TORONTO - Sarah Richardson says no one needs more chaos or pressure during the holidays — and that includes decorating.
"We all need solutions to make it as easy and as foolproof, as hassle-free and as stress-free as possible and so I would say keep it simple," said the designer and HGTV host.
Here are tips from Richardson and other experts on sprucing up interiors for the festive season.
1. SETTLE ON ONE COLOUR.
"For my whole life I have loved silver and gold and white, keeping it neutral, and then you can add in one accent colour," says Richardson, author of "At Home: Sarah Style."
"Is your colour red? Is it green? Is it blue? There's so much variation now in the world of Christmas design. But I think the easiest results and the prettiest ones come from just taking a super simple single-colour approach."
2. LIGHTEN UP.
Richardson likes to accent dimmed rooms with candles, and says they can help enhance a space with minimal investment.
"I have always been a 'work with what you've got' kind of person," says the design guru, who prefers a mix of vintage candlesticks topped with taper candles.
"Throw in some tea lights because they create sparkle down at a low level on the tabletop. You can do pillar candles, but sometimes those can be expensive....
"Not everything has to match. Just make it work with what you've got.... My greatest wish would be that people embrace the idea of entertaining and make the most of what they've got instead of shying away thinking, 'I can't do it.' Because I believe everybody can."
3. TRIM THE TREE ... ON YOUR WALL.
Stuck for space? A Christmas tree fashioned from tape could be the solution.
Canadian Tire style expert Tracy Platt says that the unconventional take on the classic tree offers a great option for those who may not have the time to put up and care for a larger one.
Use Washi, a decorative, low-tack Japanese masking tape, to create the outline of the tree, which can be affixed to a wall or a painted corkboard frame. Dangling ornaments can be tacked onto the wall or pinned onto the board.
"This is so easy. It doesn't take a long time. And it's something that you can do with your kids that's really fun," Platt said of the project.
"Let them help with picking out the ornaments. Older kids can maybe help you with pushing them in (or) they can help you with just stringing the wires. And then when you're all done this great little frame, you can lean it on a table, maybe put it on a mantle. It would even be great in your office ... and just a fun little festive touch of Christmas."
4. GO FOR GLASS.
Platt says a big decorating trend is creating a winter scene using a terrarium, lantern or cloche.
She suggests placing miniature ornaments or figurines and bit of fake snow to create a mini-winter wonderland. Once the holidays are over, the vessel can be used to feature plants or other treasured pieces.
"It could be a vintage figurine that's been handed down in your family or some other great item that you really want to showcase."
5. RED, WHITE AND GOLD.
In addition to festive staples like traditional tree toppers, knit stockings and ornaments, Devlin Kenny says there is plenty on offer for those seeking modern decorative items suitable for the holidays and beyond.
A prime example is an abundance of white-and-gold accented items.
"We're seeing it a lot in home decor and ceramics ... whether it's figurines, flatware, plates, vases, and in the detailing of flatware and miniature ceramics," said Kenny, marketing and community manager for the One of a Kind Christmas Show and Sale in Toronto, which showcased a prime mix of traditional and contemporary items from more than 800 artisans.
Canadiana and heritage-themed items also featured prominently as decorative alternatives from hand-painted wooden flags to pillows and furniture emblazoned with prints of city skylines and nature landscapes.
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