Christmas decor with antiques (and other stuff you already have)Decorating for Christmas with antiques comes naturally to Linda Magness, an antique collector and owner of Red Geranium Antiques and Gifts in Grand Forks.
Decorating for Christmas with antiques comes naturally to Linda Magness, an antique collector and owner of Red Geranium Antiques and Gifts in Grand Forks.
She is one of 16 dealers in the Plain & Fancy Antique Mall, 820 S. Washington St., and her space is stuffed with examples of how to use antiques and collectibles in holiday decor, from the everyday to the exquisite. One large room is decorated almost exclusively with white furniture and trees dripping with crystal, sparkly snowflakes and metallics.
Here are some of Magness’ decorating ideas.
• Turn your antique china hutch and dishes into a holiday display. For instance, Magness took a white china cupboard filled with white plates and tea cups with gold trim and added sparkling gold and white pinecone ornaments to turn everyday into a holiday.
• If you’re looking for accents, think greens, ribbons, baubles and collectibles. Lighting also is important, whether it be strings of lights or candles, and battery-operated devices are now available.
• Artificial greens can be beautiful and versatile. Get the nicest ones for your budget. Don’t be afraid to cut them apart. You can put pieces on top of your antique hanging portraits of Grandma and Grandpa, stand them in a vessel with berry branches or lay them on the table as a base for a big pair of candlesticks.
• Use Chritmas-y looking ribbon in many different ways. Magness has wrapped it around large pieces of furniture, chairs and other antiques. It gives the items a gift-wrapped look.
• Get out the china, crystal and silver and fill them with Christmas balls, greens, berries. Just because your dishes are rustic Red Wing or 1950s Pyrex doesn’t mean they can’t be part of a Christmas display. Fill them with wooden beads, red potholders and that old potato masher with a red handle. Load your Red Wing with pinecones and baubles.
• Include your collections. Magness has a collection of small houses and bank, and during the holidays, she places bottle brush Christmas trees among them.
• Don’t forget your antique linens and other pretty pieces of fabric, especially those with holiday colors.
• Tin cookie cutters and costume jewelry aren’t off-limits for tree decor. Small tabletop trees especially lend themselves to small but important collections.
• Consider making a “memory tree.” It’s a good place for family photos and other mementos. When Magness’ collection of paper mache Thanksgiving turkeys disintegrated in her basement floodwater in 1997, she knew she couldn’t afford to replace them. But, she saved the surviving tiny metal feet and today hangs them and other mementos on a small memory tree at home.
Copyright 2012, Grand Forks Herald.