As the holidays roll around, movies like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation come to mind. While the movie itself is pretty entertaining, you may not want your home to look quite like the Griswold’s. If you are going for something a little more polished and elegant this season, there are many things you can do to make your home look professionally-prepped for the holidays. From metallic touches and crafty projects to layering and tree trimming, your home will look like it is ready for its own magazine spread.
The Three Fundamentals of Holiday Decorating
There are three things to keep in mind while you are transforming your house into a winter wonderland:
- Go with your home’s aesthetic. Choose a color palette that works with your home. If you love minimalistic, monochromatic rooms, then a traditional red, green, and white palette may just not go with your house. Your holiday decorations should still look like “you” – just maybe a version of you that includes lots of glitter and faux fur.
- Add layers to create warmth. The best way to add depth to your decorating is through layering. When it comes to the holidays, the cozier the better. Accent chairs need blankets, couches need pillows, and trees need presents.
- Insert texture to add interest. Sleek metallic accents, ribbed sweater stockings, and prickly pinecones create visual interest in any room. Even a monochromatic palette can seem luxurious with a mixture of layering and textures.
Tips for Picture-Perfect Holidays
As always, go with your gut. If you fall in love with a four-foot-tall gold deer, go with it.
Trimming the Tree
- Like to make a daring statement? Consider a tree with only a sash, grounded by a bold tree skirt.
- Glam up your tree with pinks, reds, and golds. Place them on a white tree for an even more chic look.
- Buy some fake flowers from the local craft store and make your own garland. Choose different varieties – like roses, hydrangea, and poinsettias – but all in the same color. It will make your tree look rich and elegant, with lots of depth.
- Pondering that monochromatic palette? How about a white tree full of neutrals and metallics? Beiges, creams, whites, silvers, and gold will make your tree look incredibly refined.
- Cluster small ornaments on your tree (in odd numbers, of course) to offset larger ornaments.
- For a fun DIY project, cut three coordinating fabrics you love into strips about eight to ten inches long. Then tie the strips onto your lights, alternating in a pattern. As you put up your lights, you’ll automatically have a garland as well.
- For an easy ornament-making project that your kids will love, buy some inexpensive glass ornaments and then paint patterns on them with gold gilding paint.
Setting Your Table
- Golds are definitely “in” this year. Try gold-dipped glassware, gold chargers, and then a pop of pink flowers for your centerpiece.
- Like to be all-natural? Lay a moss-covered wreath on your table to serve as the base for your centerpiece.
- Personalized name tags are always a nice touch. Instead of just using a simple card, tie them onto a bunch of cinnamon sticks for another layer on your place setting.
- Glass vases filled with silver, white, and gold ornaments make enchanting centerpieces. Throw in a lime green or turquoise ornament for a hint of color.
- Metallic tea trays serve as great centerpiece bases, too, and provide a nice, shiny layer to your table.
Beautifying the Mantle
- Who says a mantle needs to be complicated? Stack your mantle full of pinecones for a punch of texture.
- Mercury glass is everywhere this year. Buy candle holders of different sizes for an elegant mantle set-up.
- When in doubt, add a mirror. Nothing is better during the holidays than a mirror reflecting soft candlelight.
- Amaryllis is another nice touch for your mantle. They scream “holidays” and provide nice height.
Placing Wreaths and Garlands
- If you have been looking for a wreath that has an entirely different, look no further. Buy a ceiling medallion from your local hardware store, spray paint it whatever color you choose, and then attach a beautiful ribbon for hanging. Trust us – it’ll look super-cool, and super-expensive.
- Can there be too many garlands? We don’t think so. Bring natural garlands indoors to highlight doorways and add some green to your hallways.
- Hate boring craft store wreaths? Spray paint one white and then add a few metallic leaves. You’ll be amazed at how opulent it looks.
- Try hanging a garland on your chandelier to add depth to your room.
Finding Special Touches
- Place antique ornaments on a cake stand on top of some greenery for a burst of holiday joy anywhere in your house.
- Another idea for those vintage ornaments is to attach them to ribbon, and then hang them from the ceiling for a fun chandelier-type effect.
- Use that brass watering can from this summer for an elegant vase for winter flowers.
- Need more layers? Tie a sprig of pine to a throw pillow with ribbon.
- Group together your cherished items – like antique nutcrackers or dreidels – and showcase them together.
- Place ornaments in flower arrangements to make it look like you’ve thought of every detail.
- Don’t forget about decorating small spaces! Tiny nooks and powder rooms are great places for wreaths and other decorations.
Own Your Look
The best thing about the holidays is that anything goes. If you want to bring out your inner Griswold, go for it! If you want a purple tree, that’s fine, too. Do whatever makes you happy. With a few layers, a little bit of texture, and a color scheme that speaks to you, your house will look like it’s ready for its photo shoot. Have fun!