The holidays are upon us, and everyone is feeling a little extra jolly and bright. For many, the thought of having to consider holiday decor can be anything but merry! We have full lives that involve children, gift shopping and more. Those who know I’m an interior designer often want tips on easy ways to decorate their homes for the holidays in a way that feels festive without screaming “tacky.” I’ve come up with a few suggestions that anyone can use when prepping a home for holiday merriment!

First, let me say this: it’s YOUR home, and you can incorporate holiday decor any way you choose to! Nothing I discuss here is law; having fun, celebrating the season and adding gaiety to your home is the point. If that means breaking every style rule that exists, go for it! With that out of the way, so many inquire about holiday decor that won’t clash with the vibe and feel of their homes.

The good news is, it’s simpler than you might think. With design being my expertise, the pressure to impress with my own space is on! I’ve gone through many phases through the years, and I think it’s safe to say that I finally have it down to a science.

Don’t Trip Over the Tree

The first holiday decor tip is probably the most “un-Breegan” thing I do, but it’s one of my biggest recommendations: skip the live tree. I know, I know. I can practically hear the collective gasps. When I began decorating for my little family, I realized that while I grew up having beautiful live trees for Christmas each year, I would need to consider my toddlers who were always crawling around and putting things in their mouths.

Real trees leave a trail of pine needles all over your floor, need constant watering and are just overall too much work at times. Instead, spend a little extra to buy a great-looking pre-lit artificial tree. The “quick set” varieties are especially easy to put up and take down!

Color Clash

Now let’s tackle color! For most, the holidays conjure up thoughts of all things red and green, but honestly, I’m so over that trend. If you are, too, try deciding on a color that you’d enjoy coming home to every day and selecting all your pieces of holiday decor within that color family while accenting with metallics. For instance, If you love white, buy all the ornaments for your tree in white, as well as other shades in that family. Keep the same color scheme throughout the house for an elegant, cohesive feel. I like to buy white, off-white and cream colored pieces and mix in beautiful shades of gold. The result? A chic, classy tree that pairs well with what already exists in my home. Oh, and don’t worry; those sentimental ornaments that don’t match? Put them on the tree at the top for a meaningful touch that won’t detract from its beauty.

Let There Be Light!

The arrival of November and December means everything gets dark earlier, giving us lots of time to showcase beautiful lighting. Utilizing lights to create a mood is one of the best tricks of the trade. My rule of thumb: go crazy with the Christmas lights outside, but keep it uniform indoors. I love those whimsical icicle lights along the profile of a home or balcony. As for inside, I have one important rule: no multi-colored lights! I think they add a cluttered, busy feeling to the home, and that’s what we are aiming to avoid.

I enjoy white lights on my tree and in other areas of the home, but I encourage you to be aware that all white light is not the same. White Christmas lights can come in hues that lean yellow, white or even just plain ol’ clear. I prefer warm yellow light because it mimics the flame of a candle and gives the coziness of a fireplace aflame without the hassle. Blue light pulls too cool for my liking; but if you already have blue-toned lights throughout your home or already in your Christmas holiday decor collection, then stick with it. It’s more important to keep things consistent than to revamp in order to keep up with a bunch of decor rules.

Keep It Simple!

Finally, if you find yourself in a design rut, remember to keep your holiday decor simple. Dodge the desire to stack tchotchkes in every corner. Ditch the millions of angel and Santa figurines and set out gorgeous, large candles in a mercury glass or metallic casing instead.

Also, opt for a beautiful live wreath on your front door with a bow that coordinates with the color scheme you selected inside. Using a live wreath can make quite an impact. It is often the first thing your guests see and interact with, and can often fool them into thinking your tree is live, too! Don’t feel pressure to purchase new china and tableware. Consider using tea lights that can be used again for the next holiday.

These tips and tricks are sure to keep your home beautifully decorated throughout the holiday season. Above all else, be sure to take a load off and have fun! After all, ‘tis the season to be merry!

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