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Think Outside The Decorating "Box" This Thanksgiving!

Get a jump start on this year's Thanksgiving decorating plans by incorporating harvest splendor in non- traditional areas.

Instead of that "same old, same old" Thanksgiving centerpiece in the dining area, dazzle your dinner guests with autumn's innovative colors and textures in unexpected spaces!

Transitional areas within the home offer a wealth of overlooked opportunities for spotlighting an interesting harvest theme. Stairways that lead to the kitchen or dining area allows the ability to highlight the perfect punch of color within an otherwise nondescript area. Risers on a staircase can be utilized to showcase natural fall themes. Display wonderfully painted accessories that tout the warm and spicy color palette of the fall season. Stairway landings can serve as the ideal location to showcase a handpainted, canvas accent rug with a bold cornucopia motif.

One-story homes that lack stairways can bestow Thanksgiving sizzle to any ordinary hallway space! Place a plain, small table (simple stools or chairs make wonderful substitutions for accent tables) that boasts a crowd-stopping arrangement in a hallway area that is part of your home's main traffic pattern. Arrangements can be as everyday or as elaborate as your existing decor. A "candy apple red" painted basket overflowing with bright orange mini pumpkins offers a cheerful approach to a neutral colored decorating scheme. Treating a decorative vase to a distressed paint technique atop a monochromatic and "color-blocked" dry sink all in burgundy tones, is a more elaborate way of making a distinctively different design statement using carefully applied color and texture.

Any home that is located in a mild climate can enjoy the luxury of outdoor Thanksgiving festivities. Weather permitting; suburban backyards, condominium patios and even apartment rooftops can be treated to the colors and textures of autumn. Oversized planters that are painted with the rich, bold colors of the season and filled with colorful fresh blooms take center stage when placed beside the "al fresco" dining area.

Although traditional harvest colors integrate particularly well with a neutral exterior color palette, do not allow existing color palettes to prevent you from re-fashioning an exterior living space for the holiday. Quick "non-permanent" fixes are available to help the do-it-yourself decorating enthusiast! Plain slipcovers can be used to impart a distinctive color scheme within the dining area. Painted borders and freehand motifs can be creatively applied to solid colored slipcovers, using your favorite harvest color palette. Easily painted accessories (including planters, pedestals, and table top accessories) allow for "in a jiffy", exciting and colorful outdoor Thanksgiving celebrations!

This November, whether you opt for an indoor or outdoor Thanksgiving holiday, make it a special celebration by injecting a touch of the colorfully unexpected into your decor!

Gail McCauley for the
Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute

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