As an interior designer and decorator one would think that during the holidays my home would be “over the top” with Christmas décor! But you might be surprised to know that mine is not, in fact it’s just the opposite. Why? Because I've realized through the years that if the decorations are over done, it looks and feels contrived. It can also start to feel overwhelming and cluttered. I've decided I still want my home to look and feel like my home, but with a “touch of the season”, not a “touch of department store or shopping mall”.

Here is some sage advice for keeping your home’s décor simple and understated for the Holidays.

• Start with the front entrance, use simple greenery to adorn the door: it’s your Happy Holiday welcome.

• Real pine garlands and sprigs from your garden will go a long way to bring in a touch of the season and small hints of that wonderful aroma.

• Loosely wind some pine garlands around your banister. Pull the pinecones up on top then wind small white lights and ribbon through it.

• Place a rope garland of greenery on your mantel. Let it hang loosely off the ends.

• Evergreen picks are great for sticking in bowls, urns and containers and will transform any centerpiece into a festive one.

• Use lifelike picks to fill in your artificial or real Christmas tree. (Yes, mine is artificial!)

• Mix your pine greens in with other arrangements that you might have for an instantly winter transformation.

• Bring in some oversized pine cones for texture, beauty and drama.

• Buy some holiday ribbon and use generously in and around your decorations.

• Use ribbon to tie napkins, tie up tableware, to hang ornaments on tree, and to hang ornaments from chandelier.

• Try glass and crystal ornaments as they reflect the lights so well.

• Clear glass containers and bowls are great for candles, potpourri, Holiday decorations and just about anything you want to display.

• Little white lights displayed on the mantel will draw your eyes to it and become the focal point.

• If you have one keep logs burning in the fireplace whenever you can, nothing says Holidays like a warm fire.

• Place a tray with a “Hot Coca or Tea Set” on the coffee table. You may already have one in your hutch; why not turn it into a centerpiece!

• Appeal to your other senses, smell and hearing. Play soft instrumental Holiday music and plug in the Glade Holiday room oil. Place a bowl of Holiday Potpourri in simple white bowls, or burn Holiday candles.

• Throw a real red or white wool throw on the sofa or chair. It will beg your attention.

Now curl up in the throw, have some hot cocoa, smell the cinnamon and pine in the air, and listen to the music and be thankful that you are not at this moment in a shopping mall! Happy Holidays!