Tips To Make Your Holiday Decorating Stand Out

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For the upcoming holidays, follow the latest home decorating trends by grabbing a pair of nutcracker statues, woodland-themed paintings, square wreaths or golden lights, and prepare to rock around the Christmas season.

Put Out The Decor

Terry Cooch, owner of TLC Home, which helps customers organize their homes, argued that employing “minimalism and simplicity” is always a smart move. She suggested having one theme of ornaments and lights, and keeping small statues and house decorations in one area, such as the dining room table. She also recommended that homeowners start early and plan ahead to ensure a “stress-free” decorating process.

Cooch urged home decorators to look away from what everyone else is doing and instead follow their own hearts when customizing the home, which makes the experience more “enjoyable.”

“Do what you love and forget about the rest,” she said. “I don’t think you should get caught in the tradition trap, where you feel like you need to do something because your mother did it or your grandmother did it.”

Of course, no holiday season would be complete without the traditional holiday greenery: Christmas trees, wreaths and even holly leaves. One way to create a fresher and more unique style with these must-have items is to create color schemes for the tree covers, said Margaret Cullember, the general manager of Homestead Gardens in Severna Park.

Don’t use decorative covers “that are just plain green,” she said, but buy a unique theme like “the frosted or the snow-covered, which is really pretty.”

Artwork placed carefully near the tree could also add a whole new element to the decorative style too.

“I don’t think a lot of people think about putting in new artwork for the season,” she said. “There’s all kinds of artwork to do – winter themed, Santa or nativity.”

A combo of red and green is not the only color scheme decorators can use. “Gold is huge this year,” said Elizabeth Elliott, the owner of Himmel's Landscape and Garden Center in Pasadena. “Gold statuary, gold lighting. I’ve seen some lacey gold wind chimes. Gold is just a color that is in this year.”

Elliott also said the huge nutcracker statues that homeowners usually put out on front lawns are in style this year; she described them as “bold statement pieces.” Square wreaths are trending as well. And don’t forget Santa. Anything Santa-related does well, she added.

Caring For Holiday Greens

One roadblock many homeowners experience is actually caring for the holiday greenery properly. This is important because watching expensive plants and trees wither away could crush the holiday spirit.

Holiday greens do not need to be expensive. To deck out homes using a modest budget, Cullember from Homestead said to use artificial greenery for trees and wreaths, and to use “shadow-proof” or plastic ornaments. Both the artificial greenery and the plastic ornaments are cheap but still decorative. Of course, you can add to the existing décor, and simply moving things around in different arrangements can make things seem new at a little cost.

However, to protect the investment they make in their greens, Elliott from Himmel’s recommended homeowners soak their plants in water daily and avoid putting them in glass, which will cause it to brown faster. Instead, she said to use boxed wood, as long as it is covered.

She also advised homeowners to sprinkle the plants with a “light cover of mulch, which will insulate the soil.” Mulching helps to protect the roots, she added, while also encouraging homeowners to use native plants for their gardens this season, because they are more resilient to the weather and bring in beautiful wildlife to the home.

“I would like to put a plug in here for encouraging natives,” she said. “Native selections provide food and cover for songbirds and wildlife.”

She recommended sprinkling the garden with natives, such as Inca berry holly, northern bayberry and eastern redbud, to give the garden that extra kick.

Cullember urged homeowners – as they dive headfirst into decorating for the holiday season and encounter loads of work and stress – to remember why they decorate in the first place.

“Remember what is important during this time of season: family,” she said. “That, more than what you use to decorate, is more important than anything.”

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