With so much going on this time of year, it can be tough to actually enjoy the season. But your home can help. “Holiday decorating can help keep your stress level down,” says Christa O’Leary, an interior designer and green living expert at Home in Harmony in Hingham, MA. The key, though, is to decorate with the goal of feeling calmer and more organized. Here, O’Leary shares two of her top decorating tension tamers.
Choose a color scheme. Instead of putting up decorations of every color, such as lots of blue and silver decorations in one room, red and green ornaments in another, think color scheme. “To make your home feel more harmonious, choose two or three colors that coordinate,” O’Leary says.If your home’s holiday colors this year are red, green and gold, for example, only buy or display decorations with those colors.
“I start with a wreath in my color scheme at the front door because it’s the first thing that welcomes people,” O’Leary says. Then, continue with that color scheme throughout your house. You don’t have to go all out. If you have a chandelier in the dining room, for example, maybe just weave in some red, green and gold garland. In the kitchen, hang some red, green and/or gold holiday tea towels. Let your color scheme translate to your linens, tablecloths and dishes too, if you can. With just two or three colors dominating the landscape, “your home will feel less chaotic,” O’Leary says.
Put a wrap on present stress. Extend your color scheme to the wrapping paper you buy, too. If your holiday colors are blue and silver, buy wrapping paper in solids or patterns with only those colors. Then designate wrapping paper for different people. “If you’ll be spending Christmas Eve at your parent’s house, for example, wrap all those gifts in a particular wrapping paper,” O’Leary says. “I wrap my in-laws gifts in another pattern of wrapping pattern and each of my four kids has their own wrapping paper pattern, too.”
Wrapping gifts this way helps you visualize how many gifts you have for everyone and see where you might need to fill in, and not forget presents when you’re running off to someone’s house. “You just grab all the presents in that pattern of wrapping paper and you’re good to go,” O’Leary says.
Next week, O’Leary shares her tips for making your holiday table fabulous.