I am not the type of person who goes all out with holiday home decor — if you’ve been here for a while you already know that I prefer subtle touches that don’t detract from my existing year-round home decor. It’s all about making easy additions or swaps that work for your style. I find that the easiest places to make these modifications are (1) door / wall decor, (2) accent pillows, and (3) tabletop decor. Sometimes adding a festive bunting to your mantle will work, but not everyone has a fireplace (or even a mantle over it, for that matter!) so I tend not to gravitate toward garlands or banners.
Regarding my selections, I prefer to use the colors of the holidays without using overtly holiday-specific items because then I can often repurpose items throughout the year (specifically with accent pillows and florals)! That said, it would be silly not to sprinkle in some tasteful items that are directly related to the holiday.
As you probably deduced from the title, this post is specifically related to decor for Mardi Gras! If you’re unfamiliar, Mardi Gras is a celebration in reference to the French tradition of Carnival which is essentially indulging before the observation of Lent begins which many American cities with historic French influence still celebrate today (Mardi Gras literally translates to “Fat Tuesday”)! The tradition has evolved into more of a celebration of [over]indulgence and debauchery in more recent years, with non-Catholics celebrating without practicing Lent, but I think that it can still be a really fun holiday to participate in without getting too crazy.
While I love the traditional wild, bright colors of Mardi Gras, I personally prefer a more muted approach when decorating our house. I find that it’s a bit easier to decorate with colors that aren’t quite so loud because you can more seamlessly integrate them into your normal decor. I love to add gold accents around our home and thankfully that’s a main color of the core Mardi Gras color trio so that was easy enough to add! I also ended up finding a little bit of greenery and various other items (pillows, glassware, etc.) to incorporate the green aspect of the color trio; these items can even be repurposed for St. Patrick’s Day decor! Admittedly, purple is one of my least favorite colors… sorry, purple lovers! I don’t wear it and I certainly don’t decorate with it so finding purple items that would work as Mardi Gras decor in our home was quite the challenge for me!
DOOR / WINDOW / WALL DECOR
I LOVE a front door wreath. It gives great curb appeal and provides a festive first impression upon entering your home. If there is only one thing you swap out throughout the year, I think it should be a wreath because they are just so festive and everyone has a front door, even if it’s inside an apartment building!
If you have space above a side table or bench in your entryway (or even above a bar cart!), this is another great place to swap out an art piece with a wreath or decorative wall hanging. I found some beautiful metal fleur de lis hangings that would make such excellent understated festive decor.
Since I am limited on storage space (though I would love to have a wreath for every holiday!), I usually just replace the bow on my faux boxwood wreath with a ribbon that matches the season or holiday… in this instance I might use multiple colored ribbons to create a bow and possibly add a decorative charm or ornament (such as the classic fleur de lis). I would likely use white and maybe a soft purple in a wider size ribbon and maybe an accent of a thinner ribbon in a deep wheat (“gold”) color… these could be repurposed for other holidays throughout the year as well!
This is another instance of why I keep my normal home decor very neutral — I like to have the ability to add in festive accents, whatever the occasion. My couch pillows are all neutral colors so it’s very easy to mix in a few festive pillows, depending on the holiday or season. Unfortunately, all of the glittery couch pillows in my photo are quite old so I’m not able to link them, but if I find any similar options I’ll add them to the widget below. When I am shopping for accent pillows I try to look for a variety of sizes and textures to add visual interest to the space.
*Top Tip: The easiest way to do this is to get pillow covers and just swap them out instead of actual pillows (especially if you’re pressed for space like I am 😅). It’s also recommended to get covers that are one inch smaller on each side than the pillow insert because it makes for a plumper pillow!
I love a floral arrangement to add a little “zhuzh” to a space (faux florals are great for reusing for multiple seasons so spending a little more on realistic flowers / greenery is a worthwhile investment). These can make a statement, such as a centerpiece on a dining room table or a larger arrangement on a coffee table, or create a more subtle ambiance with smaller arrangements sprinkled around your home on side tables or even on shelves!
I actually have some white florals that I like to repurpose in arrangements depending on the holiday. I add in red and pink flowers for Valentine’s day, deep red and blue flowers or berries for patriotic holidays, and deep red faux florals and greenery for the Christmas season! It’s an arrangement that I have displayed on our living room coffee table year-round and just adjust it to reflect the holiday or season. Adding in purples, some extra greenery and even some white florals with a hint of green to them would make such pretty arrangements for Mardi Gras.
In addition to a dining room floral arrangement or tablescape centerpiece there are other elements that can contribute a festive flair. The table runner, linens, napkin rings, glassware, serving trays, crockery, and even charger plate options make a statement to add to your home’s seasonal decor.
I don’t necessarily suggest having festive items for ALL of these elements at once, but just as suggestions to adjust your existing table decor. Maybe you already have a set of classic napkin rings, but could use some seasonal napkins; or maybe you need a special serving tray or two, depending on the specific food needs of the holiday.
The premise behind Mardi Gras is especially about enjoying good food and drink, so I suggest trying some classic holiday fare: King Cake, beignets, Cajun specialties (such as gumbo, étouffée, and jambalaya) and a Hurricane cocktail to wash it all down. 😜 Some New Orleans locations that are famous spots to visit, especially for Mardi Gras, have made their most popular items available online so if you want a taste of the original, these are a great way to go. You can also order a few delicacies on GoldBelly, direct from the vendor!
In this situation, “tabletop” could obviously be regarding the dining room table, but it could also apply to sideboards or entryway tables, coffee tables, or even side tables. Don’t underestimate these locations — every little piece adds something to the overall effect. Decorative items could be wooden carvings (in this case, fleur de lis!), crowns, Venetian masks, strings of beads, candy in a beautiful display jar, or the occasional festive knick knack.
I think a great way to display these decorative bits-and-bobs is on a raised serving tray (pedestal?), cake stand, or a tiered tray which makes them look a bit less haphazard and more intentional. Don’t try to cram everything onto them either… look around your space and see what areas / surfaces might benefit from a little color or zhuzh-ing up with festive items.
A lot of these crowns can fit a votive candle inside, which would be a great way to display them! *Note: Just be careful about picking the metal crowns up to blow the candle out or shortly after putting the candle out; I recommend either grabbing the crown by the base or allowing to cool before lifting.
Happy Mardi Gras, friends! Laissez les bon temps rouler!
Sending hugs —