Holly berries, evergreen boughs, mistletoe, kissing balls. With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to deck the halls with greenery, the best way to make your home feel fresh and festive. …
Holly berries, evergreen boughs, mistletoe, kissing balls. With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to deck the halls with greenery, the best way to make your home feel fresh and festive. We asked Erika Twohig of Pickle & Board Interiors in Barrington for tips on decorating for the holiday season and making it fun.
1) Start with Greens: “After Thanksgiving, my Pickle & Board partner Julie Sanfilippo and I love shopping for basic greens for our homes at Trader Joe’s. They have such great evergreens and sell them in small packs so you can mix and match. We have completely different styles, so it’s always fun to see what we end up picking. We both start with our greens in water in a classic vase on the table and from there we layer in other elements such as a table runner, ribbons or more greens with sparkle and glitz.
“Because they’re fresh, they add a wonderful scent. For me there is nothing better than the smell of pine and balsam fir, those are my favorites. Then I’ll add little elements like holly berries as we get closer to Christmas. We also love putting greens on the mantle and bookshelves, sometimes weaving in small battery-operated fairy lights to create a mood.”
2) Layering and Grouping: “For the table, it’s all about height and color variation. That doesn’t mean going overboard with color, but maybe adding a couple of wood tones with white and some green or red mixed in looks beautiful.
“And if you want to add items on a mantle or table, like small wooden trees or snowflakes, we don’t suggest mixing and matching; a small grouping of 2 or 3 of the same items is better, maybe in differing heights. We also love layering in tapered candles and candlesticks.”
3) Ornamental Faves: “I have a tradition with my family where every Halloween, when we get our pumpkins, I look for an ornament for the tree but also to use in a tablescape or in a dish or a bowl. I look for either a vintage style ornament or one that really makes a statement, like a large ball or snowflake, something that you can layer in with other elements that you already have. It’s about using your own special things and mixing in a few statement pieces.”
4. Decorate Your Chandelier: “If you’re having a lot of people over for a holiday dinner and space on the table is limited, consider trimming your chandelier instead of using a centerpiece. One year I took several deep red glittery holiday balls from our tree and hung them up on the chandelier. Weave some greens in, and it’s really a great way to decorate.”
5) Wreaths: “I buy evergreen wreaths every year for my family’s home, and I like to keep it really simple by adding only a single ribbon, maybe plaid, or whatever I’m in the mood for that year, and tying it on the top.
“Sometimes I look on Pinterest for different bow styles, but it’s usually just a basic one. I love a simple wreath; they’re just so fresh. I also have faux wreaths that I have on the inside of my doors so I’m not only decorating the exterior of the doors but the inside as well.”
6) Kissing Balls: “Julie loves hanging a couple of the evergreen and pinecone kissing balls on her front porch, and they’re just so sweet.”
7) Stagger Decorating: “People can find it overwhelming putting up their decorations all in one day. What I do with my kids, which is really fun, is we’ll start bringing up our holiday bins for fall and harvest season in October and then just start layering in holiday decorations and swapping out as we get into December. It’s ok to start early, to put out some evergreens when the weather gets cooler and save the super ornamental décor for closer to the holiday.
“It’s an enjoyable way to feel festive throughout the season, and it’s also a good way to make your house feel less cluttered.
“Finally, to make the feeling last, I’ll keep the greenery on my mantle with twinkle lights probably until February or March. I just love looking at them.”
8) Support Local Fundraising Groups: “Many schools and charitable organizations offer greenery and trees for sale around the holidays as fundraisers, and it’s a great way to support local causes. If a student doesn’t come knocking on your door to sell them, you can often find information on how to order on your town’s Facebook page.”