Last year (at my old home) I wanted to create a dining table centerpiece for the holiday season, and I knew I wanted something simple and elegant without being fussy or stuffy.
The branches of fur trees have always looked a little bit like mini fireworks to me, and I wanted to bring that explosive, joyful energy to my centerpiece for the holidays. So, at Michaels I found a couple of varieties of faux fur branches and got natural pine for an organic base that would provide some familiar greenery and gold to add warmth and shine, accentuating the outward thrusting energy of the needles. To provide some height, I added some very cool mid-century inspired candle holders in black and gold I found on clearance at Crate and Barrel a couple of years ago.
At the time, the main accent color for my living room and dining room areas was turquoise, so I brought that color onto the table by nestling a few silver and turquoise vintage ornaments with simple shapes amongst the branches. Bringing the accent color onto the tablescape helped make the whole space feel more unified and inviting.
Keep color in mind when you dress your table -- you can certainly do holidays without having to always rely on the usual tropes of red, green or plaid. The secret is in how you style it. For example, a fireplace mantle with black cones of varying sizes and a string of tiny LED lights with copper wire tastefully meandering through the cone-scape can look just as festive as a much more traditional evergreen wreath with a red bow. Don't be afraid to experiment with striking, modern elements as they often yield some of the most surprisingly creative and unexpectedly stylish results.