Tag Archives: Holiday Decorating


Another long day of decking the halls, this time for our favorite holiday clients in Lake Barrington.  This was our fifth year in a row helping bring holiday cheer to this home.  And while everything was familiar, it felt brand new since we were decorating around everyday decor we helped update earlier in the year.  With a different backdrop, the same holiday decor from previous years somehow felt fresh and new.

Our focus for change in holiday decor this year was the new ‘family’ tree in the renovated basement.  Building on the whimsical style and cranberry reds & bright chartreuse greens from previous years, we added new polka dot ribbon and ornaments to the miscellaneous collected ornaments. (TIP- Since collected ornaments are all over the board in style and color, filling in with solid ornaments complimenting your theme helps unify the tree and still showcase your treasured family ornaments!)  Topping it all off, we capped the tree with a pair of new glittery elves boots.  How Fun!

With our last holiday home behind us for the Season, there might be hope for finally washing off all the glitter til next November.  Well, one can hope anyway!


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Tis the Season!   Just before & after Thanksgiving, the rush is on to transform our homes into the holiday havens we want to share with family and friends this joyous time of year.  Needless to say, we’ve been busy little elves the last two weeks “decking the halls” for clients.

Believe it or not, helping folks with holiday decorations can be even more intimidating than helping with everyday decor.  Since so many memories and family traditions play a part of Seasonal celebrations, we do our best to respect them as we help clients bedazzle their homes for the holidays.

Even though some want a more theme-d look to their decoration, there is almost always some kind of hint to family & tradition.  Whether it’s collected or hand-me-down ornaments, a Christmas village collected over years or hand made ornaments from the grandkids, those items are just as important to achieving the perfect look & feel for the holidays.

Over the years, we’ve found that striking the right balance between a “designer” look and a more traditional, “family” look renders the best result.  So with the vast majority of clients, we do our best to put our designer spin on tradition by “up-styling” collected and other sentimental decorations.

Of course, theme-d trees, with perfectly coordinated ribbons, bows and ornaments, are things of beauty.  But a tree filled with special, one-off ornaments can be just as spectacular!   Simply mixing one color of stock ornaments, picks and/or ribbons into a tree of collected ornaments will help unify the overall look of the tree.

There are a ton of other tricks you can try to give a designer look to your holiday decor.  Here are a few more of our favorites:

BRING THE OUTDOORS INSIDE:  Tucking fresh/ faux evergreens, holly, pinecones, birch logs etc… in with your everyday accessories immediately transforms them for the holidays and adds a touch of elegance to any decor.

GO BIG OR GO HOME:  I’ve been known to say, “It’s not done, ’til it’s overdone”.  In reality, your home doesn’t have to look like an elf threw up in order to feel festive for the holidays.  In fact, limiting your holiday touches to a few large pieces per room, rather than a bunch of small ones, will have a more dramatic, sophisticated impact.

LIGHT IT UP:  Simply changing your lighting will make your home feel more festive for the holidays!  The soft, warm glow coming from candles and twinkle/rice lights on the tree and garlands will set the tone.  Just make sure you turn off or dim overhead lighting and lamps to create a more cozy feel.

With these tricks and more, we reveal the hidden festivity in our client’s traditional holiday decor.  Adding a more refined and stylish touch doesn’t mean sacrificing sentimental holiday treasures and the memories they evoke.

What are your must-haves this time of year?  What can you do to change it up without diminishing the traditions you hold close to heart?  Here’s hoping some of these tips will inspire you as you’re decking your own halls.  Let the joyous celebrations begin!

Happy Holiday Decorating from Decor Designs!  815-245-2433







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The holidays are upon us!  No doubt, you’ve been busy the last week or so decking your own halls or at least planning your attack.  Family gatherings, lavish meals and festive decorations give us the warm and fuzzies this wonderful time of year.  While these traditions bring back special memories, it’s very easy to get in a rut when decorating for these special times of year.  You know what I’m talking about.  The tree goes here, the stockings go there and on and on!

Luckily, the principals of Redesign come to the rescue and work just us well this time of year!  Reusing, repurposing and restyling your cherished decorations in new and unexpected ways, you’ll ensure each holiday season stands out from the others.  Every year, we’re lucky to join in the celebrations of a few clients by showing them new and different ways to reuse their favorite holiday keepsakes, while introducing exciting new ones.

If you’ve followed us over the years, you’ll probably recognize some of these rooms and decorations.  To prove my point, take a look at some of the ways we were able to put a fresh spin on these client’s holiday decor.  I know our creations are sure to bring joy and warmth to all who gather in these beautiful homes:

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Nothing gives us more joy than sharing in the celebrations of our clients and friends.  Honoring wonderful family traditions by reusing and repurposing decorations to create a fresh, new holiday look makes this time of year all the more magical.  By helping bring joy to a few homes each year, we get to share our own special brand of Christmas cheer.

Happy Decorating and Happy Ho Ho Holidays from Decor Designs.

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What colors work best for holiday decorating?

Your holiday color palette is only limited by your personal taste. While red & green or silver & gold themes are classic, you can always shake things up a bit by picking variations of these traditional colors. Try chartreuse or olive green mixed with traditional red or perhaps use copper and bronze accents instead of silver & gold. Pick a favorite wrapping paper, stocking, tree skirt or ornament and build your color story around it. Adding a neutral third color like cream or bronze will unify and balance other non-traditional, contrasting colors.

What items scream holiday spirit while still being tasteful? 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.   While some prefer a more subdued holiday décor, others will subscribe to the notion that “it’s not done ‘til it’s overdone!” Anything you associate with holidays can be used for decoration but keep in mind that tasteful decorating is usually purposeful and limited. Otherwise, it becomes visual clutter!

What are some easy ways to decorate for the holidays? 

Tuck ornaments, holiday figurines, greenery and floral picks into bookcases and curios. A large ornament on a shelf, or a cluster of berries and a poinsettia blossom beside books is all the “holiday” you may need in those overlooked spaces.

Fill glass bowls and vases with bows, ornaments, cranberries, candy canes, cinnamon sticks or anything else you associate with the holiday.

Adding more candles and candleholders are an easy way to embellish your decor for the holidays.

What are some economical ways to decorate for the holidays?

Repurposing things that aren’t necessarily associated with the holidays is a great way to stretch your decorating budget. Empty boxes wrapped with holiday paper, cake stands as pedestals for decorations, Mason jars as tea light holders, fireplace logs bundled with bright red ribbon, pine cones sprinkled with glitter, a martini glass filled with peppermints, or old scarves used as table runners all make the most of what you already own.

Any suggestions for the outside of your home? 

While lights on every bush and eave are beautiful from the street, don’t forget to pay particular attention to the front door. Greet family and friends by guiding them to your front door with holiday décor suitable for the outdoors…. A doorway surrounded by flower pots or urns filled with evergreens & berry sprays, draped with garlands and wreaths, weather proof ornaments, large lanterns, vintage sleds, birch branches and more make a beautiful statement of welcome well into winter.

What are ways for folks to decorate when they know the decorations aren’t coming down until after the new year?

If you enjoy leaving your holiday decorations up into the New Year, consider decorating with more of a wintertime theme and avoid colors traditionally associated with Christmas. Snowflakes, icicles, birch logs, evergreens, pinecones and the like will last well into the New Year without looking left over.

If you could splurge on one or two decorating items, what would they be?

Splurge on large “statement” accessories for the holidays rather than wasting money on lots of small ones.   Whether a large decorative tree, Santa, reindeer, sleigh, lantern, footed tree topper or mercury glass vase etc… One or two large seasonal accessories on a sideboard, console, mantel or tabletop can be embellished with fresh evergreens, berries, pinecones and ribbons for a beautiful holiday focal point.

What about “decorating” with music or scents?

While the holidays are filled with many sights and sounds, the sense of smell triggers strong emotional responses and memories. Why not “decorate” with some of the smells people associate with the Season? Simmer a pot filled with a quart of water, an orange peel, a teaspoon of cloves, a handful of dark raisins and an ounce of fresh cinnamon sticks on the stove. Your home will fill with an wonderful, all-natural aroma superior to any canned spray or potpourri!

Do you have anything else to add?

The key to a more professionally decorated look for the holidays, always buy more of whatever decoration you’ll be using than you think you’ll need. In other words, don’t buy one poinsettia or one strand of garland and try to make it work for the entire house. From florals and picks to ornaments, always buy dozens rather than singles for a more festive, professional look. Doubling or tripling inexpensive garlands on staircases and mantels will result in fuller, richer look as well.

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This seems to be the year for non-traditional holiday decor. I thought I was on to something original until I saw an article in HGTV magazine with several punchy color combos that are hot this Season. So much for being unique! But, maybe that’s the reason I haven’t had any trouble convincing my clients it’s ok to stray from the traditional reds & greens to show some individuality.





















We’ve done holiday decorating for today’s home in Cary, IL for several years. And while it’s a huge compliment to be invited back year after year, repeat clients present an obvious challenge. How to reinvent the look each year while using the same decorations to make it look new and fresh.



Since this particular client has developed a “black” fetish of late, It was an obvious add to incorporate some into the look this year. New black ornaments woven into the garlands & centerpieces and filling containers along with a few new accessories added a punch of the unexpected to the chartreuse and white of previous years.

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While it’s easy to dream of a white Christmas. I think it’s safe to say that black might be dream-worthy as well. Happy Holiday Decorating from Decor Designswww.decordesignsinc.com

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It’s no secret that the color combinations most often associated with Christmas are red & green or perhaps silver & gold. But, why limit yourself?

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Here are a few pictures from one of this year’s holiday decorating jobs in Lake Barrington.

Using our client’s year-round color palette with teal accents as inspiration, we crafted a colorful Christmas using cream, teal and chartreuse green.

In addition to the non-traditional color palette, we introduced cream hydrangea blossoms for a bit of a twist.  They, along with teal & green poinsettia picks to continue our color theme, served as our floral accents on the tree and staircase garland.

The results are anything but a blue Christmas!

Happy Decorating and Joyous Holidays from Decor Designs!

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Halloween celebrations are almost here.  And while everyone enjoys a good scare this time of year, decorating for All Hallows’ Eve should be anything but frightful.  Making a few simple changes to your existing fall decor can make decorating for Halloween as easy as fall-ing off a log.  By combining traditional elements in warm, dark colors associated with fall and Halloween, you can create an elegant look that is sure to be Goblin-approved!

Garlands on staircases, for example, are a great way to add texture, color and visual interest any time of year.  Fall leaf garlands are readily available at most hobby and craft stores and chances are you already have a few strands.  Mixing them with black “evergreen” garland (also from hobby stores) gives the leaves a slightly more sinister look.  I always double up inexpensive garlands to add bulk for a richer look.

You can save a little money and switch things up a bit by swaging garlands only at the newel posts.  Adding picks of beaded gourds and nuts along with sprays of berries adds another dimension to your garlands.  And finally, hand-made bows of fall ribbon finish the look.

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Your tabletop centerpiece is another easy place to transform fall into something spook-tacular for Halloween.  This fall centerpiece takes on an entirely new personality by replacing the vase of green apples with one filled with black sand and a skeleton hand.  Black spiders made with pipe cleaners and poms (Google for instructions on how to make) & silk webbing add whimsy.  A black candelabra, “boo” sign and a few more bones complete the transformation.

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Don’t let decorating for Halloween scare you!   It’s easier than you might think.  Put your hard work to work for you and transform your fall decor for Halloween with a few simple changes.

Happy Halloween from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433.

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12 Days

Well, here we are on the eve of another Christmas Day. Hanakkuh is over and Kwanzaa soon to begin. Over the last 11 days we’ve journeyed through many different ways you can add beauty, warmth and cheer to your holiday celebrations. From trees to wreaths and garlands to gifts, I hope I’ve inspired you to look for ways to surround yourself with beautiful creations that will help to make even more joyous holiday memories.

(photo courtesy of dandelionmoms.com)

(photo courtesy of dandelionmoms.com)

Now that your preparations are coming to an end, hopefully you’re ready to enjoy all your hard work with family and friends. And, after all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Celebrations of faith and tradition are wonderful opportunities to share in the love of those you hold most dear.

(photo courtesy of essence.com)

(photo courtesy of essence.com)

So, in reality, the last layer to you holiday decor is something you work on all year long. As you gather together, I hope you will celebrate the relationships you’ve created and the bonds you share with the ones you love. I can’t think of anything that will make your home feel more jolly this holiday season.

(photo courtesy of socialmoms.com)

(photo courtesy of socialmoms.com)

With thanks for your support and business this year and always, I wish you and yours the best of holiday celebrations and blessings to you and yours in the coming year.

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12 Days

Let’s face it. As commercial as Christmas has become, it’s easy to lose sight of the real Reason for the Season. Along those lines I thought it’d be nice to share some fun ideas for keeping Christ in Christmas by incorporating nativities into your holiday decor.

While tabletop and bookcase nativities abound, why not look for other ways to display your nativity this year. Better yet create your own with some of these clever ideas.

Why not display elements of your nativity under glass domes or cloches? If you have a full nativity with shepherds, wise men and such… use multiple cloches of differing sizes.


Or better yet, for large scale nativity characters, look for unique opportunities to nestle them into your decor. I love this idea for using rustic crates and lights to create and illuminate this clever side table.


If space is an issue, cutouts provide several options for displaying your nativity. If you can draw, great! If not, download images from the internet. Trace the images onto black vinyl from your local craft store, then apply the vinyl to glass jars or vases.

vinyl cut outs

Or print the images from your computer and frame them together in matching frames:


Or finally… trace the silhouetted images onto wooden blocks. Attach a hook. And line them along your mantel to create a uniquely different nativity scene.

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So, if your family celebrates in the Christian tradition, keep Christ in Christmas by incorporating images of His birth into your holiday decor. And, it goes without saying, these same ideas would work great with icons from Hanukkah or Kwanzaa celebrations as well.

Regardless of your tradition, have a wonderful holiday from Decor Designs, Inc.

(All pics are courtesy of Pinterest.com)

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12 Days

Having taking care of all your indoor decorations, maybe we should give a little more thought to how you’ll welcome your guests.

We talked about the traditional wreaths on doors and windows on Day 7. But there are other opportunities to set the tone of your holiday decor before anyone sets a foot in the door.

Front Door Planters

Taking advantage of those empty holiday pots & planters you had by the front door, you can turn them into beautiful displays of evergreen to compliment your wreath.

Creating height to frame your front door will draw attention and welcome your guests. Local landscaping and home improvement stores generally sell pre-made pots that you can easily drop into your planter. Another easy cheat is to set a small evergreen tree (fake or real) into the planter and embellish, light or both.

Decorate your planters with weather resistant picks and ornaments that compliment your indoor decor and you’ll set the stage for your holiday festivities from the start. First impressions are lasting ones, so let them start at the front door.

Happy Decorating from Decor Designs.

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