5 Easy Rules to Update your Holiday Decor
Do you put the same holiday decorations in the same exact place year after year? When you pull down your bins of accessories, are they sorted by the spot they’ve always been in?
Just like our day to day living spaces, our holiday décor needs an occasional “spruce” up. How do you update your Holiday Home without starting over? Follow my 5 rules below and each year your holiday look will feel fresh and updated.
In the case of your holiday home I encourage you to think of it as an ongoing composition. It is never done and each year challenge yourself to add, drop, and tweak your look to keep it fresh. For me, each year I add something new, but I never start completely over. This year I added these beautiful snow-covered picks from our vendor Sullivans.
One way to get a designer look is to replicate holiday décor you see in a magazine, restaurant, hotel, etc. in your home. But, instead of copying the look exactly, incorporate your own color palette in. If you’ve done our free 5-day room challenge (if not, click here), you are familiar with my home and know I love bright rich accent colors, in particular – peacock blue. My husband told me years ago that “blue is not a Christmas color” but I didn’t let that stop me. How fun would a tree and garland be with peacock blue accents? On the flipside, how boring would a tree and garland be with just peacock blue accents?
To get my signature color into the palette, I followed the rules below:
Rule #1 – Do NOT ever start from scratch
My switch to peacock blue accents may cause you to think I’d have to budget out a whole new set of decorations. Not true – if your base filler décor is neutral enough and varied enough that a new accent color can be folded right in. I use natural and textural picks and branches as a base and then a layer of hubby approved “Christmas Colors” in the form of red, and silver berries and ribbons throughout my tree, mantle, and garlands.
Repurpose old ribbons and picks as gift wrap. Wired ribbon makes beautiful reusable bows for boxes and old picks can be cut and tucked in for an added detail.
Rule #2 – Make sure you add enough but not too much
If I had only added a ribbon of turquoise down the tree, it would not feel cohesive – too much contrast without balance. Likewise, if I ran the same turquoise ribbon through every single greenery spray it could feel boring and too predictable. We learned in last week’s blog that repetition is one of the elements of design. By adding turquoise ribbon, a group of simple turquoise glass ornaments into the background of the tree, and sprays of little turquoise beads, I was able to balance the new color and it begins to repeat. Three textures, and three layers. Following rule 1, I kept all my standard background items to break up the new accent color.
Rule #3 - Break up the Matchy-Matchy
You may be tempted to add too much of a new accent color and ground it with a safe background. Mixing gold, silver, white elements with natural textural twigs and branches builds a dimensional interesting base for your new accent color to pop off of. In my peacock blue case, I added an equally strong accent of red amongst the neutral background filler items. With Christmas décor the old adage “less is more” is not always true. More can be more as long as the elements are complimentary. If you’ve done a reno project with us you know about the “one boss” rule in a renovation. “One Boss” refers to the item that is the boldest, has the most pattern, contrast or color and is simply the “bossiest” element in the room. In the case of my holiday decorations, the peacock blue is definitely the boss so I’m surrounding it with softer compliments and adding only one slight competitor of the red for interest.
Rule #4 – Bring it through the composition
Add your new accent color in different materials throughout your home. Let it pull our eye through your house and connect your rooms and spaces. Think about repetition without replication and not always with holiday elements. In my peacock blue case, a pretty everyday bowl filled with fake snow and a pick becomes another travelling pop of my accent color.
Rule #5 – Build from your everyday base
Instead of removing your everyday accessories, why not build from them? I add holiday ribbons and small picks to my everyday mantle candles and swap out the orbs that dawn the tops of candlesticks with Christmas accents. This allows you to create a luxury holiday look by keeping your good proportion of heights and depth.
Do remove accessories or items that don’t have the right feel for the holiday look or are challenging the color palette you are developing.
Holiday decorating is a great way to practice learning design - if you make a mistake, you can pack it all away a month later unlike a renovation or remodel where you might have to live with it day in day out. Refer to this list as you build your holiday composition piece by piece. And I encourage you to be creative this time of year. Use what you have, add in meaningful homemade and generational decorations to personalize your home – then apply the concepts above to tie it all together. If you’d like to see how I apply these principles in my own home along with specific display ideas for 12 different areas in your home, click here to purchase our style guide to Holiday Decorating.
Want a little help getting started transforming your holiday home? – email a photo with your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to give you a quick tip or two to get started.
Happy Holiday Planning