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Do you mark the holidays at home with a change in decorations? Do you change out a wreath on the door or a flag in the yard?
I remember our first year of marriage, I simply could not wait to decorate our little flat with some holiday decor. We were married in August, so the first holiday that people usually decorate for was Halloween.
We didn’t have money. My husband was in graduate school and I was making a whopping $5.97/hour as a Registered Nurse in the Neonate ICU. We didn’t have a lot of expenses because there was no such thing as cable…TV was FREE! There weren’t cell phones, computers, or IPads. Our debt was a car and fridge payment, we had rent and our food and honestly we could only afford the Banquet Frozen Dinners at $1 each. The crazy thing is after all of these years, Banquet Frozen Dinners are still only $1!
Also people just weren’t into decorating for Halloween like they do now. My decor consisted of some punch out cardboard pumpkins that I scotch taped to the window. We were on the top floor…really no one could even see them. But it totally made me so happy to have my own stuff on my own (sort of ) windows.
Times have certainly changed and in my neighborhood at Halloween it is sometimes scary just to drive by a house! The things people decorate with are of Hollywood Movie quality now.
So today I just wanted to give you some ideas of marking the change of seasons in your kitchen. You may have some to add and I would appreciate if you added them in my comments box.
CHANGING SEASONS IN THE KITCHEN
I keep my table set as though it were staged. It is always ready with a quick wipe of our plates for a meal and it just adds a layer of decor that makes me very happy!
Kitchen Tip #1 – Linens: This is where you can really add some personality and fun from pattern and color to something even more specific to the holiday.
- Towels and Dish Cloths – choose some specific to the coming holiday or season, or simply choose colors of the season that will compliment your kitchen. One of my favorite places to find great Kitchen Towels is Kohls. You can also usually find some great ones at TJMaxx, HomeGoods, and Target.
- Table Coths – if you use them, again you can choose a fabric texture that is more appropriate for the time of year…like a taffeta would be gorgeous for Christmas or Easter, while a woven would make a better choice for Thanksgiving. TJMaxx and HomeGoods are great places for finding inexpensive ones, WilliamsSonoma has some really gorgeous patterns for each season and are a great investment.
- Place Mats and Napkins – You can definitely make your plates stand out with a contrasting Place Mat. I prefer cloth ones that are quilted and reversible usually found in little boutiques. They last and last, are easily cleaned and come in amazing colors and patterns. I love Pier 1 Imports napkins especially pairing a lighter solid color with a patterned one.
Kitchen Tip #2 – Dishware: If you love dishes as I do, you can’t survive with just one set.
- Dishes – There are so many dishes that can be bought in boxed sets for under $30 or by the plate at one of the decorator discount stores that you can start to collect them for your favorite seasons or holidays.
- Luncheon Plates – Lots of shops carry boxes of luncheon size plates that have a theme of 4 different plates in a box. I have found Christmas Nutcrackers at Williams Sonoma. At Pottery Barn I found little rabbits in pastels. At Pier 1 Imports I found some gold fruit on a blue plate that matched a picture I purchased at HomeGoods. Using these you can keep your main dishes and just change out luncheon plates.
- Chargers: Many people don’t know what chargers are and even when they do they don’t understand what their purpose is. For me they are part of the jewelry at the table. I have chargers (they are bigger than your dinner plate and are the foundation of the table setting). I have red scalloped chargers, gold metal fluted chargers, plastic silver plain chargers, bronze metal chargers, woven wicker chargers. I have them in round and square so I can use them on both shapes of dishes. The plastic ones can be found at Walmart for $1 a piece. I have some that are mosaic glass purchased at Pier 1 Imports that were $25 each…ouch!, but sometimes something is really worth it. I will tell you why they were worth it in a future post!
Kitchen Tip #3 – Napkin Rings: My go to place for Napkin Rings is Pier 1 Imports. They have new ones for every holiday and there are so many to choose from. They are typically about $2 – $4 each and if you set your table for 4 – 6 that isn’t too much to spend for a really great impact. A quick glance at the previous photos will show some of the very creative and cute napkin rings available from Pier 1 Imports.
Kitchen Tip #4 – Aprons: I always have a couple of aprons hanging in my kitchen on a hook. I love aprons. Not so much because they protect my clothes but they do, I just think they are awesome! They remind me of my love of hats. I probably own at least 6 patterns that contain 6 patterns each of aprons that one day I would like to sew. But thankfully we don’t have to wait that long because you can still buy a really pretty apron from Bed, Bath and Beyond, TJMaxx, or a specialty boutique. I have them for Thanksgiving, Christmas, just pretty ones, BBQ, I don’t have an Easter one yet…but I do have one from Barbados! I love to collect them on our vacations they just aren’t often available in something I would want to buy.
Kitchen Tip #5 – Chotchzkies: You probably have a few of them in the kitchen. I have them on my book shelves, my kitchen desk, the ledge behind my sink, a small buffet and sometimes as the centerpiece on my table. Some of my statues hold things like potpourri so I change out what they hold…pinecones and spruce to spring flowers and moss.
Kitchen Tip #6 – Florals: Poinsettias and Christmas Trees give way to mossy arrangements with eggs and tulips. Perhaps you have a setting that you can slip out the main flowers and update them seasonally.
Kitchen Tip #7 – Rugs: I use Christmas rugs at the doors and the sink and will start changing to Spring colors in late February.
Kitchen Tip #8 – Art: If you have some flexibility in changing out artwork, you can hang something different for each season.
Kitchen Tip #9 – Cookbooks: I always have a cookbook out on my stand on the counter and it will be something that shows the season we are in. It serves the purpose of adding to my decor while also inspiring my meal planning for the season as well.
Kitchen Tip #10 – Window Treatments: If you have simple window treatments that are easy to replace this is another place that you can dramatically change the feel of your kitchen for the season. I used to do this with panels that I purchased at Walmart from the Better Homes and Gardens Brand. It just made everything feel so fresh to go from a plaid to a toile or a check to a paisley. You can also go from a panel to a valance. Lots of options for little dollars.
So, that’s it! My Simple 10 step quick trick to have your kitchen sing the season and make your everyday items do double duty by playing a part in your decor instead of just their utilitarian use. What do you think? Anything stand out to you? I think my favorite is the cabbage napkin rings, they are fabulous!
What do you do to change your kitchen for the season or is this a new idea for you?
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Happy Spring Planning!