Decorate a photo-worthy home for holidays
Published 9:00 am Saturday, December 1, 2018
Tips for creating a festive space in a borrowed home
Seasons change, and so do rental contracts and housing arrangements. If you’re leasing, you can still make your rental feel like home for the holidays with seasonal decor.
There are plenty of ways to create a festive holiday setting that makes your temporary space feel like a cozy, inviting home for the holidays, according to Meghan Giddens, design expert for Invitation Homes, an owner and operator of more than 80,000 single-family homes for lease.
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“When it comes to decorating, renters often feel limited by the temporary nature of their living arrangements,” Giddens said. “We believe people should be able to make their house a home, one they’re proud to share with loved ones in-person or on their social feeds, no matter how long or short the stay.”
These seasonal decorating tips can help you create a space worthy of your newsfeed that won’t break the bank or your lease guidelines.
A festive entryway
When friends and family come to visit in celebration of the season, their first impressions often start when they walk up to the entryway. While festive touches are important to lead into the rest of the home, be careful not to overwhelm. Think of your holiday home decor as a series of unique moments, each designed to give your guests a positive experience or create an opportunity for a share-worthy photo.
A holiday staple is a creatively decorated wreath hanging on the front door. Start with a plain wreath and add some holiday flair by wrapping it with thin red ribbon and tucking pine cones into areas they will hold firmly. For added detail, weave in artificial cranberry twigs that won’t lose their eye-catching pops of red color in the winter weather. Then affix your wreath to the door with a removable hook, of course.
A small tree trimmed with white lights and miniature ornaments just inside the door is a welcoming touch for guests as they step inside — just make sure it’s clear of the door and there’s still ample room for removing wet shoes and coats.
Magical holiday mantels
Nothing says “holiday” quite like a crackling fire adorned with festive decorations. In many homes, the mantel is already a focal point and the backdrop to many family photos, so it’s an opportunity to make a big impact in a relatively small space. Think of your mantel as a blank canvas to create your own holiday scene. You can remove your everyday decor and add seasonal accent pieces or stash what you normally display and introduce something completely new.
Greenery in swags or a garland laid across the mantel is a classic way to dress it up for the holidays. You can add seasonal blooms like poinsettia and items like pinecones, faux antlers and berries for a nature-inspired look that can positively stand out. Or opt for oversized wire-edged ribbon to run across the mantel with gentle ripples and waves to add dimension. An easy DIY project like weighted boxes wrapped like gifts can lend extra visual appeal and festive color — simply wrap unused shoe boxes or other cardboard boxes with holiday wrapping paper, tie a bow with ribbon and stack like gifts.
Remember, the mantel is also an excellent place to display a holiday collection, such as nutcrackers or treasured figurines.
Talk of the neighborhood
There’s no reason to limit your seasonal celebrating to the indoors when you can create yard decor that’s the envy of the neighborhood. Holiday lights add instant holiday flair, and there are a nearly endless number of low-profile, affordable clips available that allow you to hang lights without permanently fixing or stapling anything to a home’s exterior. Keep colors and patterns in mind, whether you’re planning to go all-out on different colored strings or simple white all around. Other options, like illuminated figures, inflatables or projection lights, let you get extra creative and show a little personality, too.
Although the impact on your lease is probably less of a concern outdoors, there are some important safety precautions you should take to protect the property. Be sure you’re aware of the home’s electric capacity and don’t overload the system. Use power cords and plug-ins designed for outdoor use and follow all the manufacturers’ safety guidelines to prevent fire risks.
Also remember the details are what will make your outdoor design truly exceptional, so don’t overlook everyday features like the mailbox, which you can dress up for the season with a pretty bow.
Decorating your home in a temporary yet festive manner can be accomplished with these ideas and more. Find additional tips to make your house a home any season of the year at invitationhomes.com.
Decorating dos and don’ts
When it comes to decorating, a DIY approach can be intimidating. Get started with these tips:
Do: mix textures
The holiday season is the perfect opportunity to add more texture to your home’s decor. Mixing and matching textures can add depth and diversify the space. Fuzzy, festive throw pillows, colorful knit blankets or a vibrant seasonal rug all bring a temporary sense of holiday spirit.
Don’t: be afraid to use color
For a season that is built around bright reds and greens, the holidays are the perfect time to play with bold colors. For optimal color balance, a common rule of thumb is to use three colors: one anchor and two accents. The anchor will be more neutral as it takes up most of the space. The two accents can be bright and contrasting, helping give the room character.
Do: layer lighting
Especially if you’ll be entertaining, don’t overlook the importance of lighting when planning your holiday decor. Many rooms are lit by a single overhead light. Although this ambient light typically gets the job done, the area is often left with a flat feel. Give the space dimension with varying, angled light from floor or table lamps to lend a warm glow that makes the room inviting while highlighting your favorite holiday decorations.
Don’t: sacrifice function
It’s easy to get carried away with filling your home with decorative pieces that really have no purpose except to look pretty. Too many showy items can lead to an overly cluttered area that looks more garish than great (and may prevent guests from fully enjoying all your hard work). Avoid holiday decorations that take up too much room or minimize seating.