Soon-to-be star of his very own The Nate Berkus Show (thanks, Oprah!) and acclaimed designer Nate Berkus is here with us today on CafeMom, offering up fresh ideas and solutions for holiday decorating and entertaining.
Read our Q&A with Nate Berkus after the jump.
CafeMom: It's easy to fall for holiday knick-knacks — snowman figurines, penguin snow globes, holly, and berries, oh my! What's your advice for moms who want to create festive but minimal holiday flair.
Nate: Keep it simple. Festive doesn’t have to mean over the top. You can create a well-edited holiday look without an enormous collection of snowmen or Santas. Use lighting to create the right feeling for the season. Weave white lights through holiday greenery on the mantel. Keep the tree decorations simple. White lights and grosgrain ribbon in your favorite color is all you really need on a tree. Place pillar candles around the house. I like to use my flameless, battery-operated candles. They’re set on a timer and turn themselves on and off without the worry of an open flame. I especially like the idea of placing one on each windowsill. Then your house will look beautiful inside and out.
CafeMom: Any advice for decorating a tree in a way that feels beautifully styled but still feels personalized for one's family home?
Nate: I have friends who do a small tree for the kids with colored lights and all their homemade ornaments. But, in the main room of the house, where they place the larger tree, they simplify to create a look that matches the room. I like that idea. I tend to lean toward all white lights and ornaments that are matched, like all silver or gold mercury balls. Or, choosing ornaments that all have the same feel, like glass snowflakes to catch the light. It’s subtle and understated.
CafeMom: Nate, you're known for your signature "tablescapes." How can this idea be used for holiday decorating?
Nate: I go with items I like for tablescapes. If you are drawn to wovens, start there. Or, if you collect boxes, use those. Reach for what you love first and then fold in other objects to build height and interest.
CafeMom: What's your favorite way to bring nature inside for simple holiday decorating?
Nate: This time of year brings with it so many options for decorating with nature. Holly berry branches, greenery, pine cones... Consider the space you are decorating and the shape that might work. If it’s an entry table, you might want to create something taller to make a statement while the mantle might be more about the greenery that serves as the perfect backdrop for the stockings.
CafeMom: Tell us one easy, simplifying secret you use for holiday entertaining? How do you make parties and gatherings easier on yourself without limiting the holiday cheer.
Nate: Consider your space and how to make it work best for your event. You don’t want everyone in the kitchen, so consider using your dining room as the buffet station. Put the bar where you want people to hang out. They tend to gather where the drinks are anyway. Make sure it’s fully stocked. Get a great ice bucket and have plenty of glasses...and all the lemons and limes pre-cut and laid out.
Move the furniture around to make it easy for guests to walk up and help themselves. While you’re making room for the bar, consider how you can arrange the seating, adding in those dining room chairs so that you have plenty of “floating seating arrangements” so that people can sit and chat and enjoy the evening.
Finally, don’t forget the bathroom. This space is important. Make sure to have fresh flowers and clean towels in the bathroom so guests don’t have to want for anything.
Thanks, Nate. Great tips for the holiday home.
For more Nate Berkus, check out the Nate Berkus Collection on HSN.
Nate Berkus Woven Knit Gold Throw -- HSN Clearance Price: $69.95
Nate Berkus Branch Candlesticks (set of 2) -- HSN Price: $19.95
Nate Berkus Natural Fiber Woven Basket -- HSN Price: $19.95