Last call for Ideas House

Are you still looking for ideas for a dining room tabletop or creative ways to weave in strings of light? Bachman’s Holiday Ideas House, which has been decked for the season by designers with festive decor and lighting inspired by nature, is open through Dec. 18. Themed rooms include a North Woods retreat, birch tree wallpapered porch and a mix of metallics in the master bedroom.

Tickets are available at or by calling 612-861-7311. The cost is $5, with 20 percent of proceeds benefiting Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. The historic Bachman family home is at 5936 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls.

Last-minute decorating ideas

With just weeks before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, it’s time to be decorating. But if you’re not sure where to start, here are a few shortcuts:

Stock the bar. Styling a bar cart with bottles of liquor, decanted wine, chic glassware and gold accessories lets this room shine bright all through the holidays. And while you’re unwinding with a holiday cocktail, you can talk to your guests about how the decor on your bar cart was so stylishly festive that you didn’t have to stress about decorating the tree.

Go green. A simple holiday wreath is an easy way to add holiday cheer to your walls and bring green into your home without committing to a large Christmas tree. Layered with a few festive pine sprigs and a winter-white candle vignette, your living room can be a low-key, relaxing holiday haven.

Holiday entertaining needn’t be stressful. When decorating a festive dining room, try draping the table with a dramatic green garland. A green, black and gold color scheme works year-round, but it’s especially chic for the holiday season.

Make your fireplace festive. No holiday season is complete without a little quality time by the fire. Stockings (hung by the chimney with care) and a wreath are straightforward, stress-free solutions for creating a classic mantel moment in a nostalgic red, green and white palette.

A comfy, cozy fireside spot is the perfect place to snuggle over the holidays. Keep it simple with shades of winter whites, but don’t be afraid to layer decor in wild abandon, from blankets to flowers to floor pillows. Getting the perfect glow doesn’t require the fuss of starting a real fire, either; create warm ambience by lighting the flames of several candles instead.

Cozy up with sheepskin. Layering sheepskin rugs into any space is a simple step to cozy up with chic winter flair. The furry white texture adds warmth and light to a more dramatic holiday palette of deep red, green and black.

Present your presents. Wrapped gifts can double as holiday decor, turning the spirit of gift-giving into festive decorative moments. We love displaying them in fun and even unexpected spots in the home.

Branch out. If you’re not ready to invest the time, energy or space associated with setting up or tearing down a full Christmas tree, fresh-cut branches make a great smaller-scale substitute. Pick a tree trimming that’s strong enough to hold a few ornaments, and in a few short minutes, voilà! Your very own tabletop tree.

For anyone with a soft spot for holiday romance, mistletoe is a must-have. As a simple, stress-free detail to give your home a playful edge for the holidays, hang fresh mistletoe over any well-traveled doorway. Just don’t forget to tell your holiday guests to pucker up.

Be merry and monochrome. A well-placed pop of winter green can spruce up a monochrome home for the holidays while keeping an overall chic, understated aesthetic.

If your style is more of the merry and minimal persuasion, try planting a small tree in a neutral planter on your coffee table. Keep it carefree: If you love a space that looks just a little bit casually undone, aim for an asymmetric tree to play off scattered throw pillows.

Shine bright. When in doubt, a great way to fill your home with holiday cheer is to display festive decor in unexpected places. Instead of hanging objects and ornaments in the same spot as in years past, surprise your guests by making spirits bright throughout your home. Don’t stress about where to decorate; let your imagination run wild with holiday decor mixed into a bookshelf, hung in the bathroom or even leaning on top of the fridge.