Top 5 Holiday Decorating Tips

Whether it is for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or Christmas, many people will do more decorating in the next few weeks or so than they do all year round! So to help you get ready for what seems like the Super Bowl of home decorating, read on for my much-requested Holiday Decorating tips.

As a decorator, I apply the same principles of design even when decorating for the holidays. Some tricks of the trade that you can apply in your home include:

1.       DO De-clutter & take inventory: Start with a fresh palette. Remove the tired wall art, take away those spring/summer fun accessories- you can always put them back after the holidays.
Place  chalkboard over the mantel and write a holiday message on it to your family.

2.       DO CREATE a focal point: Perhaps you have an architectural feature in the room like a fireplace or a wall of windows. Don't have any architectural interest? Create it with color, a large piece of furniture or a piece of artwork. It doesn’t always have to be the tree!  

3.       DO a Theme: A theme can be created in one of two ways. 
My grandmother's silver candelabra, my daughters silver bell music box, and my son's gift to me, he made while in kindergarten!  It just wouldn't be Christmas without family mementos.

·         The first is based on a decorating subject that can symbolize a favorite past time, meaningful family occasion or perhaps highlights a prized collection. Examples include a rustic ski lodge, a wedding Anniversary or newlywed theme, a fantasy Toyland, an Old World Christmas, a pet tree featuring your breed of choice, even a favorite sports team, novel or movie star.  Mine is always my children’s childhood handmade ornaments.
When a room is red, it's perfect for Christmas, just add greenery and a few candles and it's ready!

·         The second is color-based themes; great when you're just starting out or don't want to use the same decorations again. For a harmonious effect, complement the color of your homes décor.  A winter wonderland of all white and metallic is stunning. Another source is to look to fashion trends for inspiration. Hot color trends include jewel tones like sapphire, acid bright colors like hot pink and neon green, and a black and white scheme always creates drama. I decorated a Christmas living room that had red wall paper, how fitting is that? Everything looked great against the red and very Christmassy!

4.       REMEMBER Odds Rule:  Decorators know that grouping accessories in odd numbers are the most appealing to the eye. So, apply it to your holiday decorating too. Group five glass jars filled with cranberries on your mantle, group three large reindeer in the center of your tree, place one large angel on your buffet table.
Using the "odd number" rule; 2 chairs, 2 drapery panels, one simple tree = 5!

5.       GET CREATIVE! Think outside the box - shop around your house, look in closets, your pantry (red apples, green pears, nuts, cranberries and peppermint candies are great in apothecary jars or vases to anchor greenery), even the back yard. Tree branches and sticks or pine cones and spray them with metallic paint for an inexpensive alternative to the floral store offerings. Check out the non-holiday aisles in craft and floral stores too. Place a framed wall mirror in the center of your coffee table and add votive candles on top. Use feather boas in place of garland on a tree. A faux fur throw makes a fabulous tree skirt or tablecloth.  I have found the best and most unusual holiday decorations at thrift stores or tag sales during the summer months.  Take advantage of the off season discounts for holiday décor purchases if you can. Use a statement piece - one in the tree, a wreath or on a tabletop creates a focal point. A child's favorite stuffed animal embedded in the center of a tree with smaller ones on the mantel; framed photos from Christmases past are a special touch; collectible lit houses can be displayed in the tree as well as under it, etc.

But most importantly decorate from the heart, even if you decorate only at this time of year!  Decorating is meant by it’s nature to be fun and to enrich the home so all will feel it’s warmth and it’s love.