From trimming the tree to adorning the mantel and setting a festive table, when it comes to creating winter cheer, there’s no wrong way to decorate for the holidays. Still, a sprinkle of festive inspiration from those who decorate as a profession can definitely add extra joy to your holiday home style.
We talked with Louisville designer Mark Eliason, owner of Mark Eliason Interiors, 2711 Lexington Road, for insights into the best and easiest ways to update traditional holiday trimmings. The 30-plus-year interior design veteran not only decks out his own home each holiday season, but he also works his magic in the homes of clients.
“Your home should feel unique and special during this time of the year,” Eliason said. “Some people just want a fabulous tree, others want to decorate multiple rooms. Some even want their bedrooms decorated for the holidays.”
Eliason and his husband, Jeff Howard, met us at Dillard’s Homestore in Mall St. Matthews to point out this year’s fresh new color combinations, rich and luxurious textures to use throughout the home, a few modern updates to Christmas figurines, and a glittery retro look that made us all say “ahh.”
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Whether you want to start from scratch or simply add some of these trends to holiday items you already own, here are 10 tips from the pros to add twinkle and pizzazz to your holiday home.
What’s the best way to wrap Christmas lights around your tree?
“When you start to decorate for the holidays, your tree is a good place to start,” Eliason told the Courier Journal. The designer starts by wrapping lights near the trunk of the tree and works outward. The more lights the better and he likes warm white Christmas tree lights but also big bright retro bulbs popular in the 1960s.
“Really it should be fun and you want to feel comfortable with how you’ve decorated so go with what you really like,” he said.
As a general rule of thumb, use about 100 bulbs for every 2 feet of your Christmas tree. So for a 6-foot tree, you’d need 300 bulbs. Use the plug as the starting point, wrapping the lights around your Christmas tree’s trunk, working your way up from the center of the base of your tree. Continue wrapping the lights evenly around the branches nearest to the trunk, and then weave them upward from the middle of the crown. When you get to the top, start weaving your way back down.
“You can’t go wrong with lots and lots of lights,” the designer said. “Once they are in plac,e start filling in with garland and ornaments. If your tree is sparse and you want to add fullness, tree picks or floral sprays are decorated branches of twigs, berries, decorative balls, or leaves you can place into empty spaces.”
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Sprays are a subtle accent that not only adds dimension to your Christmas tree but also adds a splash of color and texture. If you buy too many, they are great to add to wreaths and garlands.
What are the Christmas tree decoration color trends for 2022?
This is a year to think outside the traditional red, green, and white Christmas color palate.
“We are going to see a bunch of beautiful colors this season,” Eliason said. “Think bright and happy. It’s a great season for those who just love to embrace color. It’s a whole new level of color this year and I absolutely love it.”
This vibrant trend is a rainbow of peppy hues like hot pink, lime green, aquamarine blue, sunshine yellow, and bright purple. These festive colors will really pop on any Christmas tree but especially artificial trees in white and pink.
And why stop at the tree when you can fill a room with colorful good cheer? The bright colors of Christmas 2022 are showing up as ornaments, garlands, ribbons, and figurines.
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Christmas decorations ideas for retro, vintage ornaments
Even if you are too young to remember your grandparent’s collection of shiny and brightly colored (and super fragile) ornaments, you may recognize them from movies like “A Christmas Story.” The magical prisms of sky blue, bright pink, cherry apple red, and silver are back in vogue and as breakable as ever. (Who cares if a few shards of these delicate beauties end up under the tree? They are so much fun to look at.)
If you are into the vintage and retro feel, don’t stop with the tree. The nostalgia lover will find stores in 2022 carrying plenty of items reminiscent of the knickknacks in Aunt Mary’s rumpus room.
Suddenly back in style and back on the shelves are Mr. Christmas products, which come in assorted sizes. Established in 1933, the plug-in ceramic tree is sure to be a hot seller this season.
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How to decorate your Christmas tree with emerald and gold accents
Also trending for the 2022 holiday season is an emerald and gold color combination.
“When you think emerald, think Ralph Lauren. It’s a very bright beautiful emerald green and we’re seeing it combined with gold in ornaments and placed together on holiday tables,” the designers said. A rich blue and gold combination is also on trend in 2022.
To get the look, add a dozen or so emerald or blue ornaments to your tree with some gold ribbon or spray accents and you’ll have an eye-catching focal point.
Christmas decorations ideas for velvet ornaments, figurines
Luxury fabrics are also in style this year.
“Not only have we seen velvet hit the design industry with pillows and furniture, but it’s also hitting Christmas in a big way too,” said Eliason.
From velvet ornaments, reindeer figurines, and ribbons, this soft accent is an easy addition to your existing decor. Velvet will add texture and elegance to any holiday look said Eliason.
“By adding a velvet plaid garland to your Christmas tree you’ve immediately elevated the look,” he said.
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Christmas decorations ideas with rose gold, silver, brass and more
We all love a tree that shines and sparkles and to that end, gold and silver will always be on point.
For his own tree, Eliason chooses metallic ornaments and ribbons in shades of rose gold, gun metal, pewter, onyx, and brass. These new metallic colors help to add more depth to your decor when you add them to your already existing gold and silver.
Just be sure to use multiple shades of metallic if you want to create a look of elegance, richness, and sparkle.
How to decorate for Christmas with sage and gold accents
A hot trending color that looks amazing when combined with blush pink, blue-grey, or gold is sage.
“It’s almost a mint green,” said Eliason. “It’s a beautiful color that is more muted than the traditional green and will give your decor a fresh stamp.”
Adding sage accents to a rich green tree brings out another color dimension and a modern touch. Wispy gold sprays are the perfect pairing with sage ornaments to add a pinch of festive glitter.
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How to decorate for Christmas with neutral, monochromatic colors
While many enjoy the dazzle of the holidays, others prefer a clean, uncluttered look.
If that’s your vibe, you’ll have plenty to choose from on store shelves this year. Eliason is seeing a lot of wood tones, muted colors, and concrete with design textures.
“Neutral doesn’t mean boring, it is a very sophisticated look,” he said. “The ornaments are muted but textured and may look like glazed concrete but are as light as a feather.”
Snow villages, another popular holiday decorating trend, have also adopted a new monochromatic look this holiday season. In 2022 all white tiny snow towns provide a clean and uncluttered fresh look for the holidays.
How to decorate for Christmas with tabletop decorations
It may not be just the Christmas tree and mantel you are decorating this season. Many like to add festive cheer throughout the house.
A fresh take on holiday figurines is a distinctively Scandinavian feel this year. These are simple glass cone-shaped trees and they come in various colors and sizes and finishes.
Place a few together as a centerpiece on the table, a bookshelf or a coffee table for an uncluttered yet festive holiday vibe.
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Christmas decorations ideas for jingle bells
There will be more than just “Silver Bells,” this year.
“People love to decorate with bells at Christmas and this year you’ll be able to find them in a wider variety of shapes and colors,” Eliason said.
Traditionally silver Christmas bells are used as ornaments on trees and wreaths and nestled into garlands on the mantel. For 2022, decorative bells will make an appearance in a more organic brass cowbell shape and in a multitude of sizes.
Whether oversize or miniature, sleek or rustic, collections of like items such as bells or gnomes, or reindeer look best when clumped together. The effect is more textured and robust visually than placing individual items in different areas of the home.
Not every Christmas trend will appeal to your holiday senses. Remember that the most special aspects of the holidays are the traditions and memories you’ve collected throughout a lifetime. Family ornaments, favorite color themes, and treasured mementos are what make the holidays a time of joyous reflection.
But now and then, it’s fun to add a new twist to tradition.
“Whatever your style, you get to choose what style fits you and your family,” said Eliason. “Make it feel like Christmas and the joy that the holiday season brings.”
Reach features reporter Kirby Adams at [email protected]