Decorating for the Holidays

by Jamie Alexander

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The lights go up, the decorations are hung and the house becomes a “home for the holidays”.

Every year my heart is saddened with the amount of “disposable décor” that seems to flood the market place. Looking at my family’s Christmas decorating, it was about the sentimental feeling you get when you unpack the decorations of Christmas past. I wanted to share with you a few tips & tricks on how to make the most of what you already may have in your home that can be used for the holidays by adding touches of “investment decorations” that you will keep for many years to come.

The Mantle: The hearth (fireplace) has been said to be the heart of the home, or at least the heart of the room in which it resides.

Tip #1– Gather your décor. Instead of spreading decorations all over the room gather it together to create a focal point for the room. In the photo above we gathered the miniature trees that were accumulated over the years and added year-round candle holders to the mix. Here we left the everyday art above the fireplace and added a wreath, miniature trees and real balsam / pine branches. Got allergies? Don’t worry décor shops sell amazing quality & great looking faux branches.

The Server: Perhaps in your home it’s a console, buffet or side board. Regardless of its function, it can be transformed into a holiday decoration for the dining room or hallway.

Tip#2– Layer, layer and more layers. Layering is Key when decorating the server for any occasion. As you will notice again we took everyday items like these gorgeous summertime lanterns, a mirror, wreath and candles. Layering them together with a faux fur throw gave us the “holiday look” for less, The only Christmas décor additions were the ornaments & wreath that we layered in with everyday décor pieces from around the home.



The Tree: Often we forget about under the tree when we decorate for Christmas. We leave it to be bare until Christmas eve when Santa comes to fill the stockings hung on the chimney with care.

Tip #3– Use what you have around the house to decorate under the tree. We don’t realize what a difference it can make by decorating under the tree, in this case, we used the same everyday fur throws we have around the house to create a warm winter feeling as the tree skirt. From there a few key presents from early Christmas shopping were wrapped in brown craft paper and tied in strips of cut burlap. To give your presents a pop of colour & holiday spirit save a few ornaments that you have in the tree, cut an odd twig or two from the back of your tree and tie them into the ribbon. No worries, that tree branch will dry nicely a top the brown wrapped Christmas presents.

In conclusion Christmas décor doesn’t have to be disposable, its knowing where to save and where to splurge. For example, those lanterns might have seemed to be an expensive Christmas decoration to use a couple weeks a year, however when you can use them summer and fall on the patio or in the sunroom they are a great investment. When you are buying décor for your home year-round, think about what you can revamp or use to recreate a Christmas display in your home.

With the right amount of Love, key Christmas pieces and everyday décor you can certainly you’re your House into a Home for the Holidays. From our home to yours we wish the Merriest Holiday Season. Thank you to Décor Haute Look for providing all the decorations, accessories and furniture for this photoshoot and article.

Jamie Alexander is an award-winning designer, home decor writer and TV personality that has been named one of the “Top 10 designers in Canada”. He can be found from time to time working in the design studio with Julie & Joanne at Décor Haute Look in the scenic town of Neguac.  For more information please visit: | 506.776.0200 | Twitter @JamieLAlexander | Instagram: @JamieAlexanderDesign

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