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Christmas Decorating Guide

Part 3

Selecting Pieces, Avoid These Mistakes

It’s just about time to go shopping… at the store or in your attic to get the right pieces for your amazing holiday home design! Today we’re going over how to select the “right” pieces for your design.

Start With looking At Your Images Closely To Find The Details You Like

determine design scale

#1 - Consider Scale

How big or small are the pieces in your inspiration images compared to your space? Will your space require the same size piece or something larger or smaller to perfectly match your home? Scale is one of the most important elements of the design. For more impact and drama, scale should increase. Alternatively, for simple Scandi or mid-century styles, consider a subtle, smaller scale. Again, your visioning will help you know what you like. Just don’t forget to size up or down to your space. Whether you’re shopping online or in the store make sure you have a tape measure with you. Taking the time to “measure” helps your vision come to life.

consider size 20-500x500

#2 - Size

Size is similar to scale, but you must consider the actual size of each item you’re purchasing. Ornaments can surprise you when viewing online! Determine the size for different pieces such as: 24” wreath versus 30” Wreath. This is where you’ll want to refer to your floor plan sketch and even sketch out your door to see what works. Or do a search to see the difference on a door between a 24” wreath and a 30” wreath. Then you’ll know what you want. When in doubt- be sure to go one size bigger. I love a 30” wreath on a front door, but for a simpler design, you might want something slightly smaller.

classic christmas style

#3 - Color

It’s pretty simple- Select the color palette for pieces in your design and stick to it throughout your spaces. Of course, a family or kids’ space can have brighter tones or a more casual vibe altogether, but keep a couple of colors consistent throughout the home. You can do just about any color these days for holiday! Of course, a nod to the traditional colors is always nice. Use your visioning to help you make this decision. Just pick a palette and keep with it.


#4 - Texture

Having multiple textures that complement each other can elevate your design, so consider what textures you’ll want to incorporate. Once again, refer to your vision. More elegant textures include brass, glass, while wood and natural elements give a more casual vibe. Notice the textures in your inspiration pictures. I personally love a combo of natural textures and brass and glass. The natural textures are a perfect complement to tone down the brighter tones.

elegant holiday2-500x500

#5 - Lighting

Lighting is pivotal in setting the mood and works to create the overall atmosphere.

Coastal Christmas Patio

#6 - Patterns

Traditional spaces often have patterns in the fabrics and ribbons. A plaid ribbon can give a rustic or Ralph Lauren vibe while stripes can make a space feel more casual. A paisley or floral pattern gives your space a traditional feeling. Choose patterns wisely and use your visioning as a guide.

A couple of things to consider in shopping for these areas...

Coastal Christmas Porch

Front Porch

Consider the overall size of your porch as this will determine how many items to use and how large of items. Also, think about the flow from the outside to the inside… such as your front door leading right into your living room or into a foyer. Pay attention to how your design pieces flow from the porch into your home. My favorite things to do on a front porch are wreaths, lanterns, trees (with or without lights), rug and door mat, bells, and garland. Be careful of items that are low cost! Often these look cheap and drop needles.


With so many artificial trees looking real these days, the choice between real and artificial trees can be difficult. Consider if you want the smell of a real tree or the convenience of pre-installed lights on an artificial tree… and if you want to take time remembering to water the real tree. If you do go the artificial tree route and it has pre-installed lights, make sure the lights match your overall design vision and the space in which that tree will go. There are so many styles, sizes and shapes of trees! Choose one that fits your style and your home.

Coastal Christmas Wreath


As with trees, you can choose between real or artificial wreaths. No matter which you choose, the design of the wreath should match your vision. Finding a wreath that is just how you want it is tough! So often I add to a plain wreath ribbon and other elements to match your vision.

The best places to start your shopping is in the rooms your family and guests will see the most.

The living or family room (whichever spaces you’re putting up the tree) is the best place to spend a little money. If you have a fireplace and any bookcases, those are great spots for impact. The entry and dining are other key areas to highlight. These are great places to create some magic at meal times for family and guests.

PRO TIP – Time block specific time for browsing and purchasing. First round, gather the information and products into a Pinterest Board. File and envision how they all work together before purchasing one item. No matter what I’m designing (family photoshoot, holiday décor, or a high-end client living room) I always place the items I’m considering on the design boards to see how everything works together and works with my visioning. It’s an easy way to see if you have too much texture or if the colors aren’t working together.

One of the best tricks I can offer is to design ALL the elements before you start buying.

Be sure to compare to your budget before buying. It’s easy to get out of hand!

Happy shopping! See you tomorrow!

– Deboni