Decorating for the Holidays



You’ve finally gotten around to packing away your shorts and summer sandals and resigned your closet to sweaters, jeans and boots when it suddenly HITS YOU — the holidays are right around the corner! And in the next few weeks, sometime between deadlines, grocery lines and shuttling kids in every direction, you’ve got to think about decorating.

“People usually fall into one of two groups,” says Karyn Brooke, AIFD and owner of Sidelines Custom Floral Designs in Kansas City. “Some of us refrain from decorating until after Thanksgiving, and the rest of us shut the lid on Halloween décor and open the Christmas bins.”

For those of us who fall somewhere in the middle, Brooke shares unique ideas on updating old favorites and introduces unexpected elements that are guaranteed to create some real holiday magic — no matter when you get started.

If your stack of favorite books doesn’t match your holiday décor, consider wrapping them in something that allows your favorite collections to create impact.
A fresh carnation wreath with pearl balls adds a feminine yet classic touch to this vintage mercury glass mirror.
Repurpose wine bottles as candleholders
and vases by removing labels.
The lights on the Christmas tree sparkle and change color in this battery-powered holiday scene.
Removing the glass from dollar store frames creates a gallery in which to show off favorite ornaments or other precious collectibles.

Light Up the Season
An easy way to set the tone and overall mood of a space is to transform an ordinary chandelier into an eye-catching holiday element.
“Everyone has a chandelier, and I think they are so fun to decorate,” says Brooke, who likes to play off the warm, focused lighting in a hallway or dining room.
Change out lampshades in a seasonal color, or install a dimmer switch for a muted effect. A bare grapevine wreath provides an easy base for a variety of floral design elements and ribbons.

 

Winter Wonderland
Take your décor from kitschy to classy by going for a monochromatic look, or selecting holiday accents from the same color family. “Creamy, understated hues with warm candlelight and a hint of glitz give the holidays an elegant feel,” says Brooke. For entry tables or sideboards, consider electric candles (Brooke prefers their glow over the battery-powered type), cleverly disguising the cords with garland or piles of imitation snow.

 

Bountiful Centerpiece
No longer relegated to the mantle or the buffet, fall garland is finally invited to adorn the table for Thanksgiving dinner. The orange and yellow hues of fall foliage will not only supply a burst of seasonal color, but also serve as a conversation-friendly centerpiece in which to integrate additional holiday elements. Embellishing with a glittery gold ribbon and tucking lots of votive candles and vases throughout adds a dramatic effect.

 

Opt for Holiday Art
An inexpensive way to add impact to your holiday decorating is to replace your favorite year-round art with holiday art, especially on a mantle.
“A common mistake we all make is buying too many small things, when one or two fabulous holiday items will do,” says Brooke, who loves to utilize traditional elements with a twist of contemporary and vintage.
Fresh flowers on the mantel are a wonderful addition when entertaining, but can easily be changed out for holiday candles or other trinkets.

 

Baubles, Balls and Bells
Showcase your personal collections, including cherished and handmade Christmas ornaments, silvery bells, delicate glass candy canes (or anything that deserves a place of honor) by making them the focal point of a holiday display.
“Most people collect some kind of holiday decorations, and you can maximize the impact of your collectibles in a variety of ways, such as placing under glass domes, in bowls or boxes or hung from a simple tree,” says Brooke.