45 Designer Decorating Secrets for a Brilliant Holiday Season.

Posted November 29th 2018 by Renae Kranz

Can you believe it’s the holiday season again? 

The shift into the holidays brings crisp whites, shimmery gold and silver, and a festive style only seen at this time of year. We try to think of something new to add to Christmas decorating each year. It might be a small twist, but who doesn’t like surprises and a little change? 

Our incredible interior designers contributed some of their best holiday decorating tips and secrets to help you add something new to your Christmas and winter holiday traditions. 

With so many secrets revealed, you’re sure to find a new way to spread joy throughout your home and neighborhood, no matter which holiday season you celebrate. 

christmas decor

Decoration done by Karli Strain in the Sioux Falls Showroom

Carly Ellsworth

Design Consultant, Sioux Falls

1. My favorite designer tip is to put up separate trees with different themes. That way you can change your décor as your tastes change without getting rid of treasured pieces or family heirlooms.

2. Put different themes in different rooms in your home to spread the Christmas cheer!


Nita Flagtwet

Sales Manager, Sioux Falls

3. Try using ribbon, feathers, or even a large snowman hat to top off your tree.

nita website 2019

Brooke Nelson

Design Consultant, Watertown

4. I cut fresh greens from the tree belt at the farm and mix them in with the artificial tree. It’s a great way to fill in the gaps and fill your home with the smell of evergreens.


Karli Strain

Visual Merchandiser & Floral Designer, Sioux Falls

5. The more lights, the better! Lights make your tree come to life. Wrap each branch from the trunk to the tip of the branches. You’ll be amazed how much light you’ll get.

6. To make it sparkle even more, add glittery picks and reflective ornaments (hang some deep inside the tree branches). The twinkling lights will bounce off these surfaces and create a magical experience.


Kayla Hathaway

Interior Designer, Sioux Falls

7. Put everyday décor away and relocate furniture to make room for the tree. Your room won’t feel overwhelmed by the new addition.

8. No space for a tree? Light up a wreath and decorate it with ornaments. 

9. Give your greenery and garlands new life by adding new accents like ribbon or Christmas picks.

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Denise Dietterle

Merchandising Manager, Sioux Falls

10. Wrap gifts in boxes when possible. It makes for a prettier package under the tree.


Kelli Harrington

Interior Designer, Sioux Falls

12. Mix ornament sizes, starting with large ornaments and working down to smaller ornaments.

13. A combination of navy, gold, and silver is a hot new trend for this holiday season.

kelli final

14. Cranberry sprigs tucked into branches add a great, colorful touch.

15. Use battery-powered timed candles for decorating during the holidays. I place them on the mantle, but they’ll add a cozy feel to any space.16. Invest in unique stocking holders for your mantle. They’re a great foundation piece when deciding on a theme.

railing decoration christmas

17. For the stair railing, hang ornaments on ribbons at varying heights up the rail. This unique technique is sure to impress your guests

Michele Latham

Interior Designer, Sioux Falls

18. Shake it up and place the base of your tree in a basket instead of putting a skirt around it.

19. Choose a theme and stick with it. Using the mantle as your starting point will help set the theme for the rest of the space.

20. Fill decorative bowls with pinecones, colorful ornaments, holiday florals, and other various pieces. Don’t be afraid to use a variety of shapes and textures.

21. Hang Christmas cards from twine with baby clothespins.

Michelle opt headshot
christmas plaid decor

22. Traditional plaid prints mix perfectly with the colors of the holiday season.

23. Vintage items and family antiques such as doilies and old canisters pair easily with holiday spaces. Embrace them this season!

John Longendyke

Flooring Department Manager, Sioux Falls

24. Wrap interior doors in wrapping paper.

25. Use multi-colored lights in fun rooms but stick to clear or white lights in formal rooms.

John 2 1

Maureen Wilson

Design Consultant, Watertown

26. Use a variety of fresh greens throughout the house. This easy trick adds the amazing smell of evergreens to any home, even those who choose an artificial tree.


Morgan Green

Design Consultant, Sioux Falls

27. Even though I don’t celebrate Christmas, I do hang lights during the cold seasons. The subtle glow of light makes my apartment feel warm and inviting. I drape them from the ceiling in my living room or hang them down the walls.

morgan 1

Julie Nesson

Interior Designer, Sioux Falls

28. Dig out Christmas “artwork” from throughout the years. Change up family photos on walls, ledges, bookcases, and shelves to showcase all my family’s memories.

29. Bring out Christmas quilts and pillows and add them to sofas and beds. Then add Christmas to the bedroom by using holiday pillowcases on every person’s bed.

30. Put Christmas books on the shelves and on the table tops so they’ll be ready to share with children or act as additional holiday décor.


Baron Wolfgang

Interior Designer, Sioux Falls

31. Layer multiple area rugs to add warmth and softness. Use those old antique rugs over the top of sisal rugs or carpets. Dare to go bold with pattern on pattern.

baron opt website

32. To create a festive outdoor experience, fill balloons with water and food coloring, tie and simply let nature do the rest. It’s just as fun for adults as it is for kids.

33. Switch out some of your everyday decorative pillows for pillows with bigger, bolder textures. Try cable knit, fur, and other rich, warm textures to add a bit more decadence to the season.


34. Bring out the china! If you have room, keep the table set. Light some candles and polish the silver for a sparkling glow. Then have a dinner party.

Sarah Henning

Design Consultant, Watertown

35. Find your inner kid by making cutout paper snowflakes. I suggest cutting out many shapes and large sizes for more intricate designs (sometimes I draw mine out before I cut).

36. Make paper chain out of colored construction paper. It’s cheap, fun, and creates a cozy, colorful space. 

pink blue christmas

37. Don’t be afraid to explore nontraditional holiday colors, even glittery pastel blues and pinks are trending this year.

38. If you go nontraditional, go BIG and make a holiday statement.

Renae Kranz

Post Author

39. Stuff glass vases or other containers with battery powered mini LED lights.

40. Spray paint tree branches white, add red berries, and put them in a large glass vase filled with lights. Want it more casual? Use a galvanized metal bucket instead.

41. Hang pine boughs with wide ribbon on the back of dining chairs.

42. Use a pair of children’s ice skates as your table centerpiece. Lean them against a glass cylinder stuffed with lights and greenery.

43. Hang large ornaments or paper snowflakes from the ceiling in room corners, down the hall, or against the wall above the TV.

44. Tired of your Christmas village? Give it new life by spray painting every building the same color (try silver, gold, or pale blue). Then add glitter and white accents to the “snowy” parts of the buildings.

45. Use large decorative lanterns or canning jars to create winter scenes inside like snow globes. The people, cars, and other small pieces from a Christmas village work great for this project.

There you have it! That should give you plenty of inspiration for your holiday decorating. Now dig in and make your space beautiful and unique to your taste.

Do you have ideas you want to share? Tell us about them in the comments or join us from your favorite social media spot and drop them there.


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