Put the “Happy” in your “Holidays” with our favorite design tips!

Has Thanksgiving come and gone already? Yes, we know it was a few days earlier in the month than usual, but, seriously, how did it go by so fast?

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed for the advent of seasonal festivities (as most of us are), here are some great suggestions we’d like to share with you for putting the “Happy” in your “Holidays!”

Choose a theme

Choosing a theme for décor, entertaining, and even family meals sets a warm and welcoming tone for your holidays. Your theme can be as subtle – and as simple – as a favorite holiday item such as cranberries. Think cranberry desserts, cranberry chains on your Christmas tree, and wreaths and centerpieces made of cranberries and greenery. Fresh cranberries will last for weeks, and artificial berry arrangements are available at most craft stores.

Creating a cohesive design throughout your house actually makes your holiday planning easier. Try using similar colors or styles, such as rustic, or plaid. Choosing time periods is a fun and unique way to involve family, visitors, or party guests … a Great Gatsby Christmas, anyone?

Want to get the whole family involved? A winter animals theme opens a world of possibilities from dress up and kid art to place settings, stocking stuffers, and ornaments.


Go cool…or go classic!

Change it up a little this year

Tired of the same old table runner you’ve had for years? Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you have to reuse it! Try these tips for a welcome change:

1. Feel free to purge … or better yet, pass down family linens or decorative items. (Donate if no one truly has a use for them.)

2. Add to your collection. If you’re looking to purchase new, this is a great time of year to take advantage of seasonal displays – and seasonal sales! Other people are certainly making changes, so browsing through thrift shops can also yield treasures.

3. Change the location of your décor – one of our favorites. For example, if you usually put candles on the mantle, try your kitchen counter instead. Hang the family stockings someplace unusual … such as under the stairs or on the front door. How about holiday wreaths inside on all your bedroom doors?

4. Go bold and step out of your comfort zone. Dress up routine or overlooked parts of your home with holiday cheer. Use your bookcases, storage hutches, and even bathrooms to add thematic touches. Wrap tiny lights around your houseplants – the possibilities are endless!

Holiday décor doesn’t have to be expensive

Trust us … we’ve sourced great décor for years. Check out some of our favorites:

• We like Hobby Lobby for amazing greenery and wreaths (and pretty much everything else)!

• Who doesn’t like bargain bins? Some of the best are at Target – take advantage of the dollar bins (themed!) kitchen towels, shelf fillers, and battery-operated light strings.

Home Depot might not be top-of-mind for holiday goodies, but we think Home Depot has some of the cutest and best-priced exterior and interior holiday décor!

• Did we mention dollar stores? Pick up inexpensive vases to fill with pinecones, light strings, or glass ornaments. Look for ornaments at great prices to use for fillers, too.

Home Goods is just what the name says … good stuff for your home. Look for bigger statement pieces and for outdoor décor, such as wreaths, light up-displays, signs, and decorative trees. Thinking of your holiday theme? We think Home Goods just might have the best throw pillows for Thanksgiving and Christmas décor.

• Don’t forget ARC, Goodwill, and other thrift shops. After all, if you’re donating some of your own great items, other people are, too, right?

Shop local!

Did you know that Saturday, November 24 (yes, the day after Black Friday), is Small Business Saturday? We urge you to consider local business to round out your holiday happiness.

St. Nick’s Christmas and Collectibles in Littleton is outstanding for just that perfect unique piece or handmade ornament.

Lulu’s Furniture and Decor in Englewood is a favorite spot of ours, featuring out-of-the-ordinary pieces for every season (and theme!).

Nick’s Garden Center in Aurora is great place for fresh-cut trees, poinsettias, and handcrafted items.

Now … don’t you feel better already?

P.S. Don’t forget to check out all of the craft and holiday shows throughout the area. Take your pick from the always-fun handmade gifts and accessories. Here’s a pretty comprehensive list.