Debbie Travis' Christmas decor trends
Think rustic texture—Debbie calls it "homespun"
Trends come and go, but the reason for the holidays stays constant: connection, love, home. This season, style and spirit come together with a return to what Debbie calls "home-spun nostalgia."
"What's really big this year is texture that creates ambiance, a mood that's home-spun, a good old-fashioned Christmas," says Debbie. What should you look for? Debbie's inspired by her imagining of Little Red Riding Hood's cottage: "ornaments that look like balls of wool, decorations of hand-carved wood mixed with gold," she says. "That's different—putting gold and wood together," she adds. "We'd never do that the rest of the year, but it works now, especially for the cottage, or on a traditionally styled tree at home." But this traditional motif, "this rustic, cozy texture, comes with bling," says Debbie.
Metal: Perennial Christmas bling
The holidays call for extra effort, a bit of show, compared to the rest of the year. Dinners have more courses, luxuries temporarily become necessities (think candle light and desserts with every meal), and of course decor gets more attention than usual.
Shiny, mirrored surfaces play a role in this seasonal abundance, even in traditional settings. Silver and gold ornaments add richness and glamour (not just to your tree, but hung from ribbon on the backs of chairs, strung along banisters and pinned into wreaths), and also reflect light in small, glittery doses.
Your finished look should include a bit of bling, but your holiday scheme has to be something you can live with for the entire season, not just the duration of a family dinner. So if you're a modernista who loves glass and chrome, no problem. "You can go very modern in the dining room, with your main tree," says Debbie. But use smaller areas to introduce a theme you might otherwise shy away from: in the powder room, for example, vases of tied sprays and bowls of wooden ornaments could be a nice counter-point to the rest of your home.Light it up: No wires, no worries
It's an annual problem: how to light up your space and get that romantic, festive mood without tripping over wires and strings of mini-bulbs? Travis is a fan of ribbons with built-in lights and a small battery pack that tucks easily out of sight. "Use them as a runner down the centre of your table, on a wreath or around artificial trees," she says. They also work well in glass jars with a special ornament or two. Add the fact that they can withstand the elements—like spilled gravy, cranberry sauce or wine—and the possibilities are endless. "[It gets] dark at 4pm, so I think lighted ribbon is going to be an icon for the next 100 years," says Debbie.
More than one tree
"A lot of people, me especially, are doing more than one tree because stuff—ornaments, artificial trees, all of it—is so affordable now," says Debbie. If square footage is limited, there's no need to go for a second floor-to-ceiling Douglas fir. "Artificial trees are amazing and not at all plastic-y anymore," says Debbie. The three-foot size is a perfect way to accent your home without giving up the room you need. "Place them on a mantle, your console or even a few along the walkway leading up to your home," she suggests.