ATX Comforts of Home 2012
Home for the holidays

House of style: How to dress up your home for the holidays

House of style: How to dress up your home for the holidays

Austin Photo Set: News_patricia_dress for red_nov 2012_newsprint stars
Newsprint stars. Photo by D'Ette Cole
Austin Photo Set: News_patricia_dress for red_nov 2012_bucket color
Bucket ornaments.  Photo by D'Ette Cole
Vintage ornaments on a tree stump in a feed-store bucket
Bucket ornaments. Photo courtesy of D'Ette Cole
Newsprint star, holiday decorations
Newsprint star closeup. Photo courtesy of D'Ette Cole
Austin Photo Set: News_patricia_dress for red_nov 2012_stump tree
Stump tree. Photo by D'Ette Cole
Austin Photo Set: News_patricia_dress for red_nov 2012_black white
Black and white. Photo by D'Ette Cole
Austin Photo Set: News_patricia_dress for red_nov 2012_newsprint stars
Austin Photo Set: News_patricia_dress for red_nov 2012_bucket color
Vintage ornaments on a tree stump in a feed-store bucket
Newsprint star, holiday decorations
Austin Photo Set: News_patricia_dress for red_nov 2012_stump tree
Austin Photo Set: News_patricia_dress for red_nov 2012_black white

The holidays can be as stressful — or stress-free — as you make them. We know the routine too well: shopping, waiting in line, sitting in traffic, eating, drinking, watching the shipping charges load onto your bill, cleaning, entertaining, cooking, making a Starbucks run, more shopping.

The one place that should feel relaxing is your home. But before you deck your halls with the same tired tannenbaum, tinsel and twinkle lights, we urge you to breathe deeply, set your inner grinch free (admit it, we all have one), and take a fresh approach to decorating this season. Honestly, must we always put out mother’s miniature crystal Christmas tree?

To find out how to dress the house for the season, we asked a few local experts to share their thoughts on the latest trends. Here’s to simplicity, comfort, style, a little sparkle and good cheer.

D’Ette Cole, Designer, Red:

Mix organic materials with simple yet elegant accents

Sophisticated holidays emerge from just a few simple touches in elemental, organic materials. Black ink and ecru, repeated in elegant paper ornaments, create a crisp and timeless color palette. Glittering garlands perfectly trim a tabletop, and well-appointed lighting brings luxury, warmth and radiance.

Play with the written word

Celebrate the modern with graphic, amply scaled holiday decor, sparsely appointed and grouped for effect. Newsprint stars and gift wrap create a smart, savvy graphic edge while vintage letters, even initials, provide shapely symbols. Set with tinsel trees, which beget holiday cheer and light the way through the season with minimal hassle and maximum effect.

Add bursts of color spots

Bring spunk to a winter wonderland with colorful, one of a kind, vintage ornaments. A white-washed stump or a glittered tree branch set in a feed store bucket create an inspired twist on a holiday favorite.

Jeff Moss, Buyer, Breed &Co.:

Let there be light

Battery-powered lights are big. The cool stuff that we bought this year is already gone. A set of batteries can last as much as a week or more on LED lights because they hardly use any power at all and they are very bright.

Use skinny trees in all the right places

Put them on tables, stick them on mantels, place them on your dresser. Some look like something that Dr. Seuss would have, others are more traditional, and some are wrapped in burlap and covered in kind of a sugared frost. Any place that you’ve got space needs a tiny skinny tree.

Wrap it up right

You can go any place and find cheap ribbon for Christmas but not the real stuff — the stuff that is made of velvet and wired. Do deep-red velvet and gold. There is a ribbon called “mirror mirror” that we have sold like crazy. It's a nice ribbon that holds it shape outside. It's shiny red on one side and gold on the other side, so it is reversible. People have been snatching it up.

Annie Downing, Interior Designer and Owner, perusehome.com:

Add glamour, glitter and shine

Anything that sparkles is a must for holiday decor this season — it’s festive. Glittery ornaments, mercury glass candlesticks, pine cones covered in glitter, glittery houses — they convey that feeling of a winter wonderland.

Go retro and vintage

Mix felt garlands and wreaths with your current holiday pieces. It’s fun to jumble the old with the new.

Get back to nature

Bring the outdoors in. Evergreen, twigs, branches, mushrooms, animal ornaments (bears, deer, owls) are inspired by the season. Bottle brush trees are fantastic as well. Magnolia wreaths and garlands never go out of style.