantle.

What a wreath! Decorative wreaths are not destined for front doors only. Take advantage of empty wall space inside the house and hang wreaths directly on the face of interior doors, windows, walls and mirrors.

Photo credit: Pottery Barn