Awaken the holiday spirit in your home with these simple and festive design inspirations
Story by Ann Butenas | Photos courtesy of Picture Perfect Interiors
With the holidays upon us, it seems as if there is no shortage of things to do: cookies to bake, shopping to accomplish, presents to wrap and parties to attend or host. Of course, it wouldn’t be the holidays without some festive décor to add to the festivities. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming nor expensive. Just by incorporating even a few simple design ideas, your home can be that Winter Wonderland of which you dream without adding another layer of stress to your agenda.
Brenda Freebern, owner of Picture Perfect Interiors, offered some simple holiday design ideas that won’t tax your budget or your time. This year’s main elements focus on simplicity balanced with color, sparkle, greenery, and an inspiring organic vibe.
“It’s okay to keep things simple this holiday season,” noted Freebern, who has been seeing a trend towards simpler ideas with more of an organic touch, using mixed greens, pinecones and berries for simple design touches.
Freebern suggested the use of swags about the home, which are clusters of three to four greeneries with berries, ribbons and assorted ornaments. If you are tired of the traditional wreath on the door, you can opt for a mix of branches tied with a festive bow. It’s a simple design that makes a bold statement. Paper birch is also strong this year, such as paper birch logs.
As for what colors to use this season, red still has a strong presence, but expect to see some turquoise, white, and soft browns.
“Natural colors are popular this year,” said Freebern.
The beauty of using these outside-of-the-box ideas is that you can extend their shelf life, decorating earlier in the season and extending it beyond New Year’s Day.
“A fun thing to do is to take those leftover gourds from Thanksgiving and paint them silver or gold,” explained Freebern. “You can then add them to an unstructured arrangement of evergreen, branches and berries.”
With the holiday tree as a primary focal point, there’s room to play here, as well. It’s all about adding dimension to the tree.
“Layering is popular,” said Freebern, indicating larger ornaments can be buried within the tree with the smaller ones hanging at the end of the branches. “You can also layer the branches with a different kind of evergreen, or if you have a short-needled tree, you can place cedar or long-needled branches in to change the look and feel of the tree.”
Instead of putting the traditional star on the tree, consider adding ribbons with fountains of berry or sparkling picks. Lanterns are also fun additions to a tree, table or porch setting.
“We still want to see lots of lights and sparkle throughout the season. Lights are popular, as are battery-operated candles,” indicated Freebern.
While leaning towards new design ideas, it’s also fun to partner them with whispers of the past.
“People are gravitating towards vintage designs, using fresh greenery and garland,” expressed Tamra Jackson, decorator with Featherstone Home Accents. “And as for color, most anything goes anymore, including blue, gold, and copper.”
Jackson referred to the use of grey as a neutral color, which plays well with the whole new color scheme that is popular now.
Tamra loves the idea of using vintage copper and gold ornaments, which beautifully illuminate next to the tree lights, while also boasting a somewhat rustic appeal.
“When decorating at the holidays, it’s best to think in terms of flow,” she explained. “You don’t want to saturate your home with décor. Keep it simple to allow for better flow.”
Surprisingly, despite traditionally being a primary star of the holiday décor theme, a tree is not always necessary. If you want to switch it up this year, consider decorating with floral arrangements highlighted with some greenery or garland, mixed together with lights, bows and even a few ornaments or figurines for added interest. Jackson also suggested arranging leaves on the fireplace mantel or hanging garland over a bookcase or around a desk. Even a small table top tree will suffice for a more simplistic appeal.
If tradition is still a part of your overall style, however, you can get a jump start on the season by “Falling into Christmas” with a holiday tree, putting pumpkins under it in late Fall and then transitioning its look for December by adorning it with gold and copper ornaments or any ornaments of your choice.
Of course, keeping the holidays bright and sparkly never goes out of style, and candles are always important for ambiance.
“You can use real or battery-operated ones, putting them in various places throughout your home,” stated Jackson.
No matter how you deck the halls this season, some of the best design ideas include the love of family and friends, laughter, joy and peace on Earth. Those never seem to go out of style.