7 Holiday Decorating Blunders and How to Fix Them
Make your home the talk of the neighborhood — for all the right reasons. Here’s a list of decorating mistakes and how to avoid them before the big day.
Blunder #1: Overly Dry Christmas Tree
Artificial trees are great, but for those of us who must have real Christmas trees, it can be tricky trying to keep them from drying up and withering away as Christmas approaches.
Solution: Frequent Watering
Just like fresh-cut flowers, fresh-cut Christmas trees must have a lot of water to maintain their freshness. To keep them looking full and hydrated, it is necessary to keep the bottom few inches of the stump submerged in water at all times.
Blunder #2: Mantel Mayhem
Many homeowners already make the fireplace the focal point of the room. But doing so is especially important during the holiday season, as the mantel is a prime decorating space. Too frequently, however, the mantel is either cluttered with random items without any theme or direction, or not decorated at all.
Solution: Well-Designed Holiday Mantel
Take a little time to think about how you want to decorate your mantel. Create a theme or just focus on a visually pleasing arrangement of your normal decorations. Whether elegant, rustic or just plain fun, work on your mantel display with the idea that it must look good enough to be the backdrop of family photos.
Blunder #3: Overburdened Power Strip
Fire hazards abound during the holidays, with one of the most frequent culprits being overburdened power strips. Not only is the chaotic mess of wires unsightly, but if the power strip overheats from excessive use, a fire can start.
Solution: Putting Safety First
Before you start decorating your home, consider planning it out first based on where outlets are positioned and how many you have at your disposal. Then, once everything is set up, check the cords to see if they are getting hot. If so, unplug them immediately and adjust your arrangement accordingly.
Blunder #4: Overusing Red and Green
As traditional Christmas colors, red and green are seasonal favorites for a reason. But did you know that there are other festive color combinations to choose from? It might be time to give them a try.
Solution: Mix Things Up
Go ahead — use new colors! Don’t be afraid to break away and mix things up. For example, metallics are always a stunning choice, especially when paired with a single hue, like blue or red.
Blunder #5: Out-of-Scale Christmas Tree
When it comes to Christmas trees, size is important — and bigger does not always mean better. For example, a medium-sized tree in a huge room will feel awkward and out of place, while a huge tree in a tiny apartment will feel overwhelming.
Solution: Stay in Scale
Select a tree that fits the size of your space and ceiling height. For small spaces, a tabletop tree accompanied by a festive vignette is a great solution. If you have high ceilings but don’t want to deal with a 10-foot tree, consider being creative with the location of your tree. Set it up in the kitchen or dining room, for instance.
Blunder #6: Chaotic Ornament Hanging
Hanging ornaments can easily get out of hand with the entire family adding them willy-nilly. But let’s face it, you don’t want to put in all that hard work for a sloppy, uneven display of candy canes, lights and bulbs. You want it to look nice.
Solution: Planned Placement
Take a little bit of time to organize and plan your tree trimming, and above all do not over-decorate. Segregate your ornaments into groups based on things like size or color. Add the bulkier ornaments first, working from top-to-bottom and spacing them evenly as you go. Be sure to let some of the natural tree needles show through. After adding each group of baubles, step back and take stock of the tree to make sure it still looks good.
Blunder #7: Disorganized, Unsafe Christmas Storage
You’ve invested time and money in your Christmas decorations — including delicate glass ornaments, fancy centerpieces, and sentimental family heirlooms. So, why store them in a flimsy, cardboard box where they’ll either get crushed or lost in a sea of storage boxes?
Solution: Streamlined Storage
Develop a storage solution that works for you. A great idea to consider for small, round ornaments are egg cartons — organizing them by color family for added convenience, of course. For ornaments that are especially delicate, find a suitable set of sturdy containers. Label them with permanent marker or a label maker to indicate where each ornament is located. For the extremely motivated, create a separate master list to coordinate with your storage so that inventory is a snap in the future.