Holiday Decorating Tips Straight from an Expert

With Thanksgiving leftovers chilling in the fridge it’s time to wake up from our turkey nap and start decorating for Christmas! Lucky for us all I’ve got some holiday decorating tips straight from an expert!

Some of you may already be done. 

Some of you are traditionalists that are spending this weekend getting all your holly jolly out of the attic. 

And some of you have pulled most of your stuff down and are now staring at it wondering where in the world to put it all! 

It’s me. I’m doing that.

Never fear! My dear friend from Christina Gore Design Studio is here to answer your burning Christmas decorating questions!

Christina is a fabulous interior designer here in Central Arkansas and every year her instagram gives me all the holiday inspiration! 

Everything she does is perfection and straight out of a magazine! 

I’ve been crowdsourcing you all over on Instagram and you’ve given us some great questions! 

Let’s dig in!

What’s the biggest style trend right now?

Christina says: The biggest style trend right now is “Faux Real” which is the most real looking faux greenery and natural elements. Magnolia, cedar, pine, and eucalyptus are everywhere. Varied size berries and rich red color palettes never go out of style and when in doubt, add a giant pinecone or 2! 

Plaids mixed with stripes and velours is definitely the ribbon trend.

Do you have any tips for decorating a small apartment?

Christina says:  Try a pencil tree or maybe group 2 pencil trees together in varied heights for a bigger impact. You can also set a tree on a table like an entry table or dining table. 

Also, don’t forget about your walls and windows. Garlands and wreaths are beautiful swagged over windows or cabinetry. 

Throw pillows and blankets always add warmth as well.

I don’t have a lot of shelving and I’ve run out of table space to decorate, what can I do? 

Christina says: Think up, look to your walls! Garlands, swags, and wreaths are beautiful hung from mirrors, windows, cabinetry, armoires, art, chandeliers, or lighting. 

I also love adding a strand of magnolia garland to my range hood. 

Don’t forget about any open shelving as well or any lower pots or lanterns, etc that you can switch out and add holiday accessories. 

What’s the best way to secure garland around the door?

Christina says: I always use brick nails or screws in the mortar to hang garland. In some cases with a stucco exterior, we have suspended the garland from the porch ceiling with eye hooks screwed into the ceiling and commercial grade steel wire. Make sure you use floral wire wrapped around the center of the garland and attach the wire to the nail or screw and not a branch of garland. The branches will slip off of your hardware. We leave the hardware up all year and paint them the color of the home exterior so you do not notice them year round.

I have an aversion to putting holes in my wall. I just can’t do it. What are my options for hanging garland? 

Christina says: Command 3m hooks! Make sure your wall is clean and dry and follow direction on the package for adhering to wall. Then WAIT 24 hrs-this is a big step that the hook needs to set- and then hang next day. 

Some times if the hook is functioning as a backup support like garland sitting on a mantle in case it falls forward, then I will put those on when I get there and then hang last. But if it’s supporting weight, I will swing by the install the day before and hang so they are ready the following day.

Do you have any budget friendly ways to decorate that don’t look cheap?

Christina says: I would encourage you to go natural and start outside. Trim magnolia, boxwood, holly or pine branches and mix into your decor. You can also buy an assortment of these clippings at most nurseries and you can never go wrong with fresh pine garland and some large pinecones with your favorite ribbon. 

Also don’t forget about pots or table scapes. Add some fresh to that as well! I have a friend who takes her kids to several parks and friends houses with land and they go pine cone and magnolia hunting!

Are decorations included as part of your design services? And do you take the decor down for your clients after the season is over?

Christina says: When we are working with clients we always work with the product budget we are given and the new products are sold to the client. Our rates are hourly so products are always in addition. We are also happy to take down clients decor for the hourly rate. When we take down a clients decor, we organize in bins, label and even can organize in their attics if they prefer.

What day do you put up your personal tree?

Christina says: LOL to this question about my own tree! I love putting it up early however my installs begin Nov 1, so I try to squeeze it in within any little time spot I have! 

A lot of times it goes up right before Thanksgiving because my kids activities take a little break then and my husband gets some time off. But I tend to do a little bit here and there all through the season actually. I also love fresh garland so always add some after Thanksgiving! The last few years I’ve added a real tree on my back porch too after Thanksgiving.

I hope you all found some new inspiration for your homes this season, I know I have!

Check out Christina’s beautiful designs on Instagram and if you have a question that wasn’t answered leave it in the comments. 

Happy decorating!

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