Interior Designer | Moraga, Lafayette, Orinda | Kimberley Harrison Interiors


Decorating with Style – Secrets for Elegantly Infusing the Holiday Spirit



Time, time, time, 
See what’s become of me…

Those lyrics from Hazy Shade of Winter by The Bangles seem to be everyone’s anthem these days. We all are faced with busy, complicated lives and time just slips by. Then we look up, and it’s the holidays…which just adds to our ‘to do’ list. Some people like to tackle a theme for their holiday decorations—I used to do that too. Now I have simplified my seasonal styling. It doesn’t mean it is less festive. It just means it is less stressful. I like to think of it as a fresh and elegant approach to infusing the holiday spirit into my home.

If you are looking for simple ways to create a sophisticated winter wonderland this holiday season, then here are a few of my secrets.

Home Décor
Nothing infuses the holiday spirit like the scent of pine. When you are out running errands, make a stop at your local garden center to purchase an ample supply of live garland. This will be the featured element of your seasonal décor. When you get home, grab your pruning shears or scissors and snip off sections to distribute around your entire house. And a super simple way to add a pop of color is to add a few sprigs of red berries to the arrangements. I like a fresh, clean look with lots of green. It looks and feels like the holidays without the need for Santas everywhere.

For some, this won’t be quite enough. If that is the case, add Paperwhites and Amaryllis bulbs to your shopping list, as well as a few affordable pots. Fresh flowers always add a touch of happiness to a home, and these will last all month long. Display them in classic silver and gold pots or rustic bark containers, and if desired adorn with moss, berries or decorative ribbon. This is a great solution for decorating, and it doesn’t look overdone. 

Take special care with the arrangement of these elements to highlight your mantle. If you want an extra special touch here, then head to Trader Joe’s and pick up some mini Christmas trees. Line your mantle with a few of these adorable trees along with your stocking hangers and you are all set.

Remember when I mentioned holiday themes. I used to have a tablescape theme every year. Now I let my Paperwhites and Amaryllis steal the show. Arrange a few on the table and surround with simple votives—Voila!—an effortlessly elegant display.

When it is time to wrap your gifts, don’t get overwhelmed by the kaleidoscope of colorful graphic papers on the market. Remember we are keeping things simple and classic. Buy craft paper or a sophisticated black and white striped gift wrap along with some grosgrain ribbon in red, white or black. Pretty packages are always fun to open, but while they are sitting around your house they can also add to your décor. 

Décor – check
Tablescape – check
Presents – check

You are done! Now that you have elegantly infused the holiday spirit with minimal effort, celebrate with one of our festive cocktail recipes.