When approaching decorating for the end-of-year holiday season, it’s important to have a plan. I say this not only because I’m married to a Virgo, but because it’s so easy to get overwhelmed when you walk into any given store — shiny, sparkly, bright, colorful decorations everywhere.
If you don’t start with a concept, you’ll wind up with a jumble of mismatched decorations that may or may not look like the holidays threw up all over your living room.
So, my first priority for my holiday decorating plan is this: Figure out what feeling you want to inspire. I know people who love brightly colored whimsical decor (painted wooden toys, old school Nutcrackers, etc.) that instill a sense of childhood nostalgia. There are those who always go with sophisticated gold, silver and crystal decorations passed down from generations of family; and there are people who prefer minimal, natural decorations of plain pine boughs and natural wood accents.
Whatever “emotion” you decide you want your home to evoke, here are my top tips for decorating for the holidays:
Pick a Palette: Whether it’s as simple as blue or as complex as rainbow, have a color palette in mind when you start to decorate. I’m sure it will surprise no one that I prefer a neutral, light color palette. Living in Los Angeles means that I miss out on the beautiful white snow blanketing the ground, so I try to bring that peaceful whiteness into my home through my holiday accessories — adorable white felted wool animals on my tree (which Nate and I keep religiously neutral, but still love to have), chunky white throw pillows with just a hint of silver or champagne sparkle, and white snowflakes with a touch of glitter.
Spark all Senses: I know a lot of people who put all of the work into the visuals and forget that there are SO many other ways to invoke the holidays through the other senses. I like my decorating to be visceral — scented candles with complex layered scents of pine, vanilla, frankincense and clove, a great holiday playlist that just sparks joy and love, and bowls of spiced nuts or candies that are impossible to find other times of the year. I love creating a total immersion experience around the holidays.
Constant Company Readiness: If you’re anything like me, you have a ton of friends and family that might come around at the last minute this time of year. Something about this season makes people want to reach out and spend time with their loved ones. I am neurotic about always being ready for company during the holidays — having eggnog or other beverages stocked in my fridge (and of course, tequila on my bar), making sure that I’m always ready to prep a quick cheese and charcuterie plate, and keeping up with tidying the house (which is quite challenging with a toddler who has a penchant for sparkly decor). It doesn’t take much, but you’ll wow your loved ones when they come around unexpectedly (and sometimes, uninvited).
Whatever you choose for your holiday theme, it should be — like your home — totally and completely YOU. Allow your personality to shine through in your home decoration this season, and make each ornament, accessory or trinket individual, special and unique. In a time of year that is all about celebrating joy, love and peace, your home should radiate those amazing parts of you and your family.