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Photos: James River Media


It’s the most magical time of the year, as we prepare for the holiday season and all the festivities that come along with it. While there is no right or wrong way to deck the halls and express your style, here are some tips from design experts in our area. Plus, discover the latest trends, which, take us back to the basics!

Photos: James River Media
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Ashley Hilbish, principal designer at Curtains, Blinds & Bath (CB&B) located in Forest, says the trends for this holiday season will heavily feature organic and natural materials that focus on bringing the outside in.

“While buying at market earlier this year, we saw a lot of felts being used in ornaments and garland,” Hilbish says. “Organic textiles in their natural form are very popular as well as off-white or creamy colors. I think the reason natural materials and neutral colors are still very big is because pretty much everyone can incorporate the trend into whatever holiday décor they already have.”

Earthy tones and woodland vibes remain one of the top trends for this season. And, believe it or not, mushrooms seem to have jumped from autumn to winter and are everywhere!

“Mushrooms were incredibly popular at market, and can be brought in as little figurines or ornaments,” Hilbish says.

Paper is also a hot trend in holiday decorating.

Photos: Mullins Media Co. for Curtains, Blinds & Bath

“We’re bringing in some really cool, oversized paper ornaments and garland to the store,” Hilbish says. “Paper décor is just so versatile and can really add interesting, dimensional elements to your normal decorations.”

Minimal effort, maximum effect
For some, decorating for the holidays can be overwhelming. If you find yourself in this position with limited time, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to go over the top. In fact, less truly is more. Here are four places to focus your energy for holiday decorating. 

  • The tree. “The obvious one is the tree,” Hilbish says. “So many people buy too little ornaments. If you want your tree to make a statement, purchase six or more of the same ornaments to keep the tree cohesive. Also, buy ornaments in varying shapes and sizes to keep it varied — you don’t want 400 of the same round 4-inch balls.” Layer in some other textural elements, such as ribbons tied to branches, picks or stems stuffed in any holes, or of course, garland. Ditch the traditional tree skirt and add a natural, woven basket or tree collar instead. These ways of adding various depths, textures, and colors are sure to create an eye- catching tree that will be the center of attention.
  • The table. Another important space to be sure to decorate is the kitchen or dining room table. As loved ones gather, your table is in its most use. Make an impact here with a festive centerpiece or table setting.
  • The front door. “Third, I would invest in beautiful garland and a wreath and frame out the front of your home,” Hilbish says. “Focusing on the entryway and adding a pretty doormat just makes it so inviting and instantly festive as soon as people come into your home.”
  • The lights. Kathy Potts, owner of Decorating Den Interiors in Forest, says that if you do one thing and one thing only, lights are a must. “I always have to have lights both on and in my house,” Potts says. “There is just something so warm and fuzzy about them that instantly gives that Christmas glow. Whether it’s icicle-style lights hanging in windows or battery-operated candles on a mantle, lights are just important.”

On a budget
If you’re not as limited on time but are on a budget, there are countless DIY projects available on various social media platforms. Paper decorations are the ultimate home crafter’s dream as well as one of the hottest trends. Think paper snowflakes and chains and garland made out of book pages, newspaper or brown Kraft paper bags. A quick search on Pinterest or TikTok will provide an abundance of ideas. Get the whole family involved and embrace the homemade feel.

“I’ve found estate sales here in Lynchburg can be a fun, inexpensive way to acquire holiday décor,” Hilbish says. “Purchasing Christmas décor at the end of the season during big clear out sales is also a great way to be thrifty, which we do here [at CB&B].”

Using fresh garland is the more affordable – and aromatic – way to go; just remember you can’t put it up too early, as it won’t last forever. Natural foliage is also, once again, a top trend for this season. In addition to greenery, be prepared to see plenty of pampas grass and dried fruits and flowers in festive displays. Click here to see our article on using greenery.

Potts suggests taking the time to really figure out what colors or theme you love.

“Start with just one item you absolutely adore and build from that,” she says. “For example, I love teal blue, white and silver colors so that is what I stick with. I know I’m not going to bring something in that isn’t going to go with those colors, so the key is to find what gives you pleasure, and don’t deviate as you gather your décor.”

Tight on space
If space is an issue, pencil trees are perfect. A flocked tree is also a smart option, as it doesn’t require as much decorating and minimizes storage space needs. Garland is a great way to decorate a smaller space as it packs a punch with minimal effort. It doesn’t take up a lot of surface area and can be placed on any type of existing handrail, mantle or table. 

Take advantage of vertical space. Hang ornaments and pendants from the ceiling above a table and add twinkle lights for some dimension. Lean into the neutral trend and keep things bright, as lighter colors help a room to feel more spacious.

Hilbish says one major thing they focus on at CB&B is helping consumers get the most out of their holiday décor. Trees, snowflakes and wood tones give a nod to the whole season and will make your house feel cozy and festive through January.

Potts also tries to get the most out of her décor by making some aspects seasonal versus holiday.

“I do my mantle in a beautiful snow scene with lots of greenery, white candles and silver accents,” she says. “It’s very wintery and even stays up until March!”

For anyone feeling a bit burdened by the holidays, Potts shares her best piece of advice.

“Every year it seems to come faster and faster, and I used to never seem quite ready,” she says. “But, a few years ago, I made myself go into local stores after Thanksgiving and just fully immerse myself in the decorations. I have no agenda of buying anything, just completely becoming one with what is around me, and it works. It puts me right in the mood, and then I’m ready.”

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