The first night of Hanukkah falls on Christmas Eve this year, but if you look at the average store’s offering of decor for each holiday, you’ll find a stark difference: While the Christmas aisle holds all sorts of paraphernalia from splashy to sophisticated, typical Hanukkah flair tends to be limited.
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
“The blue-and-white palette is a gift to the Hanukkah celebrator looking for chic holiday decor,” says Orli Ben-Dor, creative director of designer Peter Dunham’s La Cienega shop, Hollywood at Home. “It’s the most classic color combination and if you lead with that palette, rather than a motif, it’s going to look gorgeous.”
Want to push the holiday decor further without having to dip into the glitter dreidels?
Ben-Dor recommends looking to potted plants that are suited to last through the holiday’s traditional eight nights. White cyclamen is a favorite, a subtle call to the blooms that are native to Jerusalem and thrive in Los Angeles this time of year.
Or take your cue from Hanukkah’s role as the Festival of Lights by loading up on candlelight. “Your menorah, or hanukkiah, will be the focal point, but surround it with candlesticks and hurricanes with pillar candles to make for an especially beautiful table or mantel,” says Ben-Dor.
Here are our tips for the most festive, stunning and long-lasting decor that won’t look out of place, even after Hanukkah’s last night, Jan. 1, 2017.
Planter makes perfect
Pick up some white cyclamen plants at your local nursery and repot it in this richly textured planter from Lawson-Fenning — whether it’s on your mantel or holding court in your entryway, it makes for a pretty and organic touch. Meredith Metcalf Large Petal Planter, starting at $300. www.lawsonfenning.com
Set the scene
And the table, with a tablecloth made from outdoor (i.e. latke-proof) fabric. Peter Dunham Textiles’ Peterazzi has a fetching yet softly geometric pattern that Ben-Dor points out is nondirectional, meaning it will look great from any seat around the table. Cost is $156 a yard. www.hollywoodathome.com
Light the candles
There are so many striking takes on the menorah, but it’s this 1995 creation from Herbert & Jeanne Atkin that wins “most likely to work 365 days a year” with its versatile take. The glass beauty separates into pieces so it can be used as several simple candleholders year-round. Flexus Menorah, $135. moma.org
Protect the floors — in style
This vinyl mat is a dead ringer for Israeli tile. Easy to fool guests into thinking you got new floors; even easier to clean up from wax splatters or dropped brisket. Beija Flor’s Jaffa Mat, starting at $74 depending upon size. www.beijaflorworld.com
Deck the walls
Even if the food on your table is store-bought, the decor can still be handmade (with some hand-holding). The Hanukkah-color-influenced embroidery set from TangleWild Designs comes with everything you need to make this textured wall art. Boucherouite Modern in Hanukkah blue and silver, $34. Tangle Wild Designs on Etsy.
Go creative on centerpieces
The narrow tops on these vases mean they’ll look elegant with a single leaf inside — or switch things up and use them as candle holders for ¾-inch-thick tapers. Blue and White Terra Cotta Vase, $14. www.planningpretty.com
Go tray chic
What’s a Hanukkah celebration without latkes? Use the DoorDash app to deliver them from Canter’s Deli if you can’t bear to cook all eight nights, and stack them up on one of these glimmering trays that will look even better by candlelight. Circular Brass Serving Tray, $185. www.consort-design.com
Don’t skip the small stuff
Latkes are nothing without proper dipping sauces: store your applesauce and sour cream in delectable, subtly sparkling gold-rimmed bowls (give guests their own so everyone can double-dip without shame). Isabel Halley Ceramics Medium Pinch Pot with Gold Rim, $38. www.isabelhalley.com
Traditional Hanukkah meals end with deep-fried, jelly-filled sufganiyah, or doughnuts. Give them pride of place on the table with an elevated platform in light-catching gold. Michael Aram Rock Cake Stand, $250.00. www.michaelaram.com