A Designer's Take on Decorating for the Holidays

With the holiday season in full swing, we thought we would sit down with one of our Southern Studio designers to hear her thoughts on decorating for this festive and celebratory time of year. Whether you are hosting a large holiday gathering, or just opening up your home to just a few family members, we hope Julia’s insight will be helpful as you prepare your home for guests from now until you ring in the new year.

What are your go-to, favorite accessories for holiday decorating? Should you stick with a theme (i.e. traditional, glam, natural, etc.). If so, what’s your favorite theme?

Julia: I love incorporating traditional ornaments and blending them with ornaments that have more of a modern twist. To me, this makes the overall decor feel more visually interesting and introduces more personality to your decorations.  Anything that brings back happy Christmas memories is a must!

It’s easy to fall for holiday knick-knacks. What’s your advice for creating festive, yet design-focused, holiday flair for your home that feels consistent with your home’s year-round decor?

Julia: My #1 tip is not to over-decorate! Pick a color scheme that blends with the overall feel and style of your home and stick with it. Even though the timeless, traditional red and green Christmas combination is my first choice, it’s also fun to incorporate non-traditional colors, like shades of blue or silver and gold. Be creative!

For holiday guests, could you share your thoughts on how to make guest rooms feel both welcoming and full of holiday cheer?

Julia: Adding a few small, festive pieces to a guest room adds such a fun touch! Framing a favorite holiday card or adding a small wreath with candles is a simple way to decorative the space. Cinnamon candles or spruce fragrances are my favorite way to make a space feel full of holiday cheer, as well as make your guests feel appreciated and right at home!

Do you have a signature “table scape” you love? What colors, textures, centerpieces, come to mind that you are drawn to?

Julia: I’m always drawn to using natural elements on a table scape – layering different textures and colors of greenery with pops of red berries and pinecones is the ultimate in festive!  It’s also nice to space candles within the greenery.

Also, place card settings are another way to incorporate an element of of personalization to your table, whether you want a cheerful, casual aesthetic or a more elevated, sophisticated look. Try jingle bells tied on napkins, gold lettered calligraphy on beautiful cards with each guest’s name, or adorn each place setting with small ornaments. Ultimately, try anything that adds a fun holiday touch!

Any other trade secrets you can share?

Julia: Creatively wrapped presents are my absolute favorite part of Christmas. Beautifully crafted gift tags and ribbon are my weakness – the trick is to use two different size ribbons to tie a package, topped off with a small ornament or even a small sprig of spruce. I love using ribbon in the same color family, or two complimentary colors.



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