Deck the Halls

Home is the heart of the holidays, so we asked some of our favorite local interior innovators to share the magic and deck the halls with some festive finery.

April Rose, April Rose Design Co.

I created this festive holiday mantel, in the lovely southeast Ocala home of Kyle and Lyndsey Landmann, for less than $250.

I chose a garland with pine branches and pine cones and styled it off-center to give it a modern feel. To add fullness, I incorporated fresh seeded eucalyptus, which you can source from a local florist, fresh blue spruce branches and magnolia seed pods from my yard. You can also use any type of evergreen branches. During Christmas tree season, many stores like Lowe’s, The Home Depot and Walmart will actually allow you to take branch clippings home absolutely free—they are typically yours for the asking!

Faux cranberries, mixed metal bead sprigs, feathers sprayed with satin nickel paint and twigs were added to create more texture and further interest.

Additional items came from Hobby Lobby and included a large square tobacco basket, a Merry Christmas sign, a large sparkly snowflake, buffalo check stockings and simple holders accented by pewter snowflake ornaments.

To finish, I added some small, decorative Christmas trees. I purchased chipboard cones, sprayed them with satin nickel paint and added some jute rope.

All the Trimmings, Yohanna “Joy” Alvarez-Giboyeaux, Joy in Decor

There is no right or wrong in decorating a Christmas tree. It should represent your personality. So, this year, I decided to go big—Boom—because things in my life are going well. It’s too much, too much—like me!

I bought a new 9-foot tall, 48-inch diameter tree and envisioned a lot of white, with glimmers of red and hints of light blue. I began by flocking the tree with faux snow, then incorporated 900 white lights. I found the glittering red hat tree topper online.

Among the various elements, none of which were expensive, are five kinds of ribbon. I took round ornaments and added shiny touches to them, such as crystal sprays found in the wedding department of Hobby Lobby. I found crystal ornaments, nutcrackers, miniature castles, silver/blue poinsettias, berries and other items at local stores, including Target and T.J. Maxx.

The fluffy white tree skirt was fashioned from two area rugs. I also cut a rug into strips that were then incorporated into the tree, because I like texture. In total, including the new tree, I spent approximately $500.

With family members scattered around the world, I can’t have big family get-togethers as often as I would like. For us, it’s about sharing love and being there for our loved ones.

Splendid Showcase, Jill Brown and David Gadlage, Koontz Furniture and Design

Decadent desserts in a lavishly styled buffet setting can add an element of elegance as they beckon guests to enjoy the gastronomic delights of the season. Using unexpected statement pieces and over-sized candlesticks can create intriguing layers of depth.

One beautiful—and delicious—way to entertain guests is to create an inviting holiday dessert station.

For this stylish display, we began with a dining table from the Chateau Lyon Collection by Century Furniture. For the background, we used an intricate braided rope screen that measures 80 inches wide by 96 inches high.

In creating a layered look for the table, we incorporated green leafy faux botanical stems by Kalalou, a hydrangea arrangement by Foster’s Point and red ginger sprays. The elegant garnet candleholders are by Zentique, and the industrial pendant is also by Kalalou. Adding to the festive design are stag sculptures by Jeffrey Bilhuber.

The cost of all the furnishings and accessories employed in this elegant scene is $12,700. The look can be emulated inexpensively in your own home by adding floral and natural elements to a buffet and pairing dramatic statues or oversized candlesticks with your decadent holiday desserts. This delicious red velvet cake was prepared by Kay Rains.

Shining from Afar, Suzanne Rice, Suzanne Rice Design Consultants LLC

My design inspiration came from snowy, clear nights in Lake Tahoe. The dark skies and bright stars glistening on the snow say Christmas to me.

I have glass doors and didn’t want light from inside to shine through, so I started with 1/4-inch sheets of birch plywood. I painted them in Sherwin-Williams “Gale Force,” which matches my shutters. I glued on an incredible number of multi-sized “jewels” (to evoke stars in the night sky), with the Big Dipper and Little Dipper strategically placed in December sky locations. The Milky Way was created with spray glue and glitter dust.

I cut Christmas trees out of plywood, painted them green and white for the snowy branches, then sprayed them with glue and sprinkled on glittering snow to create the heavy branch appearance.

The panels and trees were mounted over the glass doors with L brackets. The overlapped trees are attached to the panels so you can open one of the doors.

In addition to a large illuminated star, the doorway is framed by sparkling white LED rope lights.

The snowy porch, railing and steps were fashioned from a Dacron quilting sheet and stuffing from a spare pillow. I always try to recycle something in my designs.

The cost for the design was about $300. I added a Santa, sleigh and four reindeer for another $200 (not pictured). The overall project took about 40 hours to complete. The materials were purchased locally, from Manning Building Supplies, Shores Home & Hardware Center and Hobby Lobby.

As night begins, the glittering starry sky and snow laden trees transport us into a wintery Christmas with all its beauty and wonder.

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