6 quick tips to make holiday decorating so much easier

Holiday Decorating
Photos by Nate Sheets

The holidays are stressful enough. We all want our homes to exude Christmas magic, but it can be time consuming to get to that place. Designer Erica Rigdon of Style and Grace Interiors shares her pointers for efficiently decorating for the holidays so you can spend less time stressing and more time with family. “It’s all about slowing down and enjoying the season,” Rigdon says. “When you’ve got a beautifully decorated home, it almost encourages you to stop and enjoy the moment with everyone.”

Tip 1: Find a holy grail ribbon.

A wide wired ribbon is a versatile staple for trees, mantels and bannisters. After she strings lights on the tree, Rigdon cuts a patterned wired ribbon into two- or three-foot lengths and tucks them vertically into tree sections instead of wrapping around, giving the tree more shape and volume. “If it’s too long, it pulls and looks straight,” Rigdon says. “You want it to have body and curve and texture.”

Holiday Decorating

Tip 2: Start with ornament basics.

Those cheap boxes of ornaments at craft and dollar stores make it easy to get a color family started, whether you chose traditional green and red, modern gold, or icy silver and blue. Wait until the end to hang treasured ornaments, including any family heirlooms, so they’re more visible.

Tip 3: Make a tree look fuller.

Stick faux branches and plants into the tree to make it look more lush. They’re also great tools for hiding string light cords and connectors in the tree.

Holiday Decorating

Tip 4: Switch out throw pillows.

This is an inexpensive way to ensure that Christmas isn’t stuck in one corner of the room. Swap out year-round pillows for festive ones that match your tree’s color scheme.

Tip 5: Fashion a disposable table runner.

You may not realize this, but you probably already have a table runner on hand. “I’ll take a roll of Christmas wrapping paper that speaks to me or matches the room’s style and run it down the center of the dining room table,” Rigdon says. “I let it run about another eighteen inches off the sides.” And if someone spills on it at Christmas dinner, you can toss it and roll out a new one.

Holiday Decorating

Tip 6: Make it homey with wrapped presents and stuffed stockings.

A so-worth-it practice to make your decked space feel lived in is to keep wrapped presents under the tree. If you don’t have presents lined up quite yet or you’re a last-minute wrapper, wrap and display empty boxes and reuse them year after year. Rigdon also recommends plumping up stockings with tissue paper or newspaper.

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