10 Tips for Fuss-Free Holiday Decorating


Keep it simple this year and take a chic, minimalist approach to the holidays.


Let’s face it. Christmas morning is messy. Wrapping paper strews the scene, mugs of hot chocolate are stashed about. Honestly, by 10 a.m. I usually look around my living room and wonder how the tornado hit so fast, and how my lovely decorations could suddenly look so … junky.

That’s why this year I’m taking a pared-down approach, and so can you. Here are a few of my favorite designer tips and tricks for a fuss-free holiday.

2. Add faux fur. 

Call me crazy, but if Christmas morning meant lounging on a deck wrapped up in something furry, I’d pretty much be in heaven. You can keep the presents, stockings and even the twinkly lights (though I am rather partial to them). Faux fur instantly winterizes any decor. Isn’t that what decorating for the holidays is all about?

3. Think Nordic. 

If you’re planning to pare down this year, you can find no better source of inspiration than our Northern European buddies who embrace a crisp, clean aesthetic. A living tree adorned with a strand of lights and nothing else is exquisite, timeless and elegant.

4. Color-match. 

Don’t worry. Choosing to have a more minimal holiday doesn’t mean you have to put your home in a Scandinavian bubble. Sure, white-on-white with fresh green branches is like drinking a cup of pure Nordic bliss, but if you’re a fan of color, consider matching your holiday decor to the room (perhaps with a little pop of contrast). This mostly monochrome effect is both playful and spartan.

5. Get crafty. 

If you can round up five sticks (six if you want to make a Star of David), some raffia twine to fasten them with and a string of holiday lights, you can achieve holiday cheer.

When January comes around and you’re so sick of holiday decor that you can hardly stand it, you can pack up the lights and literally throw the star out the window. Just try not to hit your neighbor.

6. Tape it up. 

As long as we’re doing some seriously easy crafting, why not spend 10 more minutes to put up a tree? Thanks to the wonder that is washi tape, you don’t have to borrow your brother’s truck to go pick up a pine.

For you washi rookies out there: No, it won’t pull the paint off your wall.

7. Don’t abandon ship. 

Whether your normal decor consists of floral pillows or geometric sculptures, there’s no need to run around swapping out every piece for something with a red and green bow on it. I love how designer Cortney Bishop kept a robust collection of seashells in this holiday design. It inspires me to take a walk on the beach with a cup of hot chocolate.

8. Chill out on the table. 

It’s 2016, and that means we’re now free to adorn our tables as we please without fear of being ostracized by the Junior League, or whatever. Consider these liberating trends that might have shocked and appalled your grandma (but not mine — she was pretty chill):

• Putting plates on the table without a tablecloth or even a place mat.
• Stealing some leaves and branches from your yard, laying them out with some candles and calling it a centerpiece.
• Adding fancy gold flatware (or cut crystal, or dainty napkin rings) to an otherwise casual table.

Blackband Design struck the perfect balance with this minimal table that magically feels both casual and formal. They get bonus points for using blue (a psychological appetite suppressant). Everyone’s waistlines thank you.