Holiday Decor: Get Inspired to Deck the Halls!

Decorator and guest contributor Melissa Nelson shares her favorite tips and tricks for getting your home in the holiday spirit, regardless of your budget!

I know this can be a controversial subject, but I prefer to wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate for the holidays and leave things up until New Year’s Day. It’s a great way to officially welcome the next holiday!

Here are my favorite decor tips and tricks to inspire you on decoration day!

1: Go Green!

I always deck my home out with fresh wreaths, garlands and greens. Potted paperwhites and amaryllis, cypress and cyclamen add color and visual interest.

When selecting wreaths and garlands, I love to use boxwood and magnolia but it can be more expensive and sometimes hard to find. Cedar garlands are a readily available second choice, and they are reasonably priced and smell so festive!

Cedar also makes a great base for adding additional specialty greens (boxwood, magnolia, salad, eucalyptus) for something different. Grab some floral wire from a craft store and attach the greens to create your desired look.

Wreaths are not just for the exterior! I love to hang wreaths inside to bring in that festive smell and decor. Hang them on windows, mirrors and on the back of dining chairs. You can find these great suction hangers on Amazon that hold really well and can be reused every year.

The best thing about using greenery to decorate is that it’s compostable at the end of the season, so you don’t have extra items to sort, organize, store and put away.

2. Don’t be Afraid to Go Faux

Although I prefer fresh flowers, greens and trees, there are beautiful faux ones available these days. Nordstrom started carrying amazing fake trees a few years ago and many decor chains carry authentic-looking flowers and greens. They can be an investment, but if stored properly these can last for years! They are a great option for those with allergies or in a downsized home and lacking the space for lots of large greenery.

3. Ribbon Adds a Pop of Color

Ribbon is such a fun and easy way to add holiday sparkle to your home. Silk ribbons can easily be found at big box and craft stores for reasonable prices. I like to use ribbons with festive colors which also complement the home’s existing decor. Place your ribbon on your banister base, in wreathes, on the backs of chairs – just about anywhere your heart desires! You can even place one on your mailbox with a couple of sprigs of greenery as a welcoming holiday salutation.

4. Keep It Sweet

Nothing says “It’s Christmas” like candy! And it also makes a fun decoration. I love to fill simple lidded jars or bowls with a variety of fun holiday candies. These look great on a kitchen island or placed on dining or coffee tables. Beware – you might need lots of extra candies on hand to keep them full!

5. No Time? Focus on the Little Things

Life can be crazy and holiday decorating overwhelming. You can easily bring the holidays in with smaller items. Think holiday-scented candles, throws and pillows, all readily available at big box, crafts and decor shops. You can even cut fresh branches from your yard and place them in your favorite vase or container. If it feels like too much to go full-on, these little meaningful items will help to keep the spirit of the holidays alive on a minimal time and cost budget.

6. Consider Hiring an Expert

As I mentioned, life can be busy and decorating can be a chore. Consider hiring someone who can take this off your plate. Personally, I usually do a complimentary consultation where I walk the home with the client to discuss their wants/ needs and make suggestions based on that. I work on an hourly basis and charge for predetermined materials.

Although it usually seems early, it’s important to meet several weeks before the holidays if possible to come up with a plan and order/buy materials needed.

Having a party or gathering? This is also a great time to bring in experts to make it personalized and special as well as take the stress off. Experts can help with a theme if desired as well as a tablescape.

Happy Decorating!

Melissa Nelson

Melissa Nelson Design

Melissa Nelson is an independent designer and decorator based in Portland, Oregon. She specializes in personalizing people’s homes both inside and out throughout the year and seasonally with accessories as well as potted plants and fresh arrangements. Melissa and her husband are now empty nesters after raising their son and daughter.

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