Inspirational holiday decorating
Stylist Chareen Parsons offers ideas that will give your gifts and decorations a professional touch.
Use one colour of paper for wrapping but dress it up with different combinations of ribbons.
Mix less expensive ribbons like plain red cloth ribbon with more pricey organza.
Snip greenery and save berries and dried flowers to embellish gifts.
"After people open their gifts, the tree can look naked," says Chareen. "I wrap the lid separately from the box, so all you have to do is untie the ribbon – the ribbon keeps people from peeking inside – and take the lid off. That way you can put the box back under the tree. You can also reuse the box with different ribbons."
Make a perfect bow
Measure each piece of ribbon so that bows for the Christmas tree are exactly the same size.
Form a bow by making two loops in the centre of a piece of ribbon, leaving extra ribbon for two ends; tightly tie the bow between the loops with floral wire and puff up the bow.
Wrap another piece of floral wire around the middle of the bow and attach it to the tree.
"Be careful when you're hanging a garland on a stair banister," advises Chareen. "Don't use nails; use coated floral wire to attach it so that you don't strip the paint or dent anything. And, if you're using natural berries, position them, or anything with colour, on the outside of the staircase as opposed to the inside or the top, where people will brush against the berries, causing them to fall off and potentially stain the carpet."
"I love boxwood, but it's tricky to deal with because it's hard to twist," says Chareen. It can also lose its lustre, so she advises mixing it with other greenery, "which is also economical because it can be expensive to do an entire garland of boxwood."
Throughout the house, Chareen liberally mixed silver and brass items – something other decorators advise against. "There's nothing wrong with that, especially not at Christmas," she says. "People often have old family pieces that they want to display, such as an antique silver vase and a brass lamp. Anything goes."
Image courtesy of Pottery Barn