A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

UK College of Design lecturer offers eight ways to spruce up your space for the holiday season

By Meg Mills
University of Kentucky

If you are decorating for the holidays, here is advice for achieving a festive home for friends and family to enjoy. Christine Mobley, with the University of Kentucky College of Design, has eight easy tips to help make your holiday space everything you’ve ever dreamed of without breaking the bank.

• Create a statement piece. Usually, the most visual part of holiday décor is centered around a fireplace. However, if you don’t have a fireplace think about where you want your statement piece to be. It could be centered around a television, a window or space you want to highlight. It all depends on what you want your statement piece to be.

• Buy cost-efficient lighting. Buying LED lights instead of regular lights will be more energy and cost efficient.

• Bargain hunt and DIY. There are plenty of décor bargains in existence. You can even personalize cheap decorations by adding extra glitter or bows to improve their appearance. However, go shopping with your style idea in mind, to eliminate impulse buying.

• Don’t overdo it. You want a theme for your décor, but you don’t want it to look like the holiday spirit threw up in your home. Organize your décor in different places, maybe even have slightly different themes in each room. Mobley suggests clusters, or groupings, of two to three pieces of the same theme together.

• Evaluate before you illuminate. When doing lighting outdoors, think about the lines of your home. What do you want to highlight from its structure? This could be the roof, the columns or door frames. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different coordinating colors.

• Step back and evaluate your work. If you don’t like the way something looks, don’t be afraid to change something or start over.

Embrace the little “lost” spaces. These spaces are the tops of cabinets, the nooks between walls or the corners of rooms. You can add lighting or decorations here to help add to the holiday atmosphere. As small as they are, they make a huge difference.

Enjoy the process! A major part of the holiday season is spending it with family and friends. Have them involved in the process and enjoy their company.

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