Today's homes are overflowing with the joyful scents, textures and creations of the holidays
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Spice up Your Décor this Holiday Season
By Whitnie Cypert & Jodi Trotter
The nights are longer, the weather cooler and if those gentle reminders aren’t enough, the aisles of your favorite department store has been displaying its’ cheer for weeks. A portion of some or all of these events probably have you asking yourself, “Is my home ready for the Holidays?” At some point between handing out Halloween candy and lunging for the fuzzy slippers we all realize the countdown towards annual holiday gatherings has already begun. As the days seem to get shorter and shorter it seems as if our to-do lists keeps getting longer and longer. This is exactly the time of year when the phones of most interior designers start ringing. On the other end- panic-stricken clients who just realized they will be hosting the family Thanksgiving and they have no dining room table- let alone the essential holiday flare.
The holiday season starts for many in October and doesn't end until well into January. If you are like most people, football games, family gatherings, and dinner parties caught up with you faster than you expected. But that is OK, these tips are designed to help any homeowner create a beautiful and stress-free holiday haven. The first step to any successful venture is an organized plan. Here’s how to spice up your home with just the right amount of holiday cheer.
Make Room For Holiday Cheer
We all love the beautiful accessories and accents that adorn our homes throughout the year, but when the holidays draw near, the first order of business should be to make room for the plethora of fall and winter décor bursting at the seams of our attics and closets. Don't be afraid to stash away your favorite decorative plate or candlesticks--it is only a few short months and they will seem fresh and new when they reappear at the beginning of the year. Simply clearing a mantle or nightstand can make way for an inspired display of seasonal accessories. Many times rearranging furniture is also necessary in rooms where trees and large decorations will need to be staged. When purchasing furniture for your main living spaces, consider the possibilities of rearranging, removing and repurposing furnishings for the holidays.
Now it is time for the inevitable--unpacking the many boxes of decorations. Hopefully you took this massive undertaking into consideration last year while taking down your decorations for storage (if not, there is always this year). Labeling storage containers for specific rooms can assist in making a smooth transition into their “temporary home”. Now, let the fun begin!
Crafting the Look
Crafting an overall look, and even a theme, for each of the key spaces that you will be decorating can remove some of the anxiety in choosing from the overwhelming amount of holiday decorations you have collected over the years. We suggest one of two approaches-- going with an overall color concept throughout the home or creating individual themes, based on color and/or design, for each area. Themed rooms make it easier to unify decorations and produce an artistic experience for your guests. Consider a special collection, hobby or interest of your family that can serve as the inspiration for your holiday décor. A color palette of metallic gold, copper and silver makes your home sparkle and can translate well from fall into winter holidays. The key is to combine colors that can be layered to create interest. Metallic tones can effortlessly transform a dull room into an elegant atmosphere for an evening dinner party. Consider designing your theme around the color scheme of the specific room. Think beyond traditional cornucopias and tinsel—creating an inspired holiday room can be accomplished with pink and silver or red and gold. There are no limits when choosing color or a theme.
Accentuate the Positive
Holiday decorating for many people does not consist of only pumpkins and reindeer. Today’s homes are overflowing with the joyful scents, textures and creations of the holidays. Changing out the pillows on a sofa to reflect fall colors or adding a throw to the back of a chair can warm up a room and carry you through the entire season. Candles are a quick and easy solution to an ordinary set of candlesticks becoming a holiday treat--incorporate embellishments such as cloves or decorative nail head trim to add flare and interest to an unadorned candle. Holiday scented candles also create an ambiance for dinner parties and gatherings. Add candy or metallic coated acorns to a modest glass vase for instant impact. Gilding is a simple way to make everyday household items become spectacular accents. Try spraying pinecones or baskets with metallic paint for an elegant kitchen table centerpiece that can be used Thanksgiving through the New Year. Crystal rosé bowls layered on a holiday throw can convert a dining table into a masterpiece for welcoming your guests—add a colored glass votive reflecting each holiday season for additional effect. Try using collectables in uncommon ways—layers of tree toppers on a mantle or ceramic pumpkins and gourds embellished with jewels.
Get Fresh (with Flowers)
What says winter better than the smell of fresh evergreens? Adding fresh greenery in garlands around the fireplace, on a sideboard or around the base of a container adds a touch of the outdoors to any space. Additionally, today’s marketplace provides a vast assortment of artificial garlands and stems that are both attractive and realistic and can be used throughout the years. Fresh or artificial garlands can simply be embellished with pine cones, ornaments or ribbons for an added hint of charm. Speaking of ribbon—there is no better or easier way to enhance a home for the holidays than with ribbon. Wide, narrow, shiny or glittered, the only requirement for stress-free ribbons is the wire. We add ribbon to everything we can during the holidays. Tied around towels or lamp shades, a beautiful ribbon can revitalize any piece. One element that most of us do consider a holiday staple is floral arrangements. This is the perfect time of year to refresh your home with holiday inspired florals. But don’t just think about the classic kind—the term “floral arrangements” should be used loosely in this case. Think outside the box for a distinctive approach. Add oomph to a lamp shade with a silk poinsettia stem or enhance an existing arrangement with a beaded cross for a little sparkle. Let your imagination flow.
Plan for the Years Ahead
Achieving the desired goal of a beautiful holiday home may begin with a concept but end with planning for the years to come. Now that your home is ready for the holidays, consider making this process a bit easier next year with a few helpful tips. We recommend taking photographs of each room, once decorated. Inevitably, you think you will remember exactly how it looked—but if you are like me, you won’t a year later. Also, remember to invest in proper storage containers. This simple investment keeps your holiday décor looking fresh and new, year after year.
If you are still feeling a little frazzled or overwhelmed with excitement, consider enlisting the services of a floral or interior designer to assist you in pulling your ideas together. Holidays are a time of joyfulness with family and friends, holiday home décor should be a display of this season of joy and not invoke the feelings of stress and anxiety. Remember, your choices today are limitless.
Whitnie Cypert and Jodi Trotter are interior design professionals at the Interior Collection, a full service design center and retail showroom established in Southlake in 2004. With degrees in Design Housing & Merchandising/Interior Design from Oklahoma State University both Whitnie and Jodi bring a wealth of talent and experience to each and every design challenge. For more information visit Interior Collection Texas.