HOW TO: HOLIDAY DÉCOR
If you’re anything like a lot of my friends and family, you might feel a little bit stuck around holidays when it comes to decorating. Sure, you could lug out the same old plastic ornaments that you got in college when you had your first apartment, but it just feels a little… stale. And the thought of going out and splurging on a whole new bunch of holiday decor just seems to negate the spirit of the season of giving to others.
With that quandary in mind, I’ve put together my top five tips for reviving your holiday decor to feel unique, fresh, and chic, without putting a strain on your wallet.
Pick a Simple Palette
I know, I know, I know. I love a neutral. But there’s actually something to be said for that when it comes to holiday decoration. A lot of people just go with the old red and green standard even if they don’t actually like those colors. If you decide to invest in new holiday decor ornaments this year, pick a neutral pattern that you’ll love for years to come (there’s a reason they call it “winter white”!). Then, no matter what you feel like year after year, you can add in an accent color for extra pop, and it won’t break the bank if you want to switch it out down the line. When Nate and I got our very first tree together, we got some great neutral wool animal ornaments from West Elm, and they’ve become the standard on our tree every year since.
Recycle (your everyday decor),
Reuse (it in a fun new “Holiday” way),
Reduce (your stress)
Don’t assume that just because you’re decorating for a specific holiday, season, or event, that your old standbys are off the table. They aren’t! Instead of trying to purchase all new plates in some “festive” pattern or design that you’ll only use once a year, stick with your every day white china and add an inexpensive charger in gold, silver, or green to make your place settings pop. You might have an extra table runner in a neutral tone or natural fiber lying around — pair that with some evergreen branches for the perfect table-long centerpiece.
Visceral, Not Just Visual
Throughout the holiday season, I hear from people stressing that they have no clue how to decorate for last minute company or a thrown together holiday dinner. Any season with parties, family gatherings, and out of town guests is a season for spontaneous changes of plans. So, if you find yourself needing to quickly “spruce” up your house for holiday guests, remember that sense of smell is a major connection to feelings and memories. So, whip up a batch of mulled wine, or light a woodsy, evergreen scented candle — your guests will be in the holiday spirit the second they step in the door and catch a whiff!
Small spaces are always another challenge for clients and friends alike when it comes to decorating for the holidays. Often there’s very little floorspace, and bookshelves are taken up by useful (and necessary) everyday objects and decor that can’t find other storage. So I always suggesting taking to the tabletops! Almost everyone I know has a dining table that’s used only half the time (or less), so use that prime real estate for a miniature wintery display. Or co-opt a corner of your coffee table for a bit of holiday decor. Even these small arrangements will pack a major punch, and bonus: you can pare down on the holiday decor shopping list.
Wall to Wall (to Window)
I love a good wreath as much as the next person, but I often find that the impact is completely lost in the usual spot on the front door. Sure, I’ll DIY a gorgeous wreath to put on display, but the second that door is closed, I completely forget it’s there. Go for something out of the ordinary and hang a wreath off of your drapery rod, centered on your window — it’s get the best lighting and the best location in the room for viewing. Or, get festive with your already hung artwork, and use some trussed up tree boughs (the cousin of the wreath) perched on top. Easy setup, and even easier cleanup at the end of the season!