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Do You Have One Great Tip for Holiday Decor?
Emily Hurley
December 6, 2012 in Design Dilemma
If you had to give one small tip to help people create beautiful holiday decor, what would that be? Is there a tiny tidbit of advice you think is a "must know" for the season?

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I think it would be to focus on the exterior of your home! A well kept yard, nice recess lighting as well as bright, vibrant Christmas lights make your home really stand out at this time of year, making it look cozy and inviting. (Try to find energy efficient bulbs this year too!) A beautiful wreath on your front door is also a classic touch that sets the holiday mood perfectly.
December 6, 2012 at 1:36PM   
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If you have a piece of art on the wall that is just clashing with your holiday decor..wrap the entire frame in Christmas wrapping paper with a BIG bow on it....in the style you like to wrap. You'll have beautiful "presents" hanging on the wall that coordinates quite nicely.
December 6, 2012 at 1:42PM     
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Don't OVER decorate.....a tree and two or three focal points are all a home needs to feel festive.
December 6, 2012 at 1:46PM   
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I love a big real wreath on my front door. I always swap out the ribbon if there is one already attached, it looks almost homemade and will reflect you more if you choose the ribbon.
December 6, 2012 at 2:37PM   
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Outside Christmas lighting needs to be strategically placed, not everywhere in your yard. Sometimes less is more. Inside, natural elements of the season look best, evergreens, pine cones, even if they are good fakes! Skip the plastic junk. Also you don't have to have red and green, other colors to complement the interior of your home look best, and lots of candles, real or some of the battery operated types add warmth. More than one tip, but I couldn't help myself!!!!
December 6, 2012 at 3:05PM     
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Sheila Schmitz
Put the Christmas tree in the front yard and string it with outdoor lights. Put it where you can still see it from indoors. No needle mess, less hauling, it stays fresher longer, and you have more room indoors. As a bonus, your outdoor decorating is now done, too.
December 6, 2012 at 3:28PM     
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Decorating is only complete with the right scent. It's not Christmas until it smells like it. So unless you plan to be cooking all day for the next month an oil burner is essential. I bought this little thing from a furniture store. It burns for about 15 hours and there are all different Christmas scents, like orange and cinnamon.
December 6, 2012 at 3:37PM     
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Real garland! Inside and out!
and when decorating your tree, make sure you put lights and ornaments close to the trunk of the tree as well as the outer edges!
December 6, 2012 at 3:44PM     
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Lee Design and Interiors
If you are having guests or family over and want to simplify buying gifts/decorating/undecorating consider a gift tree. Purchase ornaments with people in mind and when the events are all done have everyone take ornaments home with them. That way your guests have a little keepsake and its easier for you when its time to take everything down.
December 6, 2012 at 3:47PM     
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I never buy a centerpiece for any occasion. I go outside and cut my pine trees and other greens and put them on the mantel and then decorate around it. It is a good base to start hanging our stockings. They last for weeks and look beautiful but of course then I have all the pine needles on the floor to vacuum but I don't care., its only once a year.
December 6, 2012 at 4:09PM     
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I say keep it simple....but a little bit of Christmas in each room (main floor) since we only get to enjoy this once a year :)
One Christmas tree (in a front window if possible) + just a few greens, berries and a couple things that sparkle and twinkle in other rooms + a Nativity + a wreath at your front door.
December 6, 2012 at 6:36PM   
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Welcome Home designs
My advice for Christmas decorating is to make it meaningful to you and your family. Part of the fun of Christmas is taking the boxes out of storage and going through each ornament and remembering who gave it to you or where you got it. However, you don't have to use everything you've ever collected or bought. Each Christmas choose a colour scheme and pick the items that will work with that scheme. Spread your collections throughout your home instead of putting them all out in the living room. Likewise for your Christmas tree. Choose a colour theme and use only the ornaments that will coordinate. Less is always more! It will make the difference between classy and trashy. Happy Decorating!
December 6, 2012 at 8:31PM     
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Manon Floreat
Mpoulsom - totally agree about the garland. In many ways it says "holidays" just as clearly as Christmas trees. And that earthy pine smell is so nice!

I like Rosemary "Christmas" trees for small spaces. They're super cute on a kitchen counter and have the added benefit of being handy for culinary use. When the holidays are over, they can go in the herb garden (or on the balcony for apt/condo dwellers) to be enjoyed year after year.

Once the holidays are over, we have nothing but long grey days to look forward to - at least here in Seattle. Forcing paperwhite lillies is a fragrant reminder that Spring is on it's way and does loads to brighten up a dreary winter.
December 6, 2012 at 8:45PM     
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
Hi Emily Hurley, Marie here.
if there was one thing I could add is HAVE FUN! Don't take it so seriously. Some of the most wonderful homes I've been in are true to their own taste and collected treasures, from sheer perfection in all things new. No one is right or wrong, but are as personal as we are....such beauty in the world to share with our family and friends during the holidays. Be confident, proud, and always with love - you simply can't go wrong! Merry Christmas everyone!
December 6, 2012 at 10:36PM     
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Well said Marie Hebson! Have fun and if you want to "over decorate" with your Christmas collections...Go right ahead. I once saw a tree with so many wooden collected ornaments I could barely see the tree. It was perfect for them.
December 6, 2012 at 11:27PM     
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Alex Lodi
Less is always more when it comes to decorating for the holidays and never forget to go back to those good old classy basics!!!!!
December 7, 2012 at 3:14AM   
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I would say, do what you love. If going over the top during the holidays is your thing, do it and enjoy it! But if keeping things simple, or sticking to one or two colors is what makes you happy, then so be it. Your home doesn't have to look designer done to be warm and welcoming, it just has to be you.
December 7, 2012 at 5:20AM     
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For some "less is more" - for me it's Go Big or Go Home. Pick a color scheme like aqua, white and a little red - and go all the way. It's easy to make an ornament wreath or fill clear balls with glitter in your favorite colors.
December 7, 2012 at 5:41AM   
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For some "less is more" - for me it's Go Big or Go Home. Pick a color scheme like aqua, white and a little red - and go all the way. It's easy to make an ornament wreath or fill clear balls with glitter in your favorite colors.
December 7, 2012 at 5:42AM     
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Christmas is a sentimental time so I like to display items that evoke memories. My "children" are pushing 30 but the tree is festooned in ornaments collected from family trips and each guest room contains an assortment of favorite holiday books.
December 7, 2012 at 5:50AM     
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Before decorating for Christmas, EDIT everyday decor accessories. It helps to create the space for holiday decor trim to breathe + be "special"... And after the holidays, when the decor is away, it makes it EZ to give the house a really good cleaning to start off the new year - clutter free :) And: utilize a decor style that works with your existing space, not just the latest decor or color craze.
December 7, 2012 at 12:33PM     
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I like big, banging over the top decorations for Christmas. Why? well because every other holiday is so tame.

so garlands around the front door.
simple wreathes with big red bows on every window
Swags over interior doorways,
Gingerbread houses,
Fake snow sprinkled on the front porch and a blinged out tree (natural of course) and take some of the extra cutting from the tree yard and cut them up at home and put them in bowls throughout the house for that pine tree smell.
And colored lights (the all white lights make me sad for some reason).

Happy Holidays Houzzers.
December 7, 2012 at 4:07PM     
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i love using all my vintage bulbs in bowls, and glass containers, everywhere. I love a touch of Christmas in the bathrooms too, mini bulbs in apothecary containers, also containers filled with pine cones, and large glass colored light bulbs from strands in glass containers. Change out my towels with red ones, which I keep up though Valentines.
December 7, 2012 at 9:54PM   
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My favorite Christmas decorations are 1 "candle" in each window, and a large pine wreath with a big red bow on the front door.
December 7, 2012 at 10:48PM     
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Anne Gibney
Place collections together and create little or big vignettes all through the house. Use a unifying color or material to tie them all together.
December 8, 2012 at 6:47AM     
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have fun.It is the one time of year that you can go a little nuts and call it decor. Things collected over time bring me joy and hold memories of good times friend family and trave.
December 9, 2012 at 4:04AM   
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Before I start placing Christmas decorations around the house I remove the everday accessories and box them in the large boxes I use to store the Christmas items, then I wrap the boxes as though they were presents. Easy to swap out the Christmas/everyday items when it's time to "undecorate" and looks festive after the real presents have been unwrapped.

I also use wrapping paper, bows as a decorative accent during the weeks before Christmas. I stand rolls of wrapping paper in a large basket and place the tags, bows & ribbons in glass containers or small baskets. My wrapping supplies are accessible and create a pleasing vignette.
December 9, 2012 at 4:31AM     
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Always Nesting
Add small holiday touches to unexpected rooms, like bedrooms. There is nothing more soothing, especially for guests, than falling into bed between warm flannel sheets and seeing just a touch of holiday spirit.
December 9, 2012 at 6:52AM     
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We put photos of past Christmases up the sides and across the top of one or two door frames with double stick tape. Much laughter & many happy memories for us from 1936 to the present. Selecting
for this is great fun, and you can also put extras in a Christmas basket for folks to brouse through.
December 9, 2012 at 8:10AM     
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photos of past christmases sounds like fun. One year I had photoes of the family copied and used them like name tags on gifts. the little non readers like these a lot
December 9, 2012 at 8:33AM     
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Your Style Decorating
Decorate in a seasonal theme rather than holiday theme, this way your decorating lasts longer.
December 9, 2012 at 10:00AM   
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Keep it natural. Use real pine boughs in cold climates, manzanita or lemon branches in warm ones, or driftwood in sea side areas. Add color and texture with pine cones, lemons, persimmons, pomegranates, etc. Hang one color ornaments from the branches, across your table tops or in large vases.
December 9, 2012 at 11:25AM   
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That out some of your regular decorations and replace them with Christmas themed ones. That is so the house feels new and different, also it helps declutter the room.

I also wrapped gifts as soon I as I buy them. That way I have the illusion that it's Christmas Eve all the time.
December 9, 2012 at 11:35AM   
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Try attaching twine on 2 walls in a corner or on 2 pillars and hang similar type Christmas ornaments on the twine. You don't need a tree to display your lovely ornaments, just an artistic eye to find a pleasing arrangement and the right place to showcase them
December 9, 2012 at 11:47AM   
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Think of creative ways to use things you already have. I had a bunch of icicle lights, but the fact that everyone has them has made me not want to use them in the traditional sense. This year, I strung them on my Japanese maple and it looks like an umbrella tree (sorry, the photo is a little out of focus). So pretty!
December 10, 2012 at 7:19AM     
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Bring the outdoors inside, keep it simple, and do whatever makes you happy!
December 10, 2012 at 8:05AM   
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Don't put wreaths on every window of the house - it looks tacky and WAAAAY overdone - when one wreath on the door is warm, welcoming and inviting.
December 10, 2012 at 8:07AM   
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Karin Jessen
If I had to choose one thing to decorate with it would be garland with white lights. There is something about the soft lighting and the greenery brought inside that calms a person down and makes you want to sit with a hot drink. I would have my tree, the garland on the stairs and banister, around the front door. Then if you choose to embellish it with a personal touch; bows, fruit, sea shells; whatever speaks to you. I encourage my sellers during the holidays to simplify for the sake of 'less is more'. Garland. Definitely.
December 10, 2012 at 12:20PM   
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Wonderful ideas. I grew up living abroad, so my tree is a mixture of regular ornaments, and other country items, and I have little dolls from around the world. Also, I love pearl beads draped over the tree. I use 'baby's breath' tucked in the spaces on the tree. Looks like snow. I'm definitely not the minimalist Holiday decorator! Merry Christmas!
December 10, 2012 at 12:42PM     
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Holidays should be big and special. Especially if you have kids. Less is not more for Christmas. You want your house to look different than every other day. I like garlands. I put at least a small tree in every room with a theme. My main tree is for the family ornaments we've collected over the years.. The living room theme is white...here's a photo.
December 11, 2012 at 3:33AM     
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KMNelson Design, LLC
Here's my professional design advice:
Nature is always the best and cheapest decorator/designer resource. One of the easiest and most impactful things you can do is gather pine cones, dead branches, acorns, etc and spray paint them silver and gold -- or any other color that says "holiday" to you. Then put them in bowls, pitchers or just drop on your tables or mantle. Simple, simple, simple!
Brew up some spiced apple juice or apple cider for some additional atmosphere and you're there!
December 11, 2012 at 10:29AM     
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Liza Hausman
3M hooks that come off walls easily!
December 12, 2012 at 6:30AM     
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Charmean Neithart Interiors, LLC.
We just decorated our tree last night, finally! I have to say that I am amazed at the impact of little white lights. It's very effective for instant holiday. That's it, strings of white lights in key places, mantles, on the tree, over the doorway. Oh yeah, I always have Luther Vandross' Christmas album playing while decorating.
December 12, 2012 at 7:27AM     
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Don't forget the bedroom, just a touch here and there helps you to have your own place away from all the guests or commotion, sometimes I put up a little tree, sometimes just some pretty candles, but its always welcoming and serene.
December 12, 2012 at 9:20AM   
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Nancy Hehmann
I am so glad I took the time many years ago to make some amazing Christmas decorations and just added to them with purchased ones that I truly have liked at intervals. It makes me look forward to viewing my tree every year. Last year my husband started putting Christmas lights up in the backyard that we can see from our family room instead of in the front yard. That way we can enjoy them every evening and they are very uplifting. We still have wreaths on the door with spotlights that others can see.
Have a Merry Christmas season everyone!
December 12, 2012 at 9:29AM     
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