Once the pariah of the decorating world, garden statuary is now super chic. If you haven't yet caught garden-statue fever, invite your statuary inside this winter, featuring it front and center in your displays. Mary Carol Garrity, Scripps Howard News Service
Brighten your table with a birdbath: No matter what size birdbath you own, it has a place on a table in your home. I like to put short, squatty ones on my coffee table, atop a stack of books or on a silver tray. Fill it with pinecones or green apples. If you like, cover it with a glass cloche for an interesting twist.
Tall, thin birdbaths make attention-grabbing centerpieces for your dining room table. But before you plunk a birdbath down on your table, make sure it's not too heavy. For years, I loaded my dining room table down with massive statues and almost made the legs give out. And put a piece of cardboard under the birdbath to protect your table's finish.
Situate the birdbath at your table's center, then fill in around it with interesting accents like a pair of candlesticks or urns holding greens. Then fill the basin with something unusual. Rest a wreath on the basin and insert a gazing ball in the center. Or place a compote holding fruit in the basin. How about a vase filled with vines that hang down over the bath's sides? Or put a lantern on top that has a birch-bark candle tucked inside.
Get playful with figurines: I really like decorating with garden figurines, whether a bust or full-figure statues. While antique concrete statues are fabulous, I usually use reproductions made from a lightweight material like terra-cotta because they are inexpensive and easier to lift. The Bird Girl, a full-figure statue of a girl holding scales on her upturned hands, is one of my favorites .
Figurines look wonderful in any tabletop tableau, alone or dressed up with seasonal greens or combined with a few other interesting accents. Place them on your kitchen island, powder-room vanity, mantel or in a bookcase. For added fun, ring them with a wreath or encircle their heads with seasonal greens.
Create bouquets in urns: For my holiday open house this season, we placed a large, square concrete garden urn on top of one of my outdoor tables, then filled the urn with a loose, natural-looking bouquet of bare branches and pine boughs. I'll leave it there all winter to add color and texture to my sleeping garden.
Gather fallen sticks from your yard, snip some boughs off your evergreens and create a bouquet in an urn for your home. Place it to the side of your fireplace, on an entry table or at the center of your dining-room table.
Have a capital idea: I adore capitals and have used them for years in my decorating. Cluster a few glass containers on top of a capital and place it on your coffee table. Use it as a riser for a display on your mantel. When you entertain, let a capital hold a silver serving tray. For my holiday open house, we topped a faux concrete capital with a Tudor urn for a timeless architectural tableau.
Mary Carol Garrity is the proprietor of three successful home-furnishings stores and is the author of several bestselling books on home decorating.