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‘Tis the season for Santas, Christmas trees and halls decked with holly — at least until your holiday festivities are over. Before you know it, you’ll be packing up your themed decor and wondering how to warm up your home for the rest of winter.

According to Marc Thee, a Zillow Digs Board of Designers member and design principal at Marc-Michaels Interior Design, it’s possible to decorate your home for the season, not just the three-week period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The key, he says, is to stay away from store-bought commercial decor and take a more organic approach. Here are a few of his budget-friendly tips.

Use more white, less red

white holiday dining room

Dyfari Interiors used white to create a crisp, elegant space for winter entertaining.

“Avoid red at all costs,” Thee said. “It ties you to Christmas.” Instead, he suggests having a more subdued palette that feels festive without tying you to a specific day of the year.

“I know stockings are fun, but I’ve seen gorgeous white-fur ones,” he added. “I say keep it neutral.”

White is a great choice because it isn’t overpowering and can last the entire season.

Bring in warm metallics

Metallic decorations

Once the stockings come down, metallic vases can stay throughout the season. Design by Kerrie Kelly Design Lab

“The holidays personify metallic,” Thee said. “Everyone goes to gold and silver, but more muted and warmer tones such as bronze and platinum will last beyond the holidays.”

For a weekend DIY project, Thee suggests buying glass containers of varying heights and filling them with metallic spray-painted pine cones. “It’s elegant and simple,” he said.

Incorporate fresh greenery

Organic centerpiece

This dining room by Modern Rustic Homes beautifully combines greenery, metallic vases and candles.

Instead of one large Christmas tree, try dispersing natural elements throughout your home.

“The first place you should go [when decorating] is outside,” Thee said. “See what you can find. Boughs of magnolia [for example] last for a very, very long time.”

Once you’ve collected some greenery, Thee suggests filling tall glasses with leaf cuts and metallic accents such as hurricane or votive candles.

“Whether a beautiful tablescape, decorated mantle or a gorgeous cocktail table, these are things that can be mixed and matched,” he said.

If you live in a warmer climate, Thee says not to get hooked on finding Christmas-green boughs that aren’t native to your environment.

“In Florida, we do big tropical leaves set in water that will last for a week and are easy to replenish,” he said.

Embrace faux fur & candlelight

Bathroom with candles and fur blanket

High Camp Home warmed up this rustic bathroom with candles and a faux-fur throw.

“Another huge trend is faux fur,” Thee explained. “Creamy-colored fur almost has a snow-like quality.”

Less is more, Thee advises. To incorporate faux fur into your home, try using pillows or a throw blanket on your bed or sofa.

“It’s an easy way to change up your look [for winter],” he said. “And, it will add to all the other items in your space.”

Thee is also a big believer in candlelight to add warmth and a woodsy scent.

“It can smell like a Christmas tree or a crackling fire, but the other candles [in the room] should be unscented,” he said.

In fact, as a rule of thumb, Thee says to never have more than one scented candle going at a time. “It will overwhelm you, especially if you are eating near them,” he said.

Anchor smaller items with a throw or tray

A black tray helps ground smaller candles in this living room by Marc-Michaels Interior Design.

A black tray helps ground smaller candles in this living room by Marc-Michaels Interior Design.

The one downside to decorating with small candles and metallic pieces is that a room can start to feel cluttered. To avoid this, Thee suggests putting a fur throw or decorative tray below smaller items.

“Grounding objects makes them look so much better,” he said.

Related:

Catherine Sherman, a real estate writer for Zillow Blog, covers real estate news, industry trends and home design. Read more of her work here.

About the Author

Catherine Sherman, a real estate writer for Zillow Blog, covers real estate news, industry trends and home design.

  • deanna ball

    Wow I say. I need to win a makeover somehow. Beautiful! I love historic because of unique character.

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