Tips for decorating like a pro this holiday season

velvet stockings from West Elm

velvet stockings from West Elm

Velvet monogramed stockings from West Elm add traditional fun to holiday decor. Photo: West Elm.

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• Dec. 8, 2012

If you are waiting for inspiration to motivate you to start (or finish) your holiday decorating, this may be a good weekend to spring into action! The good news: there are lots of ideas this season for easy and beautiful designs that will have you decorating your home like a pro!

jewel tone ornaments from Pottery Barn

jewel tone ornaments from Pottery Barn

Add some bling to your holiday with Pottery barn's jewel tone eclectic ornaments. Photo: Pottery Barn.If you are thinking about changing or updating your look this year, consider  adding some of the popular metallics, bling, jewel tones, feathers and fresh, shiny colors to your home.  Think moderation and be selective!

If you’re in a time crunch, and who isn’t, Frontgate lets you create your own signature style with a choice of three beautiful design options. Select one and you will receive everything that you need for the tree from ornaments, enhancers to ribbon and trim.  It also includes coordinating garland and a decorated wreath.  It couldn’t be easier. Almost like Christmas in a box.

Use your traditional favorites but don’t be afraid to try something new.  Some of our favorite decorating tips are listed below. Use them and tell your friends that you hired a designer to help this year!

Tips for holiday decorating like a pro

Make an entrance! Start at the front door and take your door from drab to fab with a fresh pop of color!  Think greens, reds, turquoise (if you are bold). Remember, it is only paint, so don’t be afraid!  And don’t stop there! Take last year’s wreath and give it a makeover to complement the door.  Beautiful shells, branches, colorful ribbons will help you create a new wreath in no time. A huge impact with minimum expense and effort.

Use what you have! Don’t put everything away and transform your home into a winter wonderland.  Use what you have in your home as your stage.  If you have a piece of artwork that you love over a mantle or table, start there and add holiday decorations that compliment it. And don’t forget: what comes from nature works best!

Edit your collections! Don’t try to use everything that you have. Declutter your ornaments, snowmen and Santas.  Use sparingly and use what you love most.  Don’t hesitate to donate what you no longer use.  There is a fine line between classic holiday decorating and too much!

Table it for now! If your dining room table just sits there taking up space except for a couple of times a year, use it for a holiday tablescape.  Start with a pretty holiday runner and use candles of different heights and widths as your start. Fill it in with greenery, poinsettias, a few ornaments, small holiday trees or sea glass sprinkled throughout and you have a beautiful holiday tablescape.  This works for any table.

Small space? No problem. If your space is small, don’t overdo it.  A small tabletop tree, a wreath and a few wrapped gifts will make any space festive! And when the holiday is over, you will not have as much to put away.

Metal ornament tree from Pottery Barn

Metal ornament tree from Pottery Barn

Small spaces are not a problem for Pottery Barn's metal ornament tree. Photo: Pottery Barn.

Seeing too much red? Feng Shui teaches us that there can be too much red or “fire” energy in our homes this time of year. It promotes burnout and who needs that over the holidays?  To prevent an imbalance, think about using more green than red.  Plants, and evergreens decorated with “cool” colors such as light blue, silver, white will tone down and balance out the red.

Trade secret:  Designers like to use white lights and pick two colors for holiday decorating. Cool, calm and beautiful! It works. 

Roundup the collections! Don’t let your Santa collection scatter all over the house. Group your collections together.  Snowmen on a beautiful tray make a much nicer presentation than having them in every room.

Feather your nest! Change your tree by using your collectible ornaments but add colorful or white feathers for an updated, new look. They are available at any crafts store.

Add some bling! Jewel tones this season are the rage.  Crystals, metallics, and beaded ornaments will give your tree a little sparkle and will go with your existing ornaments or go for the glam use them for the entire tree. 

You’re almost done! Put up the stockings pick out your favorite holiday music, turn on the lights and enjoy the holiday season. Remember: Take a picture so you can duplicate it next year!

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Visit her website at Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail For more decorating tips and photos, visit

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