Friday, December 9, 2011

Holiday Decorating Guest Blog!

Toujours Magazine asked East Coast designer, Joanne Palumbo, to share her favorite decorating tips for the season.  Seeing as Joanne styles and stages homes professionally, we thought she would be the perfect person to get more great decorating advice from this week to assure a fabulously decorated homes this season!  We hope you enjoy her great ideas and make sure to check out her blog for year round styling advice:

With Thanksgiving behind us, the time has arrived to tackle the task of holiday decorating. While nothing gives me more of a thrill than a string of bright lights, as an Interior Decorator, the act of decorating for the holidays is the equivalent of walking a tight rope between the tiny twig from the Charlie Brown tale or the over-lit home of the Griswalds. So, as I stare down the boxes upon boxes of my own holiday decorations, here are a few tips to keep the décor tasteful through the season.

1. Pick your vignettes. The first step in keeping holiday decorations tasteful is to use them thoughtfully. Try to refrain from throwing a ceramic Santa or tin reindeer on every table in your home. Instead, select several spots in your house where you would like to create a holiday focal point. Some examples of this might be a piano, coffee table, entry table, bookshelves, or a fireplace mantle. Pick several places throughout your home so visitors can feel the warmth of the holidays as they move from room to room.
2. Edit your space. This might be the most important step in decorating. Edit the vignette you wish to decorate. Don’t try to squeeze the menorah in with your collection of photos and tcha chakes. Pack up some of your year-round accessories and make some room for your special holiday trinkets. Keep the accessories that are either neutral or work in the color scheme of your holiday decorations and pack the rest up!
3. Choose your color scheme. Many people default to red and green or blue and white but if you are thoughtful in your planning, you can be more adventurous and change things up a bit. Why not try fuchsia and chartreuse? Green and brown? And almost every color can be coordinated with a metallic: pink and silver, red and gold. You get the idea. If you have boxes of accessories already, try to draw the color inspiration from the decorations you would like to use. Trail the colors throughout the room. And the color doesn’t need to exist specifically in the holiday décor alone. Incorporate a throw, a picture frame, some candles or books with jackets all in your selected colors and you’ll have an effortless looking jazzed up space. (Toujours Agrees!  Check out the Holiday Guide for more great ideas for color!)
4. Get the eyes moving! When considering the placement of your holiday décor, try to vary the heights of the objects. Don’t throw everything on the table top in your vignette. Try to hang a wreath or some stockings above the vignette and maybe add some potted plants or statues on the floor. Varying the placement of your beloved items is what keeps the holiday decorating warm and inviting. This picture shows a great example of that…I imagine that if you zoomed out, there would be a beautiful wreath on those amazing windows, too!
5. Unexpected décor always pleases! Besides decorating your main vignettes, perhaps drop a few coordinated decorations in unexpected places: a wreath in the bathroom, some garland over the master bed or scented candles in the hall to keep the holiday spirit flowing!
Enough of my babbling about how to decorate for the holidays- now it is time to get out there and tackle your décor. With a little mindful planning, you are sure to have a warm, inviting and tasteful holiday-ready home.

A little bit about Joanne:
Joanne Palumbo is the owner of Homestyling101, LLC, a boutique Interior Decorating firm in Westchester, New York. Joanne is a Certified Interior Decorator and expert in Home Staging, whose quest is to find simplicity in the decorating process. She is also the author of the Homestyling101 blog where she chronicles her experiences and tips as a decorator.


  1. oooh I love that second picture! I wish my house looked like that over the holidays!

  2. may your dream come true jaymi, wish you all the luck...
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  3. Great tips. I do agree with packing away the year-round accessories and also love including something unexpected in the decor. Important to vary the height to keep interest.