Having a discerning eye for design and a knack for presenting artful spaces isn’t only reserved for those who spend careers dreaming up posh interiors for homes fit for Architectural Digest. Most often, it is the anticipated family get-together or a special time of year that can inspire homemade design gurus everywhere. With the holidays just around the corner, it is likely most local families are busy designing their menus rather than seasonal aesthetics. Hors d’oeuvre and side dish debates aside, a stunning centerpiece can not only leave your guests in awe, they can last throughout the season as well. Whether a festive gathering of gourds and greens, or a beautiful fall arrangement, building your own centerpiece that represents your style and taste will tie the perfect bow on this holiday season.

DIY ideas for you

The ideal centerpiece will not only fill your tablescape with charm befitting the season – it will let your guests feel as though you’ve gone out of your way to create a beautiful setting for them to get together and celebrate. The best part? Handmade centerpieces can come together quickly and easily so as to not interrupt your busy schedule. They can also be incredibly inexpensive, while maintaining the gorgeous look most interior designers pine after.

Charlotte Sheridan of Merwin Farm and Home in Millerton, NY, specializes in ideas that help tie holiday seasons together and was kind enough to present us with one DIY idea that will give your guests one more reason to be thankful this year.

Design your holiday

“Assorted winter greens are always a smart, long-term idea,” says Charlotte. “The seasonal combination of mixed greens with pine cones is a great idea for those looking for both a traditional aesthetic and a distinct fragrance.”

Using a variety of textures such as cedar, white pine, balsam and boxwood can add an extra bit of interest to your table. Most of these varieties can be found by simply taking a stroll through the woods or garden this time of year and finding which pieces of local pine appeal to your sense of style. You can often purchase cut greens at garden centers or tree lots as well. As an added bonus, this can be a great use for the excess branches from the Christmas tree as well.

Adding berries can have a big impact, pick up a bundle of winterberry branches at the grocery store for a few dollars and bring them home to discover how berries offer an endless array of design possibilities for the holiday table. “Pheasant feathers offer a unique look and texture,” says Charlotte. “Especially when paired with vibrant greenery. Most importantly though, they will last through winter because they do not require water.”

Other options for the perfect Thanksgiving centerpiece include pine cones, wheat and ribbon for a warm and inviting aesthetic. “The versatility with this idea is fantastic,” says Charlotte. “After Thanksgiving, you can switch out the rustic accents with more festive winter pieces for Christmas.”

Set a cheerful scene

Festive napkins and rare holiday silverware can certainly help set a cheerful scene for a holiday meal. It is the centerpiece however, that will inevitably command the most attention. As Charlotte muses, “Just because the holidays change, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your style or budget. Layering on patterns is completely acceptable, especially while keeping your centerpiece classic and sophisticated with timeless designs. Create your own elaborate seasonally-hued arrangement by adding Christmas balls and holiday ribbons to cultivate the spirit of the season without completely ditching your spectacular centerpiece.”

For more information about DIY holiday projects such as center pieces, you can visit Charlotte Sheridan at Merwin Farm & Home at 20 Main Street in Millerton, NY, or call (518) 567-6737.