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Capturing the holiday spirit

December 11, 2012

Christmas greeneryUnquestionably, the holiday season is one of ambiance. It is a time where we all gather our closest friends and families and celebrate the blessings in our world. Inevitably, we aim to do so in an environment that lends itself to togetherness and gratitude. During this time of year there is nothing more satisfying than the warmth of a fire, the nostalgia of a classic holiday film and the scrumptiousness of a holiday treat. The comforts of our world today are measured in the relaxation found in simple indulgences such as these. We take pleasure in small things, even more so during the holidays.

A surefire way to discover your classic holiday spirit is with a more traditional design scheme. With this approach, the greens and reds reign supreme. Try integrating classic patterns in addition to the prominent colors for an even more inclusive look. Christmas plaids of muted reds, greens and ivories are holiday favorites and look great as tablecloths, table runners or dinner napkins. Warm blankets in the same enduring pattern complete the timeless look and provide depth of texture and tactile softness. Classic burlap is another texture that adds dimension and will bring to life images of Christmases past. So put on Bing Crosby's Christmas album, sip your hot toddy and wrap yourself up in a warm blanket to rediscover the nostalgic, classic Christmas feeling.

Christmas ornamentsLooking for a more organic way to express your holiday spirit? Such inspiration is drawn from the natural elements of these winter months. This is the perfect style opportunity to bring the outside in. Natural elements such as pinecones, garland, poinsettias and evergreen branches add atmosphere and warmth to the holiday setting. Hang garland and lights from windows and along stair rails. Add holly berries, leaves, cranberries and pinecones to the garland for a nod to the classics. Evergreen branches draped along a crisp white table cloth or runner create a beautiful setting which draws inspiration from the deep green and crisp white color palettes of the season. Small bunchings of berries and pinecones incorporated into place settings or napkin rings are simple yet charming.

From pinks to blues, neon greens and deep purples, I've seen Christmas décor in any number of shades, and why not? The holidays are about being together and celebrating -- what better way to express the good cheer than with a limitless and unexpected color palette? This brilliant holiday style has been pulled off with fearless vigor in a number of settings. Finding its place in a more modern design style, classic Christmas motifs in bright tones bring unanticipated life to the holiday season. Fill clear vases with bright bulbs of all colors and sizes. Try utilizing the same bulbs in a large, welcoming wreath for the front door or wall as a way to set the precedent for the décor style. This is where the glitz, glimmer and the unconventional interpretations of the eccentric Trans Siberian Orchestra make Christmas bright.

Christmas tableFor those celebrating Hanukkah, bright silvers and classic blues and whites provide a beautiful setting. In a retail atmosphere, the color palette alone goes great with more streamlined modern furnishings for an edgy look during this holiday season. For more warmth, emphasize more of an ivory tone while exposing the depth and interest of the blues by incorporating various shades. This look will serve to provide rich visual interest. Don't forget the menorahs, gold coins and wintry snowflakes which all serve as festive motifs for the holidays.

Storeowners should consider setting a festive party scene in a prominent location within the showroom. This is a great way to share ideas with your customers on inspired ways to design a table setting for a special event. It also serves as a distinctive way to present any extra long dining tables within the store. This is where the natural elements -- pine cones, boughs, even potted trees and poinsettias placed throughout the store -- bring festive holiday colors and feel to any space.

There is more than one way to decorate for the holidays. Whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanza, finding your own personal style for the holidays is all about gathering inspiration from the traditional and putting your own personal spin to it. During this time of year everyone has certain traditions that are particularly significant. Such customs become a huge part of our personal identity and the identity of the holiday season for each of us, shaping what means the most during these festive months, and often which decorative style we prefer.

Happy Holidays!