Tag Archives: Christmas decorations

Outdoor Holiday Decor Etiquette

Every neighborhood has one. You know, the house so bright with holiday lights that it can be seen from the space station. If your that guy or gal, who prides themselves with their over the top decor follow these rules of holiday etiquette to maintain peace on Earth with your neighbors.

James Wheeler

Put up the holiday lights the day after Thanksgiving. Even though all the stores are pushing Christmas before Halloween, follow the Black Friday to the Epiphany (January 6) rule for putting up and taking down your own holiday decorations.

Know your neighbors floor plan. If your neighbor’s bedroom windows overlooks the side of your house, be courteous and not shine the lights directly at them. Make sure your display is not in your neighbor’s line of vision either. You don’t want to temporarily blind as they pull into their driveway. Same goes for those inflatables, that could block visibility to the road. If you’re not sure, create good will and ask your neighbors if the decorations are a nuisance.

It’s OK to keep the lights on all night. Putting the lights on a timer is an easy way to save energy, however it’s fine to leave them on all night as long as no one complains.

Cut the music. A light display set to music may look and sound fantastic but you must resist. Even if you were to turn off your display at a reasonable time, none of your neighbors want to hear Tis the Season to be Jolly on repeat.

Wesley Tingey

Know your neighborhood. Take note of the level of decorations in your neighborhood. Festive as it may seem, a massive holiday display is going to attract visitors, possibly creating a traffic nightmare. Don’t land on your neighbor’s naughty list! Proceed with restraint in your your Christmas decorating.

Don’t be a Scrooge. If you find your neighbors are the ones with lousy holiday décor etiquette, approach with caution. If their multiple generators keeping the lights going or blaring music is keeping you up at night, say something. Do so in a polite way and offer a compromise, such as an ideal time to shut the party down. If it’s an aesthetic complaint, keep it to yourself. That mechanical Santa and eight tiny reindeer is filling your neighbor with holiday cheer and that is what this time of year is all about.

Mr. H says: Christmas lights makes us feel eight years old again-Enjoy!

Real or Faux Christmas Trees-the Facts

The Christmas tree is at the heart of the season’s holiday traditions. But as we become more eco-friendly does it make sense to cut down a living evergreen for such a short-lived pleasure? An artificial tree made of plastic doesn’t feel too “green” either. So it’s time to unpack the facts of both kinds of trees.

The Real

As with most types of farm products, Christmas trees are grown as managed crops. They are not cut down on a large scale in the wilderness. Taking about a decade to grow a six foot tree, farmers generally plant new trees to replace the ones that have been cut down.

Taylor Rooney

As the trees grow, they provide animal habitats, clean the air, and prevent soil erosion. Rolling hills, that are unsuitable for other crops, are where Christmas trees grow best. At the end of the season, real trees can be composted returning them back into the natural environment.

Keep your real Christmas tree looking good through the season by making a fresh cut to the trunk and immediately placing in warm water. Set up your tree away from direct heat sources and be sure to check the water level daily. It is not unusual for a tree to drink 2 gallons of water the first day it is the stand.

The Fake

Most people that opt for an artificial version do so out of convenience. (Disclaimer: Mine is fake!) Since artificial trees are made of metal and plastic they are not biodegradable like real trees. Recycling is nearly impossible since the materials used to fabricate the tree would be need to be separated to do so.

Artificial Christmas tree Balsam Hill
Balsam Hill

The question of eco-friendliness depends largely on how long you keep your artificial tree. The more seasons you reuse it, the more environmentally friendly it becomes.

Artificial Christmas Tree Birch Lane
Birch Lane

Look for artificial Christmas trees made with polyethylene, or PE plastic, instead of PVC. PE plastic is more durable and also tend to look more realistic. Proper storage in the off-season is key to ensuring that you can enjoy your Christmas tree for many seasons.

So now onto the next debate: white or colored lights?

Mr. H says: It’s not what’s under the tree that matters but who’s around it-Enjoy!

Five Festive Christmas Tabletops

The countdown is on before the big Christmas meal.  Find inspiration for your holiday table decor with these elegant and unexpected design ideas.

North Carolina interior designer Kathryn Greeley, is no stranger to creating a luscious table top having authored the eye candy packed book The Collected Tabletop.   Layering china patterns with hand blown martini glasses and beaded holly place mats hit all the notes for a lavish Christmas party.

Kathryn Greeley The Collected Tabletop Christmas

Better Homes and Gardens TV host, Tara Dennis is well known for her decorating, style and craft ideas.  Keeping things fresh and simple she crafted this beach inspired Christmas tablescape with just a few basics.  Natural linens, solid plates and plain glassware, along with a scattering of shells, is sure to transport diners to a tranquil beach.

Tara Dennis Beach Christmas tabletop

Tara Dennis Beach Christmas centerpiece

Red, green and white elements set a simple yet classic holiday table.

Pottery Barn

Sweet Peach featured this playful, kid friendly Christmas table by Beth Lord.  Utilizing vintage ornaments under glass, wrapped “gifts” and mismatched table ware, she sets the stage for laid back holiday supper.

Sweet Peach holiday table top

A mix of Waterford and Lenox “Holiday” china sets a gorgeous holiday table.

Betweennapsontheporch.net

Mr H. says: The best memories are those made gathered around the table-Enjoy!

Holiday Decor Don’ts

It’s time to deck the halls and you can keep your decor merry and bright by following some simple rules.

Don’t start your holiday decorating without clearing out the clutter.  Adding holiday decor to an already overstuffed space makes for an unhappy home.  Remove art, accessories and even furniture that don’t fit your decorating theme.

Don’t forget to measure your ceiling height before shopping for a Christmas tree.  Bring along a tape measure to scale your tree choice too.

Too tall christmas tree

Don’t try to decorate every room of your home.  Make an impression by focusing on the areas of the house your family uses most.

Don’t adhere to red and green color schemes.  Purple, blue, gold, silver and white all make for a festive atmosphere.

Don’t forget the natural decor in your yard.  Wreaths, garlands and festive tablescapes can all be created from outside your door.  Seal naturals in an airtight container and place in the freezer for 24 hours to kill pests.

Williams Sonoma

Don’t leave candles unattended.  Use non-flammable holders and keep away from children, pets and items that can catch fire such as trees, other evergreens, decorations, curtains and furniture.

Pottery Barn

Take Mies van der Rohe’s “Less is More” advice. In a season where we visually assaulted at every turn practice some restraint with your own holiday decor.

Ballard Designs

Don’t keep the lights on all night.  Regardless of how tasteful they may appear, your neighbors and the electric company would appreciate them being extinguished at some point. Lights can be controlled on a timer to prevent your neighborhood from glowing for weeks on end.

Exterior house Christmas lights

Don’t decorate the pets.  Choking, strangulation and suffocation are enough reason to keep your fur kids free of humiliating costumes.

Dog holiday costume

Mr. H says: Christmas is a box of tree ornaments that have become part of the family-Enjoy!

Holiday Eye Candy

With Christmas fast approaching, here is a sprinkling of stunning Christmas décor courtesy of a dear friend and fellow interior designer who really enjoys decking the halls.

The stage is set for a holiday celebration

Designer Christmas decor

The glamorous red living room suits the holiday appointments

Red living room walls

Black candles and a Venetian mirror craft an elegant holiday tableaux

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Garland up the staircase

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A tall, slender Christmas tree adorns a corner of the living room

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The table awaits desert to be served

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Mr. H says: It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air-Enjoy!

Charleston Trees and Black Dogs

I’ve featured lot’s of decorations and ideas for the holidays on the last few blogs and thought you would enjoy seeing a photo of our tree.

Our Tree

I think its pretty but nothing compared to the grand, double story, tree at the Hibernian Hall in downtown Charleston.  Wow!

Hibernian Hall tree

We met Bella, pictured here, at a party on Gibbes Street over the weekend.  The little elf costume stayed on for all of three minutes.

Bella

This sweetie is Jerry who was hanging out with the guys at the Hibernian Hall.

Jerry

Mr. H says:  If you don’t have Christmas in your heart already you will never find it under a tree-Enjoy!