The end-of-year holiday season starts with Thanksgiving. As we gather to feast and celebrate the blessings we have enjoyed in the past year. But it doesn’t stop there. We savor the season in a variety of ways, from Thanksgiving right through the end of the year and into the beginning of the next. Lake Country Publications is celebrating, too, with a series of stories designed to feed the holiday spirit in us all.
When it comes to decorating your home for the holidays, there’s no wrong way to go about it.
That’s the philosophy of Jean Niebler, owner of La Belle Legacy, a gift and home decor consignment shop in Oconomowoc.
“I think people just have to love what they have and surround themselves with their favorite things,” Niebler said. People have their favorite ornaments or their favorite pieces that are maybe a gift that is very sentimental to them. So, I think that’s what Christmas is all about.”
Niebler talked with the Lake Country Reporter about trends in holiday decor and offered tips on how to make your favorite pieces stand out.
This year’s trends
Niebler said natural-looking decorations are popular among her customers this year. She said wood, pine cones and plant materials are being used to decorate trees or accent tables.
“We’re bringing in a lot of pine cones. We’ve added even some succulents,” she said. “The natural look like the birch trees. We even have ornaments that have pine cones and a little bit of glass, a little bit of glitz.”
When decorating a tree with branches and ornaments, Niebler recommended starting with bigger pieces at the top, and working down with smaller pieces on lower sections of the tree.
Niebler said she another popular look this year is using a lot of gold and burgundy for a regal look, but her favorite is the natural look.
“I like the pine cones. We have the winter animal ornaments and the succulents, which is really different,” she said. “It’s kind of bringing the outdoors in. I kind of like that.”
The holiday season is a time to bring out big boxes full of lights and decorations and make the home especially cozy. Niebler said that although there is not really such thing as over decorating, there are certain ways to improve a display or make a favorite piece really stand out.
When putting decorations on a table, Niebler said risers are a good way to make a centerpiece pop. Having decorations at different elevations is pleasing to the eye, she said.
“What we have this year are these birch risers just so you have some elevation to your tabletop to break it up a little bit,” Niebler said. “Add a little glitz. Add a little of your greenery. Add a little pine cone. It’s kind of a mix.”
Another thing Niebler recommends is to work in odd numbers when using multiple numbers of a single decoration, such as a pine cone or a snowflake ornament.
“You always want to work in odd numbers,” she said. “So if you put ornaments, do it in threes, fives or sevens. And always have something that’s a focal point, that’s your centerpiece.”
Find what works for you
The most important thing when decorating a home, Niebler said, is to find what works for the family and the person decorating. Pick things that reflect your family’s interests.
“I think some people like a more formal look,” she said. “I think if you’re in a home with a family with young children, you kind of want that fun, whimsical look with a lot of color. Children like their favorite ornaments on the tree, and they want them within reach so they can see them.”
To add coziness to the decorations, Niebler recommends adding lanterns with battery-operated candles or LED string lights to run along a shelf.
“It’s darker earlier in the day, so we like light, and we add more light inside our homes,” Niebler said.
Decorating should be stress-free and make the home warm and inviting for one’s family and friends, according to Niebler.
“You just want to have your favorites around you, and at Christmas time, I think we always embellish our homes more so than any other time of the year,” she said. “So it’s a little more busy, and we love it at that time.”
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