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Deck the halls: How to make your home festive for the holidays

Tie ribbons around small shopping bags, group with

Tie ribbons around small shopping bags, group with festive decos for a centerpiece. (Brigitte Starr) Credit: Tie ribbons around small shopping bags, group with festive decos for a centerpiece. (Brigitte Starr)

Let's face it: People love to decorate for the holidays.

But it's hard to find the time and money to go all-out for the season.

To make things easier, we spoke with some interior designers and got these tips for easy, affordable seasonal decorating.

Sabrina Soto, Target's style expert for the home and HGTV designer, suggests getting creative with wreath styles.

"Don't relegate your wreath to the front door when it can add so much charm to a room," she said.

In addition to displaying one in a front window or on a front door, Soto suggested putting a wreath over a mirror or another focal part of a room. Her favorite option is Target's Threshold Silver Wreath.
"The silver will reflect light and create a sparkle that evokes the holidays," she said.

Brigitte Starr, an interior designer based on the Upper West Side, recommended a do-it-yourself approach.

Cut up squares from an old skirt or pants and string them onto a wire, perhaps one from a coat hanger, to create a multi-colored, multi-dimensional wreath, she suggested.

"It's very light. You can hang it anywhere," she said.

Lindsay Hair, an interior designer in Chelsea, suggested stringing dreidles or ornaments and holiday cards on twine instead of hanging garland around the home.
"It's a nice way to decorate a mantle, or if you have a banister or a long wall," she said.

Soto suggested hanging festive ribbon on the wall, about 18 inches below the ceiling, and including ornaments of your choice that are evenly spaced apart and dangle off the bottom.

Starr said you can take a similar approach to dressing up a window or chandelier, by hanging ribbons at different lengths and dressing them up with ornaments or dreidles that open up to reveal treats for children.

"If you have a sparse, very modern space, then keep everything in one or two colors," she advised. Options include purple and gold, blue and silver, or red and green. "If you have a traditional home, you can play it up a little bit with a lot of sparkle, a lot of colors."

As for holiday lights, Starr recommended hanging cold lights - to avoid a fire hazard - behind the curtains in your bedroom or living room.

"You hang them behind fabric and that gives a romantic, cozy, beautiful feeling," she explained.

Final touches
For those who don't have the space for a Christmas tree, or time to maintain it, Hair suggested filling a tall vase with holly branches, which are sold at most corner delis, or with white lily flowers. She recommends surrounding it with a blanket and presents.

You can also "line nutcrackers going up the stairs, or on a mantle," she said.
She added that you can fill clear vases with festive decorations and put them in the center of a dining room table, or group a few shorter ones together on a mantelpiece or coffee table.

Soto recommended combining year-round décor pieces with holiday accents.
For example, you could add two or three seasonal pillows with a rich-colored throw to redo your couch for the holidays, she said.

Starr suggested filling regular wine glasses with holly or pinecones and votive candles and using ribbon in between.

She also recommended taking shopping bags in a festive color of your choice, tying a bow around them in a matching or opposite color, and adding elements from nature, such as holly or pine tree cuttings, eucalyptus branches or dried flowers to dress them up as a centerpiece.

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