December 11, 2011

Okay, I admit it. I love the Holidays. I love everything from the feasts to the fir trees, from the twinkling lights to the sparkling store windows. I am that person who puts Christmas music on rotation starting December 1st.

(If you are not a fan of the pomp and circumstance, and prefer to use the winter season for some self-reflection and selflessness please check out the post I wrote on how to make micro-loans through KIVA.)


I have to admit that, because I am in a profession where a project can take literally years from start to completion, I love the projects that begin and end in a day: bring on the Christmas Tree! There are so many articles on trees I thought I would focus on the other surfaces of your home.

This is the perfect time of year to practice your design vignette skills. A design vignette, or “tablescape,” according to a great how to” article by The Learning Channel is a quick way to transform any dull corner of your home at any time of the year.

Pine Cones. Photo © Catherine Holliss

During the Holiday Season, we have a great opportunity to transform our homes with a few simple moves. As a grad student, I would befriend the local Christmas Tree seller and come home with a pile of evergreen branches to fill my apartment with that distinctive smell that says “Holiday!” 

This is still a classic option. Here are some ways to use those boughs:

  • Collect some pine cones—I found these in the mountains last year—and place in a wooden bowl with some sprigs of green and battery-run lights
  • create a layer of pine boughs on a platter and then place shiny balls in and around them
  • weave the boughs into a long centerpiece for your table. Use ribbon or floral wire to bind the boughs into place. Add fresh fruit, berries, nuts or pinecones. Keep it simple and elegant
  • use floral wire to create a loose wreath. Different evergreen branches will create interest and keep it feeling natural

There’s also no shortage of decorating options for sale in every store—but is there a way to be festive without being cliché?


Certainly this is the perfect time to add gloss and glitter to your home but how to do that without going overboard? I am obsessed with the Deco-Balls at Kouboo.

Kouboo Deco Balls. Photo © Catherine Holliss

I mixed up some of the red deco balls with the seashell deco balls, and threw them into the Balian Teak Wood Centerpiece for something that feels completely seasonal, and utterly original. The best part is that not one of these objects needs to disappear into a cardboard storage box in January: there are so many ways to repurpose them.

I already have an idea for how to use the seashell balls in a beach design vignette to cheer us all up from our mid-winter blahs.

But let’s not talk about January.

This is the season to be merry. I’d love to know your favorite ways to bring some light and laughter into your own homes. Please share your favorite Holiday decorating tips.

Written by Catherine Holliss

Interior Design Blog Writer,, LLC

Director of Interior Design, Sander Architects LLC.  


Photographs © Catherine Holliss unless otherwise noted. 

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