Thursday Spotlight: 3 Designer “Learned Responses” to Holiday Decorating

Thursday Spotlight: 3 Designer “Learned Responses” to Holiday Decorating

I love this time of year

The air is clean

Gatlinburg Color Changing

Sweaters come out of hiding & the Decorator in me gets to dress with layers


Problem is Clients, Friends, Family…(ok, I) tend to have mini panic attacks

The Couture (custom) Chateau (your, my home) is done, but the holidays loom

What to stage with

Which holiday to decorate for

Disclaimer = I am allowed to say “Learned Response” due to the following:

A) 200 rotting pumpkins looked SO good when they lined the driveway weeks ago (year withheld)

In a field? Gorj. On my driveway? Not so much. Image Credit: K Bruce Lane. Linked.

B) I bought ALL of (insert ANY holiday item) to make my Custom Vignette ala the windows at Saks

Now it looks like a graveyard of cheap (insert ANY holiday item). I’m embarrassed. Can I take (insert ANY holiday item) to the dump so no one will see me?! (recurring)

and my fav C) “honey, I need 1,500 lineal feet of fresh lighted garland for the fence”

My husband? BLANK STARE

so I only used 500 that year…(recurring)

and so I spotlight my

“Top 3 Designer LEARNED RESPONSES” for my Friends (you)…ok (me)

1. Pick Seasonal Colors that will work for at least 2 or 3 Holidays

This is similar in base color to the ones we use

My sisters will attest I have feather wreaths with EVERY color mixed in. They are out and re-purposed from October – December

USES: Charger for Vases with fresh seasonal flowers; Centerpieces; Wreaths on Doors; Hanging on Chair Backs with ribbon; Overscaled Ornaments on Trees = all from 1 Blasted Custom Colored Feather Wreath Prototype

DESIGNER TIP: Budget & fabricate CUSTOM standbys that can do quad-duty and work in conjunction with your year round decor

I don’t have photo access to the vases we used, but this is similar at 10″ high. The shaping is conducive to flowers & candles while still being wide enough to get a hand in for candy.

Client Example: We purchased 25 red 12″ Tall Vases and customized them. They have lined steps with candles; served as centerpieces with flowers; been en masse @ over 5 friends homes for parties; served as bowls for candy & work Thanksgiving – Valentines Day. Your custom modified standby doesn’t have to work Halloween – New Years Eve, just think in terms of multi-use. Pick a shape or type that you gravitate to. Wreaths, Vases, Baskets…

Designer Confession: So I have 40 of those wreaths in different sizes, but stilllll….they rotate…..(!)…..

2. Do 1 schematic WELL rather than 4 POORLY

We’ve all seen it…the ‘craft’ that looks like ‘c–p’ (forgive the language, but pluheassse)

If you can only do one thing, do it right and do it REAL

DESIGNER TIP: One gorgeous pumpkin, uncarved, on a clean porch is WAY better than a poorly done “story”

Client Example: Many Clients travel during the holidays. ORDER and have delivered the best real pumpkins you can source. SMALL Odd number groupings (1-3 people!) un-carved are good for Gates & Porches. They are appropriate through December 1 when a Gardner or Neighbor can easily handle if still out of town.

Designer Confession: How do I know? Reference = 200 rotting pumpkins lining a long driveway & a smelly dump run in heels of course 😉

3. DON’T Custom Decorate the entire house. You are not a department store. Really, you’re not…even if your home is over 11,000 square feet. Not EVERYTHING needs to be swagged.

As Tobi Fairley says “your eyes need a place to rest”

The holiday season is in overload and your home should be a respite, not a rev-up

Leave ROOM for the PEOPLE in your life to set their drinks or books down

DESIGNER TIP: Don’t use real garland inSIDE your remodeled house. It gets sap everywhere & drops more than teenage boys. Let’s just call this Epic Fail # 113

Client Example: Have custom faux garland fabricated with proper LABELED storage boxes. DO IT out of season for your specific home. Make it bare enough that you or a local florist can easily accessorize. Have holes & clips fabricated IN so fresh greenery appears naturally sporadically placed.

Designer Confession: Refer to Epic Fail # 113: My Fresh Garland in & on every surface Broken Vaccum Cleaner Sap on Untreated Limestone Year

The joy in all of this?

We create ROOM for the PEOPLE in our life to set their conversations in the air

and that is the most beautiful holiday decoration we can have

Do share some of your stories – we need to laugh!

“Live a custom life. There is only one you.”™

xo Ann

Next week: How to spend $100, $500, $1,000+ well on Custom Holiday Decorating