Comfort & Joy
News flash: you don’t have to decorate for Christmas with red and green. Now, for some of you, this is old news. But for others, this revelation is completely liberating. I mean, red and green are what Christmas is “supposed” to be, right? Your grandma, maybe even your mom, TOLD you so. Or at least they never had any other combo. From the cross stitch red stockings on the mantel to the red and green Christmas tree place settings on the table, the message was — don’t mess with traditional Christmas colors.
But that was then, and this is now. Go ahead and hit the reset button because you can decorate for the holidays with colors that coordinate with the decor you already have in your home.
Here are some tips and examples on how to pull out the stops and create your most fabulous and welcoming Christmas decor ever.
Start with the right tree // My unswerving counsel about the Christmas tree is “go big or go home.” Once you’ve chosen colors that optimize your home’s decor and you’ve picked your tree, you’ll want to use oversized ornaments and fill it with an extravagant variety of shapes, sizes, and textures. A good rule of thumb is, if you can see much of the tree, you don’t have enough ornaments!
To achieve an over-the-top look that coordinated with my client’s home decor, we used a rose gold, copper, and silver scheme. Glass finials, bulbs, and ball ornaments fill every inch of this gorgeous tree.
Don’t forget the ribbon, especially the big, wide, glitzy ribbon — it’s my holiday secret weapon. I love the wide metallic mesh ribbon that curls and swirls around and between large ornaments. Wide satin ribbons are another option — metallic plaids or a black and white awning stripe, as well as shimmering organdy, rich velvets, and beaded anything.
Look for an alternative to the single star at the top of the tree and opt instead for a knock-your-socks-off topper. Don’t be shy about large clusters of shiny, sparkly, ribboned elements of all kinds that crown your tree in the lavish manner it deserves.
Match your gift wrap to your holiday décor // Do you want a real designer touch? Consider gift wrap color. Would you conjure up fabulous blush and metallic trees and then place red or green packages under them? Of course not! This is a simple detail that makes a significant impact on the look of the overall room.
Now, this doesn’t mean that humble kraft paper need not ever apply. For example, if your home’s decor says, “vintage cottage” or “classic farmhouse” or even “modernist minimal,” and you love subtle colors of nature, artisanal objects, and wood tones, your tree will, of course, reflect that aesthetic. So have fun embellishing it with your natural or woodland theme and then match your papers to your tree. Wrap those packages in brown kraft paper and insert a sprig of rosemary in the twine bow with my blessing. For more fun, have the kids decorate the paper.
Make it magical // There’s never a better time to bring dazzling, unexpected elements to your interiors than during the holidays. Whether it’s a 10-foot tree, a colossal wreath of shimmering glass balls, or an extravagantly sized floral creation on your table, dive in and style like a boss.
We brought in a stunning oversized sleigh bedecked with garlands of rose gold and silver ornaments and then filled it with wrapped gifts. Go ahead, be inspired to create something truly elaborate and unforgettable in your home. It is the most wonderful time of the year.
Embrace non-traditional colors // I’ve given you permission to forego red and green in favor of the colors that are already in your home. Navy? Grey and white? Blush and bashful? How exciting to create a holiday theme in your favorite colors! Just add some greenery (which could be white or metallic) and some glitzy accents, and you’re halfway there.
In my client’s home, blush tones and mixed metallics were already in play. Her festive decor is an extension of that theme, but of course, with more shine and glamor. And why have just ONE tree? I like to carry the joy (and color scheme) throughout the house and having multiple trees is one trick I use to accomplish that.
The holidays mean food and gathering around the table, so these special days are a perfect opportunity to set a festive spread with plenty of sparkle. To bring in the winter wonderland, we didn’t spare the wow factor — we used plenty of mixed metals, from rose gold to champagne to silver. For a centerpiece, shimmery fruits dazzle in large footed silver bowls surrounded by silver and pearl stylized Christmas trees. All the reflective surfaces bounce the light around the room.
I love the gold magnolia leaf chargers under the striking geometric black and white plates. We finished off this sophisticated setting with rose gold flatware and an extra-large gold jingle bell tied with a delicate organdy ribbon.
2020 has been a crazy year, right? If the prospect of decorating for the holidays brings out only a sigh or a groan, it may be time to shake up your approach. Set those boxes of old, tired things aside for donation. Go out on a limb by looking around your house and asking yourself, “What do I really like?” When you’ve answered that question, you’re on your way to creating a vibrant new holiday look in your home. It may be red and green — but then again, it might not! And that personal touch is what will make your holiday decor special.