Go with the less-is-more style for holiday decorating

by Todd Lewys

With holiday fast approaching, it’s time to decorate your home for the holiday season.

There are essentially two ways to approach the decorating process.

The first is to be like Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: making your home a spectacle, a beacon of light and garish decor that can be seen clearly from space.

The second (and more advisable) approach?

Put a lid on your festive excitement and go for a more subtle decorating style that’s guided by the notion that less is more.

Here are some tips to help you properly decorate your home with some decorum, so it truly is a home that everyone wants to visit over the holiday season.

 Set the tone. If you have a front gate and fence, put a wreath on the gate and trim the fence with colourful holiday ribbon. And make sure to adorn your front door with a big red bow to greet your guests in true festive style. Complement it with well-placed holiday lights.

 Festive Foyer. To create a subtly festive entrance, place candles on tables on one or both sides of the foyer along with colourful candy in dishes to usher friends and family inside in a warm, welcoming atmosphere as they brush off snow and shed their winter garb.

 Holiday card collage. If you have a staircase next to your home’s front entrance, display holiday cards on the railing or spindles by utilizing clips or clothespins. Doing that will add colour, warmth – and show people that you received and appreciate their cards.

 Mantel magic. Place a textured wreath above the mantel of your fireplace, then set three candles next to the wreath. The display is simple, yet sophisticated and adds a touch of holiday class to your fireplace.

 Fireplace frontage. Here’s an idea: place a pair of two to three-foot-long logs beside each other in front of your fireplace. Wrap them with a string of small LED lights and then place a row of votive candles in front of the logs. The lights and candles will add an extra bit of illumination, creating a warm holiday glow.

 Throw in some festive accent colours. Again, less is more here. Put some red, green, silver or gold accent pillows on the sofa, along with a colourful wool or fleece throw that matches both the sofa and cushions. Make sure to utilize colours that complement your home’s existing décor.

 Coffee table candies. Place colourful dishes filled with treats like candies, almond bark and shortbread on the coffee table so guests can have something to nibble on as they visit.

 Present placement. Wrap up some small boxes with festive wrapping paper and colourful bows. Put them on the coffee table, side tables – even the fireplace mantel – to add colour and texture to your great room.

 Beautify that bar cart. Put a holiday spin on serving drinks by populating your mobile bar cart with colourful bottles of popular alcoholic beverages and complement the bottles with gilded accessories for an extra dash of holiday colour.

 Table trim. Forego using an extravagant centerpiece on your dinner table. Instead, opt for an elegant runner that coordinates perfectly with place mats, candles and napkins. You also may want to eschew your expensive china in favor of colourful holiday plates, bowls, mugs and cups.

 Kitchen class. Seeing as your kitchen will serve as the hub for holiday entertaining, indulge yourself with colourful dishcloths, towels, placemats, candles – and perhaps a well-placed snow globe for good measure.

 Bedroom bliss. Carry holiday colours and décor over into your master suite: a bold red throw, green throw pillows or cushions and colourful candles.

 Easy does it. Once again, resist the urge to go overboard. Welcome people into your home with subtle sights and scents.

Keep this in mind: avoiding Griswold fever is the key to decking out your home out properly for the holidays. Less is always more!