LH Interiors, Lisa Higgason, ASID, RID
Mantel decorated in Christmas garland, needlepoint stockings, red glass trees and new and antique elves

Decorating for the Holidays

Believe it or not, the holidays are upon us and it's time to start decorating! The most common mistake when starting this task is leaving existing decor out and cramming the holiday decorations on top of and around what is already there.

First, take all the existing pieces away and start with a clean space. This is a great opportunity to start fresh, both when putting holiday things out and when placing the old things back in January. Rearranging existing decor can give your space a whole new look and it forces you to get rid of weathered items that may be unnoticed otherwise.

The mantel is a primary focal point for holiday decorations. For most of my clients and especially the ones with children, decorating the mantel is all about the stockings. After all, that is where Santa will look first, right? If you do not have a mantel, you can use a bar area, a stairway banister, a hall-tree or other piece of furniture, or just a prominent wall to decorate and display the stockings.

Close up of antique elf doll with red glass tree light with white lights
Collage of Santa doll and full length mantel shot

Most of my clients have decorations that are rich in tradition. Many even still use ornaments or decorations that they used as a child growing up that recall special family times. These memories and traditions are then passed down to their own children. Many have extensive collections of Santa or snowmen or little light up villages that they continue adding to each year. Grouping like objects together makes a stronger statement than scattering them around. It is important to vary the heights and the sizes of the pieces to add interest to the grouping.

Close up of pewter nativity scene
Collage of antique hall tree decorated with garland, poinsettias and handmade stockings from Guatemala

If the decorating budget is tight, use garland and add large colorful balls and wide ribbon, which can all be found at discount stores. If an electrical outlet is nearby, lights woven in and around the garland add a wonderful glow. Using natural foliage such as magnolia leaves adds rich texture and warmth to centerpieces or mantel displays. Garden plants such as small topiaries and tree shaped ivy look great on a mantel with a couple of yards of shiny bright satin fabric scrunched around the base for a pop of color. Various sizes of crystal, wood or pewter candlesticks grouped together with fabric or wide ribbon woven around the bases looks great as well.

Close up of red and green balls with sprigs of holly mingled in and displayed in a marble bowl as a centerpiece arrangement for a table setting
Collage of holiday decorated table setting

Decorating in new and unusual colors is a trend that we will see this year. From hot pink to turquoise to wasabi green and coral, ornaments balls and ribbon will be available in a host of hues. A more contemporary scheme can be achieved by using a simple blend of shapes and textures in bright and unusual colors. Feathers, mirrors and wispy foliage are also prominent in sleeker settings.

No matter your style or holiday celebrated, changing and moving your accessories will give you a fresh start for the New Year!

Close up of fuscia tinsel wreath with sparking purple, royal blue and wasabi green ornaments
Collage of bright tinsel wreath and ornaments

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