Amie Pisano, Bo Keuleers, and Nicole Ball have that holiday spirit down.
Happy Holidays at Home
By Nicole Ball and Amie Pisano
With winter’s chill approaching and our being told to stay home and keep gatherings small, it would be easy to fall prey to the winter blues. But there is an antidote — bust out the lights, throw on some Dean Martin, and change up the decorations. What better time to get out of your comfort zone and try new things than a pandemic!
For inspiration, we sat down with Bo Keuleers of MVA Home. She shared ten easy ways to keep the Happy in the Holidays.
*Appeal to the Senses
The fastest way to get into the holiday spirit is by appealing to one’s sense of smell. The second you step into a home and get hints of cinnamon, cedar, or fir pine needle, is when you instantly feel relaxed. Our sense of smell is one of the most powerful senses we have, a simple trace of a familiar smell can trigger a specific memory. Outside of candles, incorporating scents in your home can be accomplished via scented ornaments and essential oils. Select a fragrance that reminds you of a particularly fond moment.
*Theme it Up
Most of us find comfort in the traditional color–specific decorations — green and red, all white, all blue. Going overboard with one color, however, can fall flat or be overwhelming. This year set a scene that evokes the excitement you felt as a child when the holidays drew near. Here are three ideas.
1) For a winter wonderland, play with colors such as blue, silver, and white. Incorporate textures by combining bleached wood elements, acorns, white lights, and faux sheepskin throws.
2) Snow days are looking like a thing of the past with more kids learning remotely. But remember how wonderful it was to wake up and hear, “It’s a snow day!” Bring that joy back through decorations. Spread fake snow around the dining room table, suspend paper snowflakes, and incorporate sledding/ski–inspired decor around the house.
3) If we can’t travel, we can at least time-travel by decorating with vintage ornaments and table settings.
The great thing about wreaths is that they come in different shapes, sizes and colors to fit any theme. Stand out from your neighbors and turn your front door into one big present. For this you will need two long pieces of organza fabric, four zip ties, a silk ribbon, scissors, stapler, and a large bow.
Open your front door slightly so you can easily slide the material between the door and the frame.
Wrap a piece of fabric around your door horizontally from left to right. Make a tight knot and secure with a zip-tie. Make sure the knot is on the interior of the door and not facing the exterior.
Wrap a longer second piece of fabric around your front door vertically from top to bottom. Make a knot and secure together with the horizontal fabric using a zip-tie.
Spread out the fabric to make it look big.
Using two zip ties, secure your already made bow (easy to find on Amazon or Etsy) in the center of the horizontal and vertical pieces of fabric.
Staple the bow to the two pieces of fabric so that it is even more secure. Fluff and arrange until you are happy with the overall look.
*Bring the Outside In
Sometimes you don’t have to look much further than your own backyard for decor inspiration. A bundle of eye-catching branches placed in a vase makes a dramatic and natural difference on your entry or dining table. If you want to add color, fill a bowl with fruit that reflects the colors of the holiday — pomegranates, artichokes, figs, grapes, or white pumpkins.
Add an extra layer of coziness to your home. Swap out your cotton and linen pillows and throws for some chunky knits and lush velvets.
*Set Up the (Hot Cocoa) Bar
What’s the best way to warm up on a winter day? A mug of hot chocolate. Create a mountain resort feel by setting up your own personal hot cocoa bar cart. Put out a supply of cinnamon sticks, crushed peppermint, and marshmallows.
If you haven’t gotten around to setting up a bar cart, this is the perfect time to do so!
*Create New Tablescapes
With everyone home and lots more meals at home, the dining room is no longer the place where you just wrap presents. It’s back! Make your table more sophisticated and attractive look by using a combination of materials and shapes, and, most importantly, play with height.
*Less Is More
Don’t go overboard. As exciting as the holidays are, the last thing you want is an overwhelming amount of decoration. Create vignettes. Group objects in odd numbers — three sculptural items next to a stack of books.
Gone are the days of having to pick one metal and sticking to it. Now you can mix your metals — brass, gold, rose gold, silver. They’ll add whimsy and beautifully reflect all the holiday lights indoors and out.
*Make Your Home Sparkle
Light up those long winter nights with a variety of candles and strings of lights draped everywhere. Turn off the overhead lights and enjoy the glow.
<Nicole Ball and Amie Pisano are real estate agents with Houlihan Lawrence in Rye.
MVA Home is run by mother-daughter duo Marleen Van Asch and Bo Keuleers, who possess a wealth of international experience as interior designers. Find inspiration year-round @mva_home_interiors on Instagram.>