Design Hints

Go Green!

Read up on ways to dress your home for the holidays with embellished wreaths, lush garlands, ornately trimmed trees and much more.

Carolyn Grimm, whose home is featured in our November 2009 issue, loves to dress her Kansas farmhouse for the holidays with embellished evergreen garlands, beautiful wreaths and, of course, a big, gorgeous tree. Follow her five clever decorating tricks to take your own boughs from ordinary to extraordinary.

1. Explore Your Decorating Real Estate. Take a good look around your home and try to brainstorm new and different places to decorate with evergreens. For example, Carolyn arranged lengths of embellished greenery halfway up each double-hung window in the dining room instead of draping the tops of the windows in garlands that might distract from the pretty valances and the light-green trim's architectural corners.

Stick with a Single Color. In her living room, Carolyn created a color theme for the tree as well as the garlands on the fireplace and the windows by using sheer gold ribbon that complements her wall paint. She attached a matching gold butterfly to the window garland for a dash of whimsy. To make decorating by color simpler, Carolyn organizes her garland and wreath decorations at season's end, separating the bulbs, flowers and ornaments into bins by hue.

Trim Your Ribbon. Trying to wind a single, long strip of ribbon around a garland or a wreath can lead to a tangled mess, so Carolyn devised a clever fix to a common problem. To create the illusion of one piece of ribbon running through her evergreen displays, she simply clips her ribbon into smaller strips and tucks them into the greens, giving the effect of one continuous piece being woven through. Wire-edged ribbon is the perfect tool for this task, as it can be bent to conform around wayward branches.

Rely on Wreaths. Not stopping with the customary front-door ring of greens, Carolyn hangs ornament-laden wreaths on minimally adorned windows and on an antique window frame above the fireplace. Instead of framed artwork, she hung a wreath with a bright plaid bow in the corner of the dining room to maximize the area's green appeal.

5. Don't Fir-get about Other Greens. Whether trailing from atop cabinets or tucked among the needles of pine centerpieces, holly and ivy add another dimension of holiday greenery to Christmastime decorating. If you have a few leftover sprigs, place them inside a bud vase or a small glass jar and set the container in a bathroom or a bedroom for a subtle dash of yuletide cheer.

Written and Styled by Donna Pizzi
Photographed by