Decorating Tips for the Holidays and Beyond

No matter where you shop, holiday decorations start to appear everywhere. There are many festive options to choose from, but if you don’t want your house to look like the local craft store exploded all over it, you can follow some of these tasteful tips for décor from Jeffrey Welder, Interior Decorating Expert at Vant Wall Panels, that will take you through the holidays and beyond.
Pick colors for elegance
Traditional greens and reds are fine, but they are defined by the season. If you want your holiday décor to last a little longer, think elegant. Silver, white, and rose gold are beautiful tints that are sparkly and festive, yet pretty and neutral enough to last beyond the holidays without looking dated. White lights on bare natural branches give a warmth without getting gaudy and look lovely throughout the winter months.
If you go this route, add the occasional piece that pops with bright colors, like a festive throw blanket or a spray of holly berries to draw the eye. Ultimately, though, if you keep to two or three colors in your décor scheme at most, your house will have a more pulled together look that is soothing and still fun.
Choose greenery that lasts
Rather than garlands of pine, you can add a pop of green and the hint of a lovely scent to your home by including long-lasting eucalyptus. Weave branches into a wreath or hang branches from a festive bow on the door. Include it in your other floral arrangements and it will add that little bit of green that will last well beyond the New Year’s Eve festivities.
Another idea is a tabletop rosemary topiary that can easily replace a full Christmas tree if you don’t want the bother or don't have the space. It’s fragrant and beautiful, as well as completely manageable through the holidays and beyond.
Centerpieces that don’t overwhelm
Small bud vases filled with pine or spruce, set against a simple linen table setting and white or cream candles, give a natural look that is festive without being loud. Color pops can then be added with food and drinks, with scatterings of cranberry and orange to bring all the colors together.
Alternatively, use decorations to bring a little sparkle to the table: A bowl of metallic ornaments in natural shades of silver, rose gold, and gold will flash with the candlelight and create a glow that your guests will love, without taking attention away from the main course. 

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Placement is everything
Grouping your greenery into one spot, instead of spreading it everywhere, can become a fabulous focal point for your festive look. Adding bowls of pine cones strategically gives a natural wintery look that doesn’t overwhelm. For a little extra sparkle, you can always spray them with gold and silver paint or dip them in some glitter.
Another idea is to hang wreaths and festive bows INSIDE the house, on the walls or windows, instead of on the front door; they will give your indoors a healthy holiday look with a minimum of clutter.
No room for a tree?
Garlands can be added to any space or existing piece of furniture, with holly and berries or shiny ornaments, and easily moved or removed when the holidays are over, giving you the look of the season without the bother of a tree. Hang stockings from a shelf, if you don’t have a hearth, or designate a corner of the room as the Christmas corner, for presents and stockings, and all the holiday goodies.
The same bowl of ornaments that you use as a centerpiece can be moved to the coffee table at other times. It’s all about making the space comfortable without being overdone.
A nod to different cultures
A golden Menorah, Kwanzaa wall art, or a tiny nativity scene are all little ways that you can give a nod to other religions and cultures, a detail that would make any guest feel welcome in your home and can be used to teach your children about other traditions at the same time.
Combining different traditions and the décor that goes with it goes a long way to letting your guests and extended family know that you care about them and the things that matter to them.
Keeping it fun
Keep an eye out for looks that are a little bit different for spaces like kitchens, where you can have a bit of fun. How about a string of hot red pepper lights? Food-shaped ornaments on the aforementioned rosemary topiary? There are so many ways you can be a little more silly in rooms where people gather and chat, over cocktails and nibbles.
Natural over plastic
The gaudy plastic reindeer can’t hold a candle to the attractive silver birch reindeer for your garden, so keep that thought in mind when you are looking for ways to decorate inside too. If you have a beautiful wood dining table, don’t cover it up with a large tablecloth, but let the wood’s patina shine and be a decoration in its own right. Votive holders made from cut log pieces and a napkin ring fashioned from a sprig of a spruce tree are beautiful and you don’t need to be Martha Stewart to get them done and looking lovely. 

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Get the kids involved
White paper snowflakes, cranberry and popcorn strings, decorated sugar cookies … the possibilities are endless to get the kids involved in the festive decorating without making a mess. Have them write out the dinner menu or perhaps create tags for everyone’s wine glasses (to ensure everyone can find theirs!)
Don’t forget that décor senses can go beyond the visual!
Scents of pine, eucalyptus, simmering spices, and apple cider are all lovely ways to herald the holiday spirit in your house. And a glass of mulled wine is good anytime, not just during the holidays.
Textures of warmth with faux-fur throws or pillows add a little something while the wind outside is blowing, that will comfort family and friends alike, whether it’s December 24th or January 8th.
Have a few surprise guest items on hand
While not technically a decorating issue, this is something that comes up more often during the holiday season so planning for it can save the day! Picture it: you’re hosting a little cocktail gathering with a few friends and co-workers. One of your co-workers enjoys the spiked eggnog a little too much and isn’t able to drive home. Make sure you have a toothbrush and a large t-shirt handy, a few travel size toiletries, in case someone is suddenly bunking on the family room sofa. 

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With all of these tips and ideas, look at your home and see what you can do to add a little holiday cheer that will still appeal to the eye on New Year’s day.


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Decorating Tips for the Holidays and Beyond

Jamie is a Beltway Insider who loves channeling her pre-motherhood love of traveling into spending time exploring all D.C. has to offer with her brood of two girls and two boys ages 9, 7,5, and a baby. She is a reformed lawyer turned full-time kid wrangler who enjoys photographing her everyday chaos and anything salted caramel. Since life is never dull, she loves writing about the issues and events going on in her life at any given time, including caring for a daughter with special needs and th ... More

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