5 Ways to Freshen up Your Holiday Decor

If you’re anything like me, you have two sets of Christmas decorations. There are the “keepers”—those that always go up and those you hold dear. Then there are the “others.”

The plastic Pier One snowman circa 1990. The pair of raffia angels you swore matched the powder room that has been painted twice since you’ve had them.

Last year, I purged all of my “others,” and I was left with my-tried-and-true holiday decor, but it didn’t seem like enough. So, I asked: How do I update my holiday decor while still enjoying my old standbys?

“You can always use your sentimental pieces, but adding the right accessories will update and freshen them,” says Heather Milligan, interior designer of HM Design in Lake Forest.

Milligan gives these ideas to make our spaces better during the holidays:

Bring it inside.

“It’s critical to have live pieces inside,” Milligan says. Create instant style by using indoor flowering bulbs like amaryllis or paperwhites. “Grouping more flowers together makes a statement versus dabbling the bulbs all over.”

Greenery is another way to bring the outdoors in. Milligan suggests boxwood wreathes in each window, or boxwood topiaries on the mantel to lend a chic splash of color to a room, while small boxwood bushes in an urn inside or outside create a simple look of elegance.

Merry mantel.

“Symmetry is my signature, so I like anchoring decorations on mantles with topiaries, sconces – something with height and weight,” Milligan says.

She suggests a collection or multiples of mercury glass pieces surrounded by greens.

Pick a color, any color.

“You can have a pink Christmas if you love pink,” Milligan states.

Just pick your color theme and work that in with your pieces. For example, one way to apply your color is by dressing your tree with beautiful ribbon and streamers.  Don’t be trapped by red, green and gold! (Check out bhg.com for more ideas on how to decorate with color.)

Lighten up with candles.

Candles have so many uses.

“The key is white, unused and straight,” Milligan says.   “Make sure your candelabra have candles and that the candles in them stand up straight.  Pillars are my favorite as they can be on bases of all sorts – gilt wood, mercury glass, in hurricanes or grouped together on a tray.”

Beware the Christmas village.

Villages can be charming, but should take less of a center stage.  There is such a thing as too much, in my opinion, so evaluate and edit along the way.

Milligan also suggests spending some time at stores like Home Goods or Michael’s for do-it-yourself inspiration.

“You can always find something new to incorporate in your space whether it’s by adding new pieces to your old decorations or by creating new ways to use what you already have.”

Some great websites to visit for other great holiday ideas are: