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10 tips from local designer to spruce up your home for holidays
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Collission Speclialist Inc. has decorated its Green Street historic house bright and colorful for Christmas.

With Christmas fast approaching, decorating your home for the season might be the last thing on your mind.

Here are 10 quick and easy tips to turn your living area into a festive space ready for Saint Nick:

FRESH OR FAKE GREENERY

Christmas trees come in all shapes and sizes, from small ones that can fit on your bedside table to the 12-foot tree in the Stow, Garvin & Glenn offices. Even if you prefer the fake stuff, putting greenery around your house helps place the finishing touches on your Christmas decor, interior designer Lynn Tankersley said.

ARTIFICIAL OR REAL CANDLELIGHT

A candle in the window is a classic Christmas decor staple. It serves two purposes — decorating the indoors and outdoors of your home. Most people use fake candles in the window, but lighting up a Christmas-scented candle can add that extra touch.

ADD SOME COLOR

Deep reds and forest greens are classic favorites this time of year. Anything from red and green ornaments on the tree to red or green ribbons hanging from the mantle, there are easy ways to incorporate the colors into the decor.

“Growing up in Gainesville, that’s what you wanted to see,” Tankersley said, referencing her years of admiring Green Street in Gainesville’s classic style.

PILLOWS, PILLOWS, PILLOWS

Decorative pillows are a favorite of Tankersley’s when she is decorating homes for any season. Pillows are easy to throw on a sofa and be finished with it. Specialty holiday pillows can pull together a room, perhaps with a few throw blankets as well.

BLESS THE BEDROOM

“People always forget about the bedrooms, but you should still decorate them, especially if they’re on the main floor of the house,” Tankersley said.

You can decorate your bedroom by incorporating other items on the list, like adding tons of pillows to the bed or trading linens for flannels. If you have one, you can also decorate a guest room with its own tree and other decorations.

VINTAGE ORNAMENTS

“I like to make the person think they were back in that time, if I were decorating an older home,” Tankersley said.

Vintage ornaments can help achieve the look of a classic, old-school Christmas vibe. Tankersley said plenty of local places sell real vintage ornaments, such as antique shops or vintage stores. But they also can be purchases at places that sell ornaments that are designed to look older, such as Hobby Lobby or Target.

“You can also add ornaments inside the tree, to add dimension,” Tankersley said.

SLEDS AND SLEIGHS

Santa’s carriage can double as an addition to your Christmas decor, as well as the vehicle of choice for snow transportation. Filled sleds or sleighs with fresh greenery and ornaments, or even pillows.

HANDMADE SIGNS

Chalkboard signs are easy to customize with a holiday message and add some personal element to your Christmas decorations. Purchase chalkboard paint at Hobby Lobby for $15 for 29 ounces, and paint anything you’d like. Wait for it to dry and create your own message.

WREATHS

Wreaths can be used for more than just your front door. Smaller wreaths can be nailed onto stair banisters, fireplace mantles and even placed in front of a big picture. In historic homes, it’s much more difficult to nail into the walls or a mantle. That’s what picture molding, or crown molding, is for.

“You can stick a thumbtack in, and hang from that, on the crown molding,” Tankersley said.

SNOW SKIS AND ICICLE LIGHTS

Decorative snow skis are very “in” this holiday season, popping up in home decorating magazines, decorating bloggers, and shows on HGTV. You could pick up a pair of wooden snow skis at Target for just $3.

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