Interior designer Eduardo Rodriguez favors modern, understated decor, but as you’ll see, when it comes to holiday decorating ideas, he’s happy to lay on the sparkle.
Eduardo writes about design and decor on his blog The Designer Pad, and this gorgeously styled Christmas dining area is his contribution to our Holiday Style Challenge series. We sent Eduardo a mystery box of Home Depot Christmas decorations to use to create his own special holiday decor.
He walks us through his design inspiration, and he explains a couple of very simple Christmas DIY projects that use materials from The Home Depot that we never expected.
Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year. It’s a time we get together with family and friends to celebrate and make new unforgettable memories. That’s why when I was invited to be a part of the Home Depot’s Holiday Style Challenge, I couldn’t say no to such a joyful project.
What I cherish most about Christmas day (of course besides the presents) is the memory of my mother setting up a beautiful dining room table, where we enjoyed the yummy holiday fare she had spent days cooking. That is a moment that has stayed with me over the years and which I try to recreate every season with my own personal twist.
GIVING A NEW CHRISTMAS COLOR PALETTE A SHOT
I’m more a modern and somewhat minimalistic kind of guy with a crush for everything simple and Scandinavian – the reason why I wanted to veer away from the traditional red-and-green Christmas color palette and use the Nordic style as inspiration for this project. Besides, it complements my decor a lot better. So, I opted for an elegant palette of black, white, grey and silver for my concept to create a Winter Wonderland for the dessert table setting.
THE CENTERPIECE IS KING
When decorating a dining room table, the first thing I look for is a centerpiece to be the focal point and add drama to the table. Because I have a long dining table, I used the two pre-lit artificial Christmas trees I got as part my surprise mystery boxes. To unify the two trees and give my centerpiece more presence I wanted to use a runner, but not just any runner.
I thought it would be fun to use an unexpected material to recreate the same idea. While browsing through the Home Depot aisles, I came across the perfect solution: Three 24 x 36 ft. perforated aluminum sheets used mostly for radiator covers. I placed them alongside of each other and voilà, a new shiny runner was born!
The trees looked perfect on the table, but to be true to the modern look I was going for, I felt the urn-like bases didn’t go with the Scandi theme. My idea was to use something with simpler lines like terra cotta pots and paint them with colors from my neutral palette.
DIY PAINTED TERRA COTTA POTS
This part of the project was quite simple. But of course before diving right into the fun part, I gave them a coat of primer. Once primed, I painted the pots in white for my base color. Since I wanted to add a bit whimsy to the pots, I decided to paint vertical stripes in two tones of grey (light and dark).
The easiest way to do this is to use Frog Tape to define the stripes to be painted.
TIP: When working on small projects like this one, the best way to go is to get 8 oz. sample-size paint.
THE SHIMMERING EFFECT
Although the trees came already pre-lit and and with some pine cones, I wanted to add extra bling by using the Christmas balls from the mystery package. I used some that looked perfect with my color theme, but others I had to spray paint in black, white and silver to complete the look.
No Christmas table setting is complete without the soft and warm radiance of candlelight. So I got two tall Twig Candle Holders from Home Decorators Collection and placed them on either end of the metallic runner to complete my centerpiece.
ADDING THE FINISHING TOUCHES
The secret to keeping a unified and sophisticated look is to be consistent with the details. I extended the terra cotta pots idea to the serving dishes. I used several of the painted pots to display the dessert around the table. Working with various shapes and sizes and painting them with colors from my palette was important to create texture and interest. To pretty them up and make them more festive, I used foam stickers and stencils with Holiday motifs.
I like to create a fresh new theme every Christmas, so I always end up refreshing my old decorations year after year. A little bit of white paint and a dash of artificial snow flakes gave this old twig wreath a pristine, snowy look to keep in theme. I also recycled the pine cones that came with the Martha Stewart trees and grouped them inside one of the painted pots to use as decoration on the table.
The Holidays are all about ‘more is more’ even for the most minimalist in us. To dress up and add a shimmery touch to the table, I placed oversized mercury-glass ornaments together with decorative serving pieces from Home Decorators Collection. It was the perfect combination.
DIY PLACE CARD HOLDERS
When hosting dinner parties, I love to use place cards for my settings. They make the moment more personal and my guests feel very special – even more so when they’re fun and unique like custom-made ones.
These nifty wood line blocks I found in Home Depot hit the nail on the head. I loved the shape and the fact that they already had a slit for my place cards. They just needed a dash of silver spray paint and a couple of bay leaves to become graceful holders for my guests to enjoy.
DIY FELT WREATH
Nothing says more Christmas for me than a nice holiday wreath on the wall. Hence, I couldn’t resist making my own for this challenge using felt weather seal I bought at The Home Depot. Actually, it was my favorite DIY project and a very fun and easy one to do. You can see how I created the wreath on my blog.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my Scandinavian Holiday Fête ideas and you’re now feeling inspired to bring cheer to your home by creating a fun and special space for the holidays to celebrate with your loved ones.
Happy Holidays and cheers to all!
Eduardo Rodriguez is a fashion and interior designer with his own firm DSGNER. He writes about style and design on his blog The Designer Pad. Eduardo lives in New York City with his French Bull Dog Oliver.
Visit The Home Depot’s online Holiday Decorations Department for everything you need to decorate for Christmas.