Trends in holiday décor: simple, natural and easy

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published November 24, 2015

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METRO DETROIT — Experts say it’s “back to basics” when it comes to decorating for the holidays, both inside and out of the home.

Minimalistic décor featuring natural elements like pine cones and live greenery, and rustic fabrics like burlap and plaid, are popular. Many people also are opting to purchase pre-decorated, grab-and-go items to add instant flair without the hassle.

“Less is more,” said Corie Conroy, president of First Impression Home Staging and Interior Design.

Conroy said metallic hues are popular this year, and many people are branching away from silver and gold to include copper and jewel tones around the home and on Christmas trees.

“(Colorful metallic tones) are becoming very popular with a neutral color palette, such as a creamy white or pure white, for a sophisticated look that goes with any kind of décor,” she said. “You want it to look simple and stunning, like putting an outfit together.”

Many times, she said, people make the mistake of decorating with too much red and green, which can be jarring and limiting.

Another trend, Conroy said, is using lights in holiday décor.

“I see more and more lighted globes, lighted glimmer strings, hurricane (candle holders) and battery-operated wreaths this year than in the past,” she said. “We’ve come a long way with LED lights and battery-operated timers. Adding lights makes for more striking décor.”

When adding decorations, she said it is important to avoid clutter.

“Sometimes people forget to declutter what they currently have in their homes before they decorate for Christmas,” she said. “They should maybe put some things away they had up in spring and fall and replace that with holiday décor.”

Besides decorations, Conroy said upping the level of cozy in the home is a good way to prepare for the holidays and cold-weather season.

“I do a lot of home staging for people selling their houses in the winter,” she said. “To create that warm environment, you can switch out silk pillows for faux fur pillows and adding blankets and throws in the living room.”

At Hessell’s Greenhouse in Shelby Township, owner Karen Hessell said the trend in wreaths this year is more subdued and natural, with pine cones, burlap and plaid instead of bright colors, she said.

“For live roping, cedar roping is usually the most popular,” Hessell said. “White pine is better for outdoors, while cedar is better indoors. We also offer mixed roping.”

She said the greenhouse also sells a lot of premade decorations, such as door swags, mailbox huggies, decorated porch pots, and memorial grave blankets and wreaths.

Shelby Township Fire Marshal Steve Henion offered some tips to avoid holiday disasters related to decorations.

He said those who opt for a live tree should make sure it is fresh; test the tree to make sure that the needles don’t fall off when touched. Keep a live tree hydrated and positioned away from heat sources, such as vents, space heaters and fireplaces, he said.

Instead of surge protectors and timers, he said to follow the manufacturers’ instructions on how many strands of lights one can connect safely. Henion also said to turn lights off when no one is around.

“One of the biggest things is people might run cords under a rug. You don’t want to do that (because walking over them wears them down),” he said. “Inspect lighting cords every year to make sure they’re not fraying and there are no broken bulbs.”

Henion said to keep a fire extinguisher in the home and to test the smoke alarms.

“With candles, keep combustible materials away from them, and keep them away from kids and pets. The same thing goes for even a light,” he said. “A lot of Christmas decorations are flammable.”