‘Tis the season and there are are halls to be decked and trees to be trimmed for the holidays. Need some tips? We chatted with Sam Jones, our in-house designer, who’s been holiday fluffing for clients for years. Here are her her worldly (and sassy) words of wisdom when it comes to seasonal decorating:
Less Is More
Let your holiday decor enhance the beauty of your home, not overwhelm it. “The eye starts to glaze over if there’s too much to see,” says Sam. “Fewer, but well-curated items, will draw attention. If a table has 12 photos on it, guests will just glance at the table. If only three striking photos are on table, they will be seen and commented on.”
Limit Those Holiday Colors
We love this tip! We embrace it at home and in the store where we keep our decorations all in the same family: glittery, sparkly and metallic – gold and silver mixed with white. The end result is a symphony of shimmer and shine. Sam warns “multiple colors mixed together can give a sense of chaos. One color – such as all gold or all silver – look very cohesive and sophisticated.” Hear, hear.
Tie Your Holiday Decor to Each Room’s Personality
Family rooms are the place to use colors, personal photos and fun ornaments – like the spray-painted macaroni ornaments your kids made in pre-school. They’re just too precious not to use, so have at it with a festive and silly kid’s tree.
Keep the gorgeous and glass-laden grown-up tree in the formal living room. And in the kitchen, load up on plenty of greenery and seasonal fruit displays. (Note from Sam: watch out for strong -and artificial – fragrances around the holidays, especially in the kitchen and dining areas. “Just bake some cinnamon-spiced cookies and call it a day,” she says.)
Think Outside the Family Room
Formal living rooms, dining rooms and foyers are perfect spots for simple and sophisticated Christmas trees and decor. One of our clients placed a huge white flocked tree, simply adorned with white lights, in her foyer and it knocked her guests’ socks off. I can’t wait to have a special tree for our new porch (which hopefully will be fully operational this time next year!) I’m picturing a chic and rustic tree, vaguely reminiscent of Christmas in the Black Forest…
Less Is More – Part Deux
Sam never minces her words: She says: “You don’t HAVE to use every decoration you own. It might be time to weed out the less than spectacular ones. Give someone else the joy of Batman Santa and the Acorn-Pooping Reindeer. I mean it….donate now!” In other words, don’t cover every surface with Christmas clutter. Limit each room to no more than three vignettes per room. According to Sam, two is even better.
Be-ribboned and Bow’d
Everyone has a special little gift and there’s no denying that Sam’s is this: she can tie a gorgeous bow like no-one we’ve ever seen. She’s adamant about her bows: “DON’T reuse smashed bows. Toss them out! Buy new ribbons and bows and then store them by hanging them on coat hangers without anything touching them. They will be beautiful and fresh looking for years.” Trust us, you’ll want to follow this advice.
Embrace the natural beauty of the season and fill a stunning vase or bowl with fresh cuttings of greenery from your yard (Sam: “…or your neighbors, if they are out of town!”). Mixing different but simple greens can be as beautiful as the most elaborate arrangement . Keep your eyes peeled for colorful berries that are popping right now.
Here in Atlanta, nandina bushes and their bright red berries are a hot commodity. And don’t forget your mailbox: a little fresh greenery and a bow on your mail box is a warm greeting for your guests and strolling neighbors. (“If it’s really pretty, maybe the mailman wont leave you any bills till January,” Sam says.)
…And All Those Cards?
“Instead of hanging Christmas cards on a wall, fill a lovely bowl with all the cards and sit on a side table for you guests to look through and enjoy the photos, news and messages.” My adorable mother-in-law loves to go through all our cards and catch up on our friends and family. (Says Sam: “Think of all that good gossip!”)
How are you decorating for the holidays this year? We’d love to hear – and in the meantime, we wish you the happiest season of holiday cheer.