Decorating my home always puts me in the mood for holiday cheer!  It doesn’t have to take much to set the tone and bring on the spirit of the season no matter your level of decorative skill.  Don’t let the thought of decorating for the holidays overwhelm you as time, money and even creativity often seem too costly in our overbooked schedules.  

Here are 5 easy and inexpensive tips to add holiday cheer to your home:

  1. Start at the front door!

    Setting the scene at the door creates a welcoming invitation to what awaits inside.  A great wreath, fresh or faux, can be all that you need for a classic, simple look.  You can add your own décor by using floral green wire to secure items to your wreath. It’s practically invisible and holds well. For my own front porch, I utilize a mix of items I had on hand, like the turquoise containers I keep out year-round layered with Iron Trees wrapped with faux red berries.  Many faux florals and greens look real and they’re environmentally friendly. They can be used over and over, are freeze hardy, need no watering and are shade tolerant. 

  2. Small or no foyer?

    No Problem! You can create an area in the entry of your home by simply hanging a large mirror on an entry wall and adding a wreath. Make sure to hang the wreath on a ribbon and tack the ribbon to the back of the mirror to suspend the wreath in the middle of the mirror. Mirrors are a great accessory I often recommend to clients as they can be used in multiple rooms. They are not only purposeful, but they can reflect a lot of light in a small area. You can also add a small bench or table in the space and adorn with holiday items. I use this small bench and table year-round. At Christmastime, the bench houses an old red tool box filled with holiday cards, a wooden crate below filled with found items from nature and a pair of old wooden shoe forms. The bench is not only useful for display but for folks who like to take their shoes off in inclement weather and need a place to sit.
  3. Photo cards can be used as décor and displayed in several different ways. 

    Punch a small hole in the corner of the card and stringing them along a piece of twine or rope. Make sure to tie a knot around each hole to keep them from moving. Tack it along the back of your front door or display them under a glass top table piece. It’s always nice to see the smiling faces of loved ones near or far in your home at the holidays. Another fun way to display holiday cards is to arrange them under the glass of a coffee table.

  4. Keep the suspense for Santa. 

    Traditionally, in our home no gifts for the kids are on display until Christmas morning after Santa has come. While our kids are grown, this tradition continues. So instead of looking at the bare base of the tree, I use decorative pieces I already own as substitutes for presents.  I use wicker baskets, galvanized pieces and old boxes as stand ins.  Only items like blankets and gifts for friends are out and the decorative containers are great for display even with nothing inside.

  5. Incorporate seasonal themes by adding layers to your current décor. 

    Year-round I keep red, white and turquoise colors in my home and I play on that theme during Christmastime.  I have an old bookcase in my kitchen that changes props with the seasons. I incorporate my collection of Santa mugs, Christmas books, children’s blocks and seasonal items like evergreens, pine cones and ornaments into the mix. It is just as simple as adding a layer of holiday décor. Tip: small collections look best when grouped together.

All photos courtesy of Lance Selgo, Unique Exposure Photography. www.uniqueexposurephotography.com

Karen Otto

Karen Otto’s love for all things “home” started when she was young and would rearrange her parent’s furniture when she got bored. She later found her niche in marketing and earned her degree at...