Decorate your home for the holiday season

Jessica  Rodrigo By Jessica Rodrigo

Sept. 26, 2012 at 4:26 a.m.

It seems every year around Labor Day, there is never enough time to prepare for the end-of-year festivities.

School is back in session. Halloween is around the bend. Thanksgiving soon afterward. Christmas with the in-laws. And ringing in the New Year.

Begin jotting down lists now and plan for gatherings with friends, socializing with neighbors and reunions with family. If you're opening your home to everyone this holiday season, it's best to start off right.

Interior designer Charlotte McFadin, with Lyndon West, shared some advice to make designing a living space for the holiday season as seamless as possible.

When hosting events at home, try to focus on places where guests will spend their time. Socializing might take place in a living room or in a kitchen with a bar. These areas can be jazzed up with simple items to larger centerpieces.

"Throw pillows on a sofa or accessories on a cocktail table can be easily switched from Thanksgiving to Christmas in a snap," she said.

If people are dining at a large table, she said, consider using a piece on the table for each celebration that is eye catching but changeable between holidays. Other options include larger items from rugs to prominent wall art.

Another thing to remember is to keep the decor of the house simple. This will make it easier for holiday decor to match the overall look of the home, she added.

McFadin said resources for inspiration have become easier to find with the Internet and popular content sharing services including Pinterest, books and magazines. But first and foremost, when presented with a new design challenge, she starts with the client.

"I need to have an understanding of their daily living and lifestyle," she said.

Knowing what a space is used for and maintaining the functionality is important to finding something that will work. This season, silver and white decor items are making their way into homes, including candle holders and vases.

"We are seeing a shift of poly-resin, acrylic decor, to a more glitzy/warm feel with glass, glitter, wood and woven material," she said.

Instead of finding new decorations each year, she advised looking for items that can be used more than once. Shop for heirloom collections, which can be handed down from generation to generation.

With more than 20 years of experience, McFadin said the most common mistake she sees from homeowners is they try to use too many smaller-sized items rather than a collection of various-sized items.

Using larger pieces will also minimize the cleanup after the holidays have come and gone.



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