Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Holiday Decorating: Tips for practical, low cost options

Posted December 9, 2012

Christmas decorations

Beverly Kain, a mom of two in Cary, also is owner of House-N-Order, an interior decorating and organizing company.

Kain does everything from residential interior design to decluttering to paint color selection. As we all get our homes ready for Christmas, I asked her for some holiday decorating tips. Here's our email conversation!

Go Ask Mom: What are the hot holiday decorating ideas for this year?

Beverly Kain: Something that's really hot right now in holiday decorating is using color combinations other than the traditional red and green. A very cool color combination is blue and silver and if you really want to get wild try purple and metallics.

GAM: What's your favorite holiday decorating tip?

Kain: One of my personal favorite holiday decorating tips is to include my kids in the decorating process. We'll put on some Christmas music and decorate together. I have two daughters, so each one gets assigned a special task like decorating the mantel with the manger scene or putting out the little Christmas village, then we all decorate the tree together. After we're done, we might have some hot chocolate and cookies. I have even gotten a small tree and put it in the upstairs hallway between my girls' bedrooms and let them decorate it any way they want.

GAM: Can you share some decorating tips for those of us with pets and small kids at home?

Kain: For those with small kids and pets, you need to be sure that safety is first. Make sure you don't have any breakable ornaments near the bottom of the tree or ones with small parts that might be a choking hazard if little hands or paws get to them. Don't put poinsettias where your pets can reach them, because if ingested they can be deadly for animals. The same is true for mistletoe. Use LED candles if you want to put candles in places where little
ones might be able to reach them. Make sure your tree is well anchored, so that it won't topple over if it gets bumped or pulled. If you buy a real tree, and use any kind of treatment in the water, make sure to keep it covered so that your pets don't drink from it

GAM: Can you share a low effort and low cost decorating idea that still makes a lot of impact in the home?

Kain: For those of us who are always looking to make a big impact on a small budget, here are some decorating ideas you can try this holiday season.

  • If you received several especially beautiful Christmas cards last year, you could frame them (with inexpensive black frames from the Dollar Store) and put them in a grouping on the mantel or even on the counter in your bathroom if you want to add a festive touch in an unexpected place.
  • Use hurricane vases in varying sizes and fill them with ornaments that fit your color scheme, then use them as a centerpiece for your table or anywhere you like. You could even drape garland around the bottom to finish the look.
  • Fill apothecary jars with red and green peppermints to place around your home. This gives a festive look and it's functional because people can eat the candy.
  • Spraypaint pine cones with metallic silver paint and put them in a glass bowl along with some holiday potpourri. This will look great and fill your home with the smell of Christmas.
  • Another use for last year's Christmas card: Use the front cover to make gift tags. Just try not to give your
    mom or mother-in-law a gift tag made from the Christmas card they gave you last year!

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