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 Yes, they still come in red, but poinsettias — like these from Eckert’s Greenhouse in Sterling Heights — are also now available in a number of colors and sizes, for anyone looking for a seasonal home accent.

Yes, they still come in red, but poinsettias — like these from Eckert’s Greenhouse in Sterling Heights — are also now available in a number of colors and sizes, for anyone looking for a seasonal home accent.

Photo provided by Eckert’s Greenhouse


Minimal holiday decorating can still make a major impact

By: K. Michelle Moran | C&G Newspapers | Published December 11, 2019

 From seasonal green arrangements to porch pots to wreaths — just a sampling of which are in this photo from Eckert’s Greenhouse in Sterling Heights — adding holiday color outside and inside can be as simple as a couple of outstanding items.

From seasonal green arrangements to porch pots to wreaths — just a sampling of which are in this photo from Eckert’s Greenhouse in Sterling Heights — adding holiday color outside and inside can be as simple as a couple of outstanding items.

Photo provided by Eckert’s Greenhouse

 Porch pots — like this one from Eckert’s Greenhouse in Sterling Heights — are a popular trend that spruce up the front of a home.

Porch pots — like this one from Eckert’s Greenhouse in Sterling Heights — are a popular trend that spruce up the front of a home.

Photo provided by Eckert’s Greenhouse

METRO DETROIT — A towering, ornament-laden Christmas tree, lights strung with care over the entire front of the house, and a yard filled with festive decorations are great, but not everyone has the time or energy to deck the halls with tinsel, garland and endless boughs of holly.

That doesn’t mean you can’t give your space a seasonal makeover for entertaining unexpected guests. It’s all about selecting a few key elements that will reflect the holiday spirit without overwhelming your budget or busy schedule.

Adding a wreath to the front door is a way to welcome guests before they even step inside. And if you don’t like red or green, you’ve got options. Karl Eckert, the owner of Eckert’s Greenhouse in Sterling Heights, said they have bows for wreaths in more than 100 colors, along with patterned bows.

“Years ago, it was a red bow with two pine cones,” Eckert said of the old wreath selection. “We still make those, but we like color here.”

Add a simple hook to the door — removable adhesive hooks are perfect for apartments, dorm rooms or anyone unwilling to install a permanent hook — hang your wreath, and wait for the compliments.

Porch pots are another popular trend, Eckert said.

If you like plants, nothing says Christmas like a poinsettia, and Eckert said they come in a wide range of sizes and colors to fit any space.

“The newer varieties will last all the way to Easter,” he said.

Eckert said his business can create holiday tabletop centerpieces and the like, but shoppers can also select seasonal greens to make their own.

“A lot of the things we have here are under $15,” Eckert said. “You can color up the house without breaking the bank.”

Anne Duffey-Leo, who has a background in interior design, sells lovely and natural holiday décor at her Grosse Pointe Park store, Duffey & Co. Inspired Goods. She said greenery and pine cones from the yard or local nursery can be selectively placed on a mantel, table or shelf.

“Never underestimate the power of greenery,” Duffey-Leo said. “You can quickly tuck those (pieces) in around anything you have.”

If you have just a little more time, Duffey-Leo said, you can gather branches from your yard, spray-paint them white, apply some glitter, and put those in vases to make a dynamic focal point for a kitchen or cocktail table. The branches can even be adorned with strings of popcorn or cranberries, or hung with paper doilies to resemble snowflakes, she said.

If you don’t have time to make your own, Eckert said his store offers gorgeous arrangements of seasonal greens — many with ribbons, ornaments or both — in sizes to fit a range of spaces and budgets.

“Don’t forget scents,” Duffey-Leo said. “That will trigger (holiday memories) more than anything you do in your space.”

Pine cones, cinnamon, essential oils, a balsam fir-scented candle — any of these can add a touch of fragrance. Gently poking holes into whole citrus fruits like oranges and inserting whole cloves into those holes will create an environmentally friendly scent boost that’s easy to make and will last for weeks, Duffey-Leo said. A bowl of citrus fruits with cloves adds not only scent, but also a decorative touch.

“It’s fun,” Duffey-Leo said of this at-home creation that even older kids can work on. “It smells delicious. You have a natural air freshener.”

Real estate agents will often encourage home sellers to bake something or burn candles that smell like fresh cookies for a reason: It lends a warm, homey touch. Duffey-Leo said this also works for holiday entertaining. If you don’t bake, pre-made cookies that just need to be baked will accomplish the same goal, but more quickly and with less cleanup.

A clear or crystal bowl filled with candy canes provides an easy — and edible — accent. Duffey-Leo said people can also make a simple but elegant centerpiece by filling a large bowl or vase with Christmas bulbs or pine cones.

A throw blanket in seasonal colors or patterns can be artfully draped over a couch or chair, and when the holidays are over, you can use it to keep yourself cozy as you watch TV on a cold winter night.

Duffey-Leo said that a pre-lit white flocked tree is “pretty on its own,” or you can “put the candy canes on it, and it’s an instant Christmas tree.”

Just a few seasonal statement pieces are all you need to get your home holiday-ready.