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Mesmerizing Mantle, Tablescape Holiday Decorating Ideas

Ok, so your tree is up, a wreath is on the door, and stockings are hung. What's next? Local interior design and holiday decor expert, Karen Sacksteder, owner of Sacksteder's Interiors, says a mesmerizing mantle and trimmed tablescape will add lots more holiday cheer to your space, big or small. "These are the areas we gather most," she says. "So, adding festive decor to these two areas will make a big difference."

Here are a few of her top tips:

1. Pick a color scheme. You want to keep the variety of colors pretty small, because it can otherwise look too busy or overwhelming. I love the look of greenery, wood tones and gold, and then a pop of red or cranberry for a chic contrast. Picking a small color palette also makes it easier when you’re shopping. If you can't find exactly the color scheme you're looking for, opt to have a custom arrangement made. It's often just about the same price as store-bought, but it's exactly what you're envisioning without the time spent hunting through stores.

2. Vary the heights. If everything is the same height, it looks too bland and uninteresting to the eye. Look for a tall, small and in between items, and vary up the placement so they aren't in chronological height.

3. Mix up the textures. For the same reason we mix up the heights, we want to mix up the textures. especially if the colors are all quite similar. The eye likes variety. For example, I love using greenery, pinecones, furry animals or gnomes, whittled wood figures, smooth candle holders, and glittery ornaments or berries. I feel like it gives it a nice full texture without looking busy.

4. Add some pops of personality. This is supposed to be a fun and magical time of year. Sprinkle in some unexpected and whimsical pops of personality. One of my most popular Tree Decorating Kits is the "Gnome" theme. It's whimsical, without breaking my color scheme. If you'd like a more subtle approach, wooden and neutral snowmen, Santa, reindeer, gnomes, dangle leg mice, and moose shelf sitters are a fun little surprise that you might not expect to be sitting the table or hiding on the mantel. Want to take it up a notch? Add a few animated elf legs into your tree, a faux bear rug by the fireplace, or a moose footrest in your seating area.

5. Decorate your place settings. I like to extend the theme of my tablescape and even the mantel onto the plates, whether with napkins or napkin rings, placemat, place card or something else fun. It ties it all together adds the perfect polish to your festive decor.

Sacksteder’s Interiors is a locally-based, family-owned business that's been around for 33 years. They sell furniture and home furnishings, as well as interior design services, year round, but they're know for their holiday merchandise and holiday decorating services. They now have two stores in Greater Cincinnati, one located at 9797 Montgomery Road in Cincinnati and the other at 4101 U.S. 52 in New Trenton, Ind. Call (513)791- 5022 or (812) 637-1422 to learn more or visit