When had our first batch of holidays in our home, I was completely overwhelmed with possibilities for decorating. What should have been an exciting, celebratory task became a little paralyzing as I wandered the aisles of At Home and Hobby Lobby wondering if I was a “Sandy Shore Santa”, “Down Home Holiday” or “Classic Christmas” type of gal. Not to mention the cost and sheer volume of things I thought I needed. Major (unnecessary!) stress! After what I fondly described as a “building year” (my husband relates well to sports metaphors…?), here are the best tips for making a few decorations pull your whole home together.
Choose a few key seasonal spots: Instead of decking out every corner of my home, I decided to focus on a few key spots that guide the eye throughout the house. I chose our dining room table, mantel and a wreath with interchangeable ribbon on our front porch. By zeroing in on these areas, it pretty much covered our whole first floor and made the house feel festive and warm but not overdone. For certain holidays I went a step further (lights, garland, pumpkins), but every season I swap out a bit of decor to make it special. Now that I have these key areas done, year after year I can focus on collecting things slowly and filling in.
Put the FUN in functional: When you first move in somewhere new, or start celebrating holidays in a new situation, it can be tempting to spend like crazy and fill up every closet on the off-season. However, if you need to justify your holiday spending habits, get in the spirit with things you use every day like dish towels, place settings and themed salt and pepper shakers. You’ll feel less guilty because you can actually use all the items, while still giving your space a little pizzaz. Another place that always gets a little extra love in our house is our bar cart. I always keep festive cocktail napkins and fun drink stirrers on hand as an affordable way to add a little extra sparkle when people visit!
Be creative! A lot of my favorite decor from last year didn’t break the bank, and some of it didn’t even cost a dime. My favorite tablescape was for Thanksgiving and it was comprised nearly all of fresh fruits and greenery. I took my pup for a walk the morning everyone came and gathered magnolia, pine and other greenery and topped it with pears, pumpkins and a few store-bought pieces. All together, the hardest part was convincing my husband that it was cool to have fruit on the table and that NO he couldn’t eat it. Other favorite places to snag cheaper decor are Dollar Tree, Ross Dress for Less and even your local thrift store!