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10 Simple Secrets To Successful Holiday Decorating

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Can you believe the holidays are just around the corner?  It’s time to think about how you will decorate your home for the season.  Don’t be overwhelmed with the thought of decking out your whole home, plan it out, start early and follow these tips to a stress free holiday season.   Your home will be welcoming and festive.

Red and green are synonymous with the Christmas season, but they are so expected and so overdone. Thankfully, holiday décor has come a long way over the years, offering so many color options for decorating today.   Break out of the expected and move to colors that compliment your everyday color scheme, or change your scheme altogether and use gold, silver, purple, blue or even copper.  You will create a refreshing look that is festive, but not stereotypical.  If you simply must have red and green, mix it up with white, or silver to but a fresh twist on them.

When you notice Holiday displays and merchandise out at your favorite department store, it is time to start thinking about your own holiday decorating.  Planning your decorating ahead of time, will let you put together a cohesive look that carries effortlessly throughout your home.  It will also alleviate needless holiday stress and let you relax and enjoy the season.  Saving your decorating for the last minute will only result in a haphazard look creating a chaotic feel to your home.  The holidays are to be enjoyed, not stressed over.

It is so tempting to load up on new holiday decorations each year. Everywhere you turn there is some cool new trend just screaming to take it home to display with your holiday décor.  Resist that urge. It only becomes an unnecessary line item in your holiday budget.   Use what you have on hand instead.  For example,  rather than buy new glass jars or decorative bowls to display vintage ornaments in, go through your bowls and vases to see what you may already have that would be beautiful to use.  Be creative and discover new ways to use items you have collected over the years.

Imagine trying to decorate around your everyday accessories. Your bookcases are already teeming with your favorite collections, leaving no room for your aunt’s holiday collection of vintage snowmen.  Cramming your holiday décor amongst your year round accessories will be too busy and chaotic.  Pack it all up and start with a clean slate.  Switching out your usual décor not only gives you more space, but also lets you create a more pulled together and cohesive holiday look.  Replace the vase on the coffee table with apothecary jars filled with vintage glass ornaments; hang boxwood wreaths over your fireplace or replace family vacation pictures with family holiday pictures from seasons past.

This time of year, it is easy to go over board and have an inconsistent look with so many holiday style choices. Sometimes settling on one look can be a challenge, but be smart and pick one that you absolutely love, and then play it up. If you love the country Christmas look, use handmade ornaments, needlepoint pillows or bowls of pinecones.  For a more glamorous look, use mercury glass, Swarovski crystals, and faux fur pillows and throws. Collections of Santas or snowmen can be weaved through out a home too.

Glitter is a crafter’s best friend this time of year.  Often glitter is glued to ornaments, adhered to silk flowers and used to dress up plain candles.  It makes everything sparkle and but it is messy and sticks to everything. Cleaning it up is a difficult task and can be avoided.  Use glitter sparingly and you will not be cleaning it up come Valentine’s Day.

Holiday décor is not just for the living areas of the home. Be creative and weave your holiday décor throughout your house.  Place a small tree in the entryway, or use bedding with holiday motifs. In the bathroom, use holiday scented hand soap, or hang shower curtains and towels that match your seasonal décor.  Bring the holiday cheer into the kitchen too with seasonal scented candles, or hang holiday plates on your wall.

The front door is the first thing your guests will see as they approach your home for a holiday party.  Welcome them with a simple festive wreath.  There is no need to hang a wreath, wrap garland, and outline your home in lights to create that joyful feel.  Less is more at times and the front door will look amazing yet understated with just a hint of the holiday.

There is nothing better than the smell of pine coming from a live tree decorated for the holidays.  We could all do without the needles that drop to the floor; one way to minimize them is to water your tree regularly.  Water will keep your tree hydrated and lessen the risk of it catching fire as it dries out.  Those beautiful lights we drape around a pine a tree do get hot and all it would take is a bone-dry tree and the heat of a bulb to fuel flames. On the other hand, you could skip the live tree altogether and get an artificial tree.  Artificial trees look very real today and come pre-lit, taking away the headache of attaching lights to a real tree.

The lights that decorate everything from the tree, to the mantel and even the exterior of the house can overload electrical outlets, creating a safety concern.   Unfortunately, this safety issue is often over looked, leaving some people to suffer the devastation of a house fire. It is better to be safe than to rebuild your life.   Follow the rule of thumb that says plug no more than three strands into anyone outlet. This will keep the load at each outlet manageable and avoid the unthinkable at the holidays.

Holiday decorating can be a lot of fun and if we let it, stressful.  There are far too many other things to do this time of year, like enjoy friends and family.  I hope that our ten holiday decorating tips will help you to relax this season.  What do you think? Will you have a more relaxed holiday season with these tips?

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Fab Rugs World Tangier Pouf Ottoman at wayfair.com is a colorful piece that can be used as a cocktail table (add a tray), extra seating or a footstool. Jonathan Adler First Lady Needlepoint Throw Pillow by the king of kitsch adds a little vintage fun to a room. DENY Designs Miss Penelope Throw Blanket at allmodern.com has all the vibrant colors in fashion now, blended in one pattern. My Art Outlet Tile Tic-Tac-Toe Painting at allmodern.com has nine hand-painted canvases that can be hung in any configuration. Jonathan Adler Happy Needlepoint Throw Pillow has happy words like cash, puppies and sunshine for some retro chic.

Companies such as West Elm and CB2 have developed a whole range of apartment-size sofas and seating for small-space dwellers, and for good reason: The sofa is usually the most space-consuming furniture piece in a home. Opt for sofas that have a shallower depth, 37 inches or less. Skip oversized, rolled arms — which can waste a foot or more of floor space — and pick a modern, streamlined style with thinner arms. Less arm space also means more seating; in fact, an armless sofa or a one-armed chaise is the ultimate space-saving seating solution.

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