Many Sukkot decorations miraculously withstand the elements from year to year. Walls of the sukkah are adorned with store-bought decorations, homemade crafts and school projects. Sukkot has a dual nature when looking to enhance the Yom Tov. On the one hand, it is outdoors, where people are supposed to brave the elements in order to show their connection to God. This may lead to a simpler environment overall, since everyone dines al fresco more than usual. On the other hand, it is still a Yom Tov, and worthy of beautification for both the table and the sukkah.
Aviva Breda Consulting ([email protected]), specializing in lifestyle consulting, guides and supports anyone who needs a little direction on just about any style or design conundrum. From choosing paint colors to photo shoot wardrobes, personal shopping, invitation wording, or centerpiece brainstorming and prep, Aviva Breda Consulting allows your vision to shine through. With a background in interior design and an eye for color, Aviva Breda of ABC is here to share some insight and tips with the readers of The Jewish Link to add new embellishments to their sukkah without worrying about the outdoor nature of the chag.
“First you have to decide what type of style you are going for,” explained Breda. “Do you want a rustic look? An elegant sukkah? Your style will help determine the overall look and feel of your sukkah.”
Here are a few ideas Breda suggested to add a new twist to any sukkah.
Decorative lights: There are different types of lighting to choose from for a sukkah. Of course, a shop light is the light of choice for basic needs, but string lights come in a variety of styles and shapes. Referring back to Breda’s original advice about deciding what kind of look you are going for in the sukkah, families can choose simple boxed string lights, whimsical flower lights or even fun flamingo strands. If string lights aren’t your thing, Breda recommends Chinese lanterns or any type of hanging paper lantern as another option for fun and different lighting.
Walls: for many families, school projects take the stage on the sukkah walls. With self-adhesive dry-erase sheets available at Staples, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target and obviously Amazon, Breda suggests buying some to stick on the wall and allow the kids (and adults, if they are interested) to decorate the walls with any medium they choose. The best part is that you can always change it up in subsequent years. Another option to dress up walls is to buy wall adhesives. They are repositionable and come in more designs than anyone can imagine. Do you want an underwater sukkah theme? Are the kids interested in a sukkah menagerie? Or do you want to keep things understated and just have floral decorations throughout? Any (or even all) of these themes can be done, and on a very affordable budget.
Tablescapes: “There are so many ways to add class to any table,” said Breda, “and many of them are already in your house, and are affordable, too.” She advises holding onto empty glass bottles, removing the labels and using them to hold flowers. “They don’t have to be uniform in size or shape. This varied look adds visual interest to the table,” she said. You can use the vases as standalone pieces or group them together to create a complete centerpiece, adding a dose of elegance and festivity to your sukkah. Breda even offers this helpful hint: “You’d be surprised at the quality of fake flowers and fake fruit available these days. Try IKEA, Michael’s, A.C. Moore and other similar stores for a phenomenal selection. The flowers will last all Sukkot, and as an added bonus they won’t even attract any bugs.”
Breda also suggests opting for a different style of disposable paper goods and utensils. There are so many styles beyond what everyone is used to, and many of them will have your company doing a double take to see if they are actually real. Trying something different is another way to add sophistication and whimsy to the Sukkot table. Breda’s suggestions are sure to bring many fresh, fun and vibrant new ideas to any sukkah.
By Jenny Gans