Life Lessons

Life Lessons: Seasonal decoration

VIDEO Life Lessons: Seasonal decoration

We're entering the season of entertaining, from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas. Whatever party you'll be planning, we have some decorating tips that are as close as your backyard.

Once you figure out the guest list and the food, the thought of decorations can be pretty daunting so we asked Stephanie Stevens, the owner of Bell Gate Farm in Lower Milford Township, to give us a few tips.

"You need to keep decorating really simple, really easy. Don't overthink it. Don't over buy. Do things you can do with your family and use what you have and things that are around you," she said.

Stephanie opened Bell Gate Farm about a year ago, and while she uses her unique eye in all of her decorating and reuses as many items as she can find, she also uses things from nature like bamboo shoots, pumpkins and gourds for the fall. She has her little daughter, Parker help make the whole process fun.

Her intention in creating an event center at the farm where she grew up was to save the house and surrounding farmland from development and also as a living memorial to her parents who raised her there. She's showing her almost four-year-old how it's done.

On the day 69 News visited, the two gathered the colors of fall by picking up leaves that had fallen from a tree outside the barn. Stephanie used the leaves to add color and a seasonal touch to a beautiful entrance table.

"People, when they think of fall, they think of crispness and apple picking and the change of seasons and so by bringing the outside in to your space, it really makes you feel comfortable," Stephanie said.

Stephanie says with a simple bowl, even a glass mixing bowl will do, you can create a pretty season-appropriate centerpiece.

"Let's say you're decorating for Thanksgiving or Christmas, you could use apples, you could use red apples or green apples, you could use oranges with cloves in them. You could also use holiday ornaments," she said.

She's already teaching little Parker a decorating rule about grouping items that she learned from her mother.

"Whether it's on the dining table or an entrance table, or a kitchen table, whatever it is, always use the rule of thumb, 2, 3 or 5 and you can never go wrong."

She had grouped three pumpkins together for example or five mini gourds.

Stephanie says candles add some elegance but skip scented candles that will compete with the meal you've planned. She uses only battery operated candles for safety reasons. So she says be creative and use what you have.

"A clear mixing bowl, a candle or two, a few leaves from outside and you really have what you need, they can be mismatched it doesn't have to be perfect. It can look like you just put it there and it just works," she said.

Stephanie says the goal of any party is to create a warm comfortable environment that is cost effective and beautiful at the same time.


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