We have a rule about decorations and it's this: There are no rules about decorations. It's the time of year to have fun. Who needs rules?
There are ways, though, to make everything look its best. Old decorations with new, big with small—the best way to make sure all your decorations play nice together is to have a theme. Maybe it's a color, or a collection of angels or Santas. When you repeat a theme in small groupings throughout your home, everything really starts humming. Or caroling, as the case may be.
For front doors and porches, you really can keep it simple and still make a beautiful impression:
A unique wreath and welcome mat add instant cheer.
Pre-lit, ready-to-plug-in decorations are easier than hanging lights.
Easiest: Place pre-lit decorations inside a picture window so you can enjoy them, too.
Lights & Tree Skirt
For natural trees, you'll want one 70-light strand for every foot tall your tree is. Make sure the plug-in end of the strand is at the bottom. And arrange your tree skirt now, so you can coordinate colors as you go.
Garland & Large Ornaments
Drape garland or strands starting from the bottom and working up. Leave space between large ornaments for smaller ornaments and sprays. If your tree is natural, be sure large ornaments are secured to the tree's thickest branches.
Sprays & Small Ornaments
Time to step back and check for bare spaces. Sprays are an easy way to fill gaps, especially on a natural tree that's asymmetric. Boxed sets of small ornaments help you add color and sparkle anywhere on a tree, even on tiny branches.
Tree Topper & High Fives
A step ladder, a topper and you're done. Who's a genius? You are. A genius who might deserve some eggnog.
A change of accents is all it takes to go from fall to winter. A few special tips: Asymmetry is always more eye-catching than a perfectly balanced arrangement. Create extra height by hanging a wreath or mirror (or a wreath on a mirror) on the wall behind the mantel. And choose items of varying heights to keep things interesting. Finally, protect your mantel's surface with stocking hangers.
Quick additions: Christmas kitchen towels or a holiday cookie jar. Or try running a strand of Christmas garland down the length of your kitchen island.
The space above your cabinets: This is a holiday display waiting to happen. If you have oversized holiday platters or breakable Christmas decorations that you're wary of setting out, this is the safest place to show those off.
When you're traveling for the holidays or just want to keep things simple, there are fun, affordable ways to make it merry: