With apologies to Pete Seeger (and the Book of Ecclesiastes) there is also—to every season—a color combination. Whether you want to start your holiday collection from scratch or just set a different table this year, there are lots of gorgeous alternatives to red and green. We went to the pros and got some great tips on how to decorate ‘outside the ornament.’


LN: What do you tell a client who wants a new holiday look?

TK: Well, I’m a traditionalist—I love red, green and gold for the holidays. But you can introduce other colors and keep things classic. A tartan plaid, for example, has blue in it, along with red and green. Use tartan plaid ribbon on cobalt blue wrapping paper—it’s a gorgeous combination. Or set a holiday table with your favorite blue and white china, and incorporate tartan into your centerpiece— that makes a fun table!

LN: What about an all-white Christmas dinner table?

TK: Absolutely! I love Lenox china, and they have two patterns in particular that are perfect: Holiday and Eternal—they’re both ivory with a gold rim. Then I would use ivory linens, ivory velvet ribbons and off-white poinsettias. That would make a very elegant, pretty table.

LN: How you keep the Christmas tree interesting at your house?

TK: Trees! We have four, including one for each one of our kids. Victoria, who’s 9, has a tree with small white lights and lots of pink. Ethan, who’s 14, has one with a log trunk that’s pretty rustic. We’re from the East coast, so he has lots of nauticalthemed ornaments like lobsters and lighthouses.


LN: What if a home’s décor just clashes with traditional holiday colors?

HB: Not all homes are conducive to red and green, but Christmas greenery always works. It will blend in with anything! The trick is to pull in some of your own colors: purple, orange, it doesn’t matter. Mercury glass is great for this—it’s fabulous! You can get it everywhere, it’s reasonably priced, and it reflects the light and creates wonderful effects.

LN: What’s your must-have holiday touch?

HB: Candles and lights! With greenery, some silver pieces and little white lights, you can create a beautiful holiday look. One year I strung white lights on a palm in our sunroom, and surrounded it with white poinsettias. It was so pretty, I left it up almost the entire winter!

LN: What about setting the holiday dinner table?

HB: I love holiday china! Again, if your home doesn’t work well with red and green, think about using gold or white china (and definitely use your silver flatware, too). Try runners, placemats or a tablecloth in gold damask, and white napkins with a gold monogram. If you do have a strong color in your house that you love, like lavender or coral, look for colored glass goblets in that color. Weave in some festive touches, like silver bells, and you’ll have the perfect table!