Holiday Decorating Done Differently
It’s an annual ceremony of sorts: the day you emerge from the garage, basement, or attic lugging those dusty boxes that contain decades’ worth of holiday décor—garland, ornaments, candles, lights, and musical tchotchkes.
It’s the day the approaching holiday season officially descends upon your home, those wintry weeks in all their beauty, coziness, nostalgia … and, well, intermittent stress.
But don’t let the day you decorate be one of the stressful ones. If you’re overwhelmed by festive clutter or just tired of seeing the same old red-and-green knickknacks year after year, read on.
Anita Yoder, designer and president of Heritage Design Interiors in New Holland, has some advice for “renovating” your household holiday decorations this year, whether you’re in the mood to buy new and unusual décor or inspired to do something different with the items you already have.
Contain the Clutter
Adding merry touches to your living space doesn’t have to mean cluttering it up. One tip: Keep your snowmen separate from your Santas.
“I suggest putting things in groupings of themes and styles that are color coordinated,” Yoder said. “Depending on the look of the Santa, place them in areas of your home that best reflect the style and color of the Santa … more elaborate Santas with velvet, fur, and beads look beautiful in more formal rooms.
“When someone has a huge collection of Santas, snowmen, or angels, grouping them together can look less cluttered.”
Containers are also a useful solution for gathering items into recognizable groups. Bronze or antique-gold urns look great holding holiday greens and florals, and glass bowls and vases make interesting containers for ornaments of varying shapes, sizes, patterns, and colors.
Yoder proposed red pottery “if you’re looking for a punch of color. Add berries to coordinate with the red in the pottery.”
Try New Hues
Red and green are the holiday season’s classic colors, of course, but Yoder suggested trying variations, like teal with burgundy or lime green paired with traditional red.
“Another fun holiday idea is crystal and mercury class,” she added. “This theme looks beautiful without any color, or you can add a single accent color that you can change year to year.”
Yoder also recommended trying earthy colors—such as brown, rust, and copper—which are beautiful with feathers, twigs, and even antlers. Bright colors like purple, pink, and sapphire blue go nicely with crystal and whimsical ornaments.
You can even try bringing a “non-holiday” theme into your holiday décor. Love gardening? Use sage green, peach, or ivory tones with dragonflies, birds, or owls, Yoder said. Enamored with all things equestrian? Intermingle plaid ribbon and horse-themed ornaments with foxes and French horns.
Mix Up Your Mantelpiece
If you have a fireplace in your home, its mantel is often the focal point of a festively adorned room, and that decorative tier can hold more than just the typical evergreen boughs and row of stockings.
“Gold and brass are returning!” Yoder said. “You can add gilded branches, leaves, and beads to your garland along with a beautiful mix of ornaments in different shapes and sizes. Don’t forget to mix textures and coordinated colors to add interest.”
Yoder advocated pairing raspberry or turquoise with your gold and brass rather than the traditional burgundy and wine.
Asymmetry is OK, too. Draping a garland off-center across your mantel can be eye-catching.
Return to Nature
If you’re looking to purchase some new décor, experiment with some unusual pieces you might not normally consider useful for the holidays.
Since the outdoors has already come partially indoors with the inclusion of greens and a Christmas tree, why not take that theme a step further by incorporating elements of nature into your decorations? Yoder recommended working holiday berries and flowers between your ornaments to add variety to your tree.
“Another idea is to add two different ribbons throughout the tree that coordinate in color and texture,” she said. “Depending on your theme, you can add feathers, lotus pods, and antlers.”
Whether you’d rather spend your day (or days) of yearly decorating steeped in tradition or bucking it, a few of these simple, decorative additions and techniques can help make your home a holiday feast for your eyes. BW