Decorating for the Holidays

It’s about this time of the year that I start getting a lot of questions of changing home décor to match the change in season.  My answer is simple, “as the seasons change, so should your home décor.” 

What I often advise my clients is that If you love to change the look of your home, decorating for each season is the right strategy when it comes to interior design.  Pick a few areas in each room that can be decorated based on your taste and season and just be careful not to overdo it.

Like many of you, my holiday decorating usually starts in the garage.  It’s there you’ll find stacks of large plastic storage containers labeled ‘Spring’, ‘Summer’, ‘Fall’, and ‘Winter’.  These versatile items contain sheets, blankets, pillows, curtains, and a large assortment of decorations for every season.

While the holidays provide easy inspiration for decorating, fall and the start of the new year are usually neglected.  Here are a few simple transitional decorating options that I use in my own home.

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FALL

After a hot summer, especially in Las Vegas, everyone is looking forward to the cooler weather fall brings, while others might feel a little blue with the onrush of all the reds and browns.  Whatever your attitude is towards fall, there’s no question that it's one of the easiest seasons to decorate for!  Colorful leaves, orange pumpkins and rustic elements adorn homes across the country.  I start by creating a unique centerpiece for my table, then move on to the kitchen where you’ll find pumpkins and other seasonal vegetables harvested this time of year.  Using varying sizes creates focal points and points of interest.  I like to off-set these larger items with perhaps a bowl of assorted shelled nuts or pine cones.  They not only look inviting, but they add a rich fall-like aroma to the room, especially if the fireplace is in use. 

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Besides small decorative items, I also like to exchange the pastel colored throw pillows and area rugs used during the warmer months for the darker, deep rich colors of fall and winter.  Those colors alone create a warmer tone in the room without even having to light the fireplace.   The same principle is carefully applied to every room including the bedroom.  Lightly colored bed covers are replaced with a heaver fabric containing deep rich tones of brown and red.   

WINTER

During the month of December people are swept up in preparing their homes for the holiday season, and it’s a great opportunity to bring out Grandmas Hanukkah menorah or all those Christmas decorations that every family accumulates over the years.  Having to rearrange furniture to accommodate a Christmas tree for example is a great excuse to change-up the look and flow of the family or living room.  But to be honest, I look for any excuse to do just that.  If you don’t celebrate the holidays with a tree, just rearrange the furniture because you can. 

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If you prefer an artificial Christmas tree over a live tree consider picking up a few cut-off branches from the corner tree sale lot and use them to ad that beautiful live-tree aroma to the house.  Place the sprigs in a vase full of water and they’ll stay fresh for some time.  Also, lets not forget the versatile poinsettia which adds color, texture and detail to any room. 

 Decorating for December is rather simple and straight forward.  It’s after the holidays that a lot of homes fall into that decoration void between the holidays and spring.   Considering the winter season lasts longer than your holiday décor, its an opportunity to get creative.  One way is to continue the warm, cozy theme you started in fall, incorporating plaid patterns of dark brown, red and green.  I like to draw inspiration from the glistening snow seen off in the mountains by adding and incorporating hues of blue, silver and turquoise into my revitalized fall interior.  While both are great options, be sure to use one for consistency in your home.  Remember that big beautiful poinsettia you received during the holidays?  Poinsettias last a very long time, long after the red flower falls away.  Consider re-potting them and using them as a house plant than can even be moved to the patio during the warmer months. 

During this time of year, I mostly rely on ambient light, like a sitting in a room or family illuminated only by the glow of a well-lit fireplace.   I am not advocating that you do away with all overhead lighting, but I do think that rooms (and people!) look better in less-harsh lighting. In general, I opt for strategically placed table and floor lamps throughout the rooms and limit overhead lighting to bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens.  As for fireplaces, consider a new electronic fireplace if your home does not have one.  They are reasonably inexpensive and can be either built into a wall, stand alone or even double as an entertainment console.  Furniture Market has many to choose from.

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Lastly, throw a party!  Although parties are synonymous with the holiday season, it doesn’t have to be limited to December.  The best way to avoid the post-holiday blues is to keep the festivities going and enjoy your newly decorated home with friends and family.