Ring in the new year with size and style

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published December 17, 2018

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METRO DETROIT — New Year’s Eve is a special kind of holiday.

Following the hustle and bustle of a month mostly dedicated to Christmas, the final day of the year can sometimes be an afterthought. But those who are hosting parties can benefit by upgrading electronics and configuring decorations.

Sam Sobh, owner of Design Du Jour in Grosse Pointe Park, said black and gold colors became popular last year and are “still going strong.” He advised party hosts to not go “full force,” but to keep it simple and classy.

“No matter what the year is or what the trend is, it’s always the glitz and the glamour for New Year’s Eve, and the whole story behind it, and the festivities. … Minimum goes a long way. It’s all about that sparkle,” he said.

In terms of adding flavor and style to an end-of-the-year event, Sobh said items like smaller centerpieces and flowers — like hydrangeas, for example — can accent a room. Individuals can also go the do-it-yourself route and use ribbons and glass jars to create their own works of art.

To make the scene more visually pleasing, side and coffee tables complete with candles can add ambiance and change the look and feel of a home. Smaller accessories, like bowls and faux floral arrangements or some greenery, can spruce up a house without breaking the bank.

The juxtaposition of Christmas and New Year’s Eve on the calendar offers people a chance to shift the look of a room in just a matter of days. Sobh said it’s a personal choice that homeowners make, adding, “They’re so close together, but they have two different feels.”

The Christmas setting is more intimate, cozy, includes the exchange of gifts and usually revolves around family. New Year’s Eve has a party element to it where people tend to get dolled up, consume more alcohol and celebrate the ball dropping.

Some clients call Sobh before certain holidays, asking for help to change room themes. Others don’t want to change anything at all. He said “cozier” items tend to start selling after Thanksgiving, like fur pillows that can add style to a sofa.

Ken Paulson, owner of Paulson’s Audio & Video in Farmington Hills, said, “Everybody comes in with something in mind.” A constant seller is TVs, where size really does matter.

“Large TVs by and large have been really on the increase,” Paulson said. “The price points for a good model have come down substantially, and looking at the 4K resolution on these sets, sports look bigger and better.”

The store, which offers plenty of “smart home” products like cameras and door locks, has 70-plus people on its staff. At this time of year, it runs about 60 jobs per week in terms of installations for customers.

Some people like to get a quick fix, Paulson said, while others are willing to spend multiple hundreds or thousands of dollars on some equipment — like full surround sound systems.

Paulson said the purchase of a sound bar is a pragmatic way to enhance average-sounding TV speakers. Prices adjust based on functionality and brand names.

“Those will give you not only good TV sound, but allow you to stream music from your phone or Spotify,” he said.