8 Smart Tips to Steal From Professional Holiday Window Decorators
Have you ever wanted to step right into a beautifully decorated store holiday window display and live there? (That’s not just us, right?) It’s an impractical fantasy, of course—where would you brush your teeth? But you can deck out your home for the holidays using these expert tips from visual display professionals. Don’t be surprised if your guests take one look around and decide they’re moving in.
Select a Signature Accent
In the same way that legendary retailers like Lord & Taylor have themed holiday window displays, you should find a theme you love and use it throughout the home. “I choose one great wired ribbon each holiday season,” says Roe Palermo, divisional VP of merchandise presentation for Lord & Taylor. “I use it to wrap all my holiday gifts and create bows for napkin holders.” You could also use ribbons to decorate your tree.
Palermo outlines the steps for a perfect bow:
- Step 1: For a 6-inch diameter bow, start with a yard of strong wired ribbon.
- Step 2: Place ribbon flat on a hard surface (like a table), and starting at one end, fold ribbon over on itself in a repeat accordion formation, 6 inches at a time. (For a smaller, fuller bow, make shorter folds.)
- Step 3: Tie the center of the folded ribbon with floral wire, cinching tightly. Cover the wire with a (separate) small length of ribbon and tape together underneath or secure with glue dots.
- Step 4: Fluff ribbon folds into loops, using your thumb to smooth and round each one.
Repurpose Household Trash
Professionals see beauty where most of us see a recycling bin. Manwarren Generes and her team once made a field of translucent flowers out of used plastic water bottles. Her how-to: Cut the bottoms off plastic water bottles and use scissors to cut poinsettia-shaped petals into the sides. Spray-paint them red or off-white and cluster them on a wreath frame or hang them in a window by looping clear filament nylon thread around your curtain rod.
Make Edible Arrangements
Hit the Big Box Store
Surprise and Delight
Don’t try to decorate everything, cautions Palermo. Instead, “be strategic and create wow moments” at focal points from the front door to the powder room. Consider which spaces you spend the most time in, and where your eye lands when you walk into a room. “Aim for simple, small, but elegant reminders that evoke the holiday spirit throughout the home,” says Palermo, who likes to use fresh flowers in multiple rooms.