One of the most iconic parts of the holiday season is the décor. People decorate, inside and out, to give their home the perfect look for the season. By decorating for the holidays, the look of a home can match the magical feeling this time of the year brings. The spirit of the season flows through the home, as each decoration is placed. Turning homes into a winter wonderland will help everyone get into the holiday spirit and truly enjoy this time of year.
Choose a Décor Style
When it comes to the main décor style, there are two categories that each style falls into. Most homes are decorated either in a traditional fashion or a contemporary one. Both styles can be done beautifully, and the choice ultimately depends on the decorator. The styles can also be tastefully mixed. Mixing the traditional and contemporary style can result in a unique, beautiful home.
When picturing traditional décor, most people think of the traditional holiday colors. These are red and green for Christmas, and blue and white or silver for Hanukkah. Even secular décor tends to borrow from these traditional colors. Traditional décor may include neatly wrapped presents, big bows, natural wreaths, and winter-themed figures. Decorating in a traditional style is a tried and true classic.
With contemporary décor, there are no set rules for which colors or pieces are used. Contemporary décor may borrow from the traditional style, but put a twist on the decorations with bright, bold colors or patterns. The contemporary style can be a fun way to switch up the mood for the holiday season.Set a Focal Point
Though holiday decorations may span the entire home, there should be a focal point in each room. A focal point is an area or object that the eye is automatically drawn to. Focal points should tie into the overall theme of the room, but stand out enough to attract attention. For more traditional décor, a focal point may be the Christmas tree, Menorah setting, a Nativity scene, or a fireplace. Though these may be the most common focal points, anything can be used to draw the onlooker’s eye and tie the room together. Decorators should pick their favorite piece in the room and center the decorations around it.
A few common focal points include:
- Stacks of presents
- Religious holiday décor
- Accent wall with holiday decorations
- Christmas trees
- Large wreaths or topiaries
Expand the Color Palette
Many people get stuck in a certain color palette when decorating for the holidays. The red, green, light blue, and metallic decorations that often line store shelves can leave something to be desired. Instead of trying to use the same colors as everyone else, decorators can tie in other, unexpected, colors. By painting a few pieces of décor bright pink, neon green, or any other color, the whole look of a room can be transformed. It is also a great idea to pull in an unexpected pattern, and use it for a few small pieces.
For a unique look, try the following color schemes for holiday décor:
- Deep red and beige
- Hot pink and bright green
- Purple and silver
- Light blue and gold
- Black and bright red
Bring the Outside In
Taking the beauty of the outdoors and bring it inside is a great way to make a home stand out. Using natural elements, like snow, live pine, poinsettias, pinecones, and berries, will make every room feel like a winter wonderland. Things like string lights and lawn decorations can also be brought inside, to make the space feel more cheery and festive. Having elements of the outdoors inside of the home can also give the entire space a more cohesive feel. This is especially true in homes with large, picturesque windows.
Some things to avoid when using outdoor items indoors are:
- Untreated wood that may have termites or other bugs
- Plants that are poisonous to pets, such as poinsettias, Jerusalem cherry, and mistletoe
- Motorized lawn ornaments indoors, because the noise from the motor may be loud once inside
- Large decorations that may overwhelm the room
- Many different fragrant plants and berries, because the smells may be unpleasant when mixed
Use Everyday Items
Using items that are already on hand can be a unique, and money-saving, way to decorate for the holidays. For example, families that enjoy winter sports may have a lot of skis and skiing equipment, ice skates, or sleds lying around. These items can be staged inside and outside of a home, to create a ski-lodge-inspired décor. Collections of other things, like figurines, stuffed animals, or anything that is near and dear, can help to reflect the decorator’s personal interests throughout the home.
Some everyday items that can be used for holiday décor include:
- Dolls or stuffed animals
- Small figurine collections
- Hardcover book displays
- Sports memorabilia
- Antique tools or signs
Increase the Ambiance
The lighting in a room can completely change the way the decorations are seen. The decorator must decide if the space should have mood lighting, or be bright and cheery. For areas that should have lower light, relying on fireplaces, small lamps, and even string lights, is a great way to make the ambiance flawless. For brighter spaces, natural lighting and the use of mirrors or metallic objects can make the space feel perfectly lit.
The right ambiance in a room can:
- Set a cozy, casual mood
- Bring attention to the décor
- Give the home a cohesive look
- Increase appetite and the enjoyment of food
Don’t Forget to Decorate Outside
Décor shouldn’t stop at the threshold of the door. Having a few decorations outside, even if it’s just a string of lights or a few lawn ornaments, can give the entire home a more cohesive look. For a budget decoration item, try building a snowman in a visible part of the yard, and don’t forget the carrot nose!
Some common outdoor décor includes:
- String lighting
- Light projectors
- Sleds and other outdoor equipment
- Lawn ornaments
Use Food as Décor
When hosting a dinner party, many people fret over the décor on the table. They often overlook the fact that the food they serve can do double duty as the perfect décor. By placing appetizers and desserts on elevated or tiered settings, they can serve as décor for the room. Also, the main course of the dinner can be placed on a beautiful serving dish in the center of the table to create the perfect centerpiece.
Some ways to present food in a decorative way are:
- Use cookie or appetizer trees
- Elevate plates to different levels on a table
- Make pie crusts and cookies look more festive with seasonal cut outs or confections
- Place holiday candy on dessert trays
- Use holiday spices, such as anise and cinnamon sticks, as garnishes
Sweat the Small Stuff
When decorating, it’s important to mind every detail in the home. Often, the bathroom, hallway, and other small areas, are overlooked while decorating. As a rule, every common area should have at least a few pieces of holiday décor. In a hallway, wrap existing picture frames in holiday paper and hang them back up. In the bathroom, a holiday-themed hand towel and a holiday candle can transform the entire space.
Some commonly overlooked details include:
- Tissue boxes
- Kitchen and hand towels
- Hand soaps
- Welcome mats
Set a Festive Table
When serving dinner, though the food can be décor on its own, it’s a good idea to have a few small décor pieces present. Pieces should be small and short, so they do not get in the way of serving or conversation. Scattering pine cones, garland, or berries along the table can make a great impact. Also, individual place settings with an ornament or another holiday item will give the table a great look.
Common table setting mistakes are:
- Centerpieces too large
- Glitter or other small particles near food
- Overly-fragrant flowers on table setting
- Candles on the table may be a fire hazard
Enjoy the Holiday Season in Style
By decorating a home for the holidays, the homeowner is creating a beautiful, inviting space for themselves and all who visit. They can either stick to the traditional style, or make exciting choices to represent their own interests. Either way, the season will feel more magical and exciting when surrounded by beautiful décor.