Q: What are your recommendations for decorating this holiday season? —Allaire K.
A: Allaire, I always think holiday decorating should be completely magical. How often do we have the opportunity to recreate our own homes and celebrate with family and friends? So, since you're probably getting ready to decorate in the next few days, let's get started. Use the same design principles that you would when you're decorating any room in your house. Any repeating pattern, color, or concept will help your decor create a specific mood and emotion. Since we're always layering holiday decorations on top of your usual decor, I like it when those pieces create a single note or idea in the overall design of your house. Let's talk about a few different ways to look at your decorating:
1. Repeating Pattern
Let's just assume that you're putting a wreath on your front door. Now, let's take it a giant step forward by repeating wreaths in a smaller size on all the windows across the front of your home. Viola! Using the same element in multiple places will give each of them more drama.
2. Repeating Colors
Again, let's just use some solid design advice and apply it to holiday decorating. Just as you might do for the colors in any room — choose your main hue, and then an accent color for contrast and interest. Clearly, red and green are always going to be classics, but, try and swing a little outside the expected. What about bright greens and purples? Or red mixed with yellow? Or even white and silver! This is how I begin each season as I start to plan the decorations for my own home. I always use most of my classic decorations year after year, but, I'll play with some of the accent colors to keep things fresh and new each time I decorate.
3. Repeating Concept
There are so many different ways that one can decorate each year — garlands, wreaths, trees, and flower arrangements — that I like to tie everything together to create one decorative idea. One year I used nothing but fresh evergreen mixed with all of the woodland-inspired ornaments I had for every location in the house. My tree was filled with bird's nests, twigs, and branches. Garlands were made from fresh greenery and pinecones. One year I went a little outside my comfort zone and did the entire house in metallics and bright colors! As I said earlier, since these decorations are already layered on top of your existing decor, unifying these new ideas helps keep things from getting too visually frantic.
One of my favorite parts of Christmas decorating is that you're creating a space to entertain friends and family. The very act of entertaining is so generous and personal that I love taking the time to make those events completely memorable. The image above is from a Christmas dinner in my own home a few years ago. I wanted to create something that felt a little frosty and snow-bound, so, I used nothing but silvers, whites, and cool blues, while mi in a few traditional tartans for good measure. Just add a few dozen roses, a healthy number of candles, and close friends for a perfect evening to celebrate the season.