Kevin Sharkey makes showstopping centerpieces and other festive decorations that will last all season.
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Kevin's Holiday Decorations
Peter Pan syndrome, but the holidays bring out the kid in me. If it twinkles, shines, glistens, or gleams, I want it in my apartment. If it’s sweet, even more so! Of course, a fragrant decorated tree in the living room is the focal point, but I like to deploy a bit of dazzle throughout the rest of my home—on the sideboard, the coffee and dining room tables, and the console in the entryway. Despite the fantasy I have of reproducing the tree of my childhood—with big multicolored lights, a mishmash of ornaments, and even tinsel—I stick with a limited palette, which means less color coordinating (a bonus during such a busy stretch). Repeating the color scheme with other decorations makes a greater impact. At this time of year, more is more. Why set out a single dish of candy when you can turn 10 jars of it into a jaw-dropping decoration?
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There’s nothing like a glass dome to elevate even the most prosaic objects. The minute you put anything under one, it attracts attention. To introduce a dash of color to my neutral living room, I packed a mix of vintage and new shatterproof Christmas balls in silver, fuchsia, red, and cobalt into a cloche. I repeated the shades with the pillows on the sofa to pick up the palette. For the pillows Duchess satin, in Purple, Cerise, and Red, wolfhome-ny.com. Plaid silk shantung, bandjfabrics.com.
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Simply say the word bedazzle and I’m in. A mini forest of ethereal rock-candy trees, adorned with colored crystals, is heaven to me. It reminds me of the opening credits in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with Burl Ives. This trio makes for a fabulous welcome in an entryway or a shimmering centerpiece on a holiday table.
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Offering a sweets buffet is my answer to giving tins of homebaked cookies. At the beginning of the season, I set out clear glass containers— same cylindrical shape, various heights and widths—simply embellished with a band of silver leather secured at the seam with double-sided tape—and fill them with different candies in similar colors. I even use the sweet stuff to anchor other treats such as oversize lollipops. Tucking spoons into the vessels and setting small drawstring bags nearby encourages guests to help themselves to a take-home favor at the end of a holiday gathering. Assorted candy, candywarehouse.com. London Clear Hurricanes, crateandbarrel.com.
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I never thought I’d be caught with a doily crossing my threshold, but I wanted a blizzard of them once I discovered how to take them from granny to glamorous with a simple coat of metallic glitter. Arranged runner- style on my dark dining room table set with glass dishes, the intricately patterned pieces lost all trace of dowdiness. Oslo candleholders, crateandbarrel.com. Ivory pillars, 1 1/2 by 9, creativecandles.com.
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