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Holiday face-lift
Simple fixes can give your home a fresh look for the season



The holiday season is nearly six weeks long stretching from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. So we asked three area designers for their ideas on how to give your living room a seasonal face-lift that transitions from holiday to holiday and won’t break the bank.

"Look around your house to see what you already have that you might be able to use in a new way," suggests Merri Cvetan of MEC Design Studio in Big Bend. "Think about what collections you can display. Crystal bowls and glassware add the shimmer and shine you want at this time of year. Around Thanksgiving, you might display wood pieces."

Cvetan also had some other suggestions. "You want to be cozy during the holidays, so add pillows and a throw that you can snuggle up in. Look for chenille, which is soft and fuzzy." For fun, wrap a pillow with a thick black belt to give it a puffy, Santa belly look. "Candles are very important during the holidays. The more you have, the bigger the impact," Cvetan says. "Lots of candles make the whole room feel warmer even if they are not actually providing heat."

For Joy Allen and Bev Watson, owners of B&J Interiors in Pewaukee, the holidays are a time to be extra creative. "One of the most economical ways to freshen a room from the hum drum of winter is to paint," says Allen. "Try a soft gold or one of the warm latte colors. If you don’t want to paint the whole room, just do a focal wall."

Allen also says that low voltage rope lights on the mantel and under cabinets add excitement during the holidays. "Wrap them in garland; fall leaves for Thanksgiving and greenery in December."

Watson and Allen also suggest rearranging your furniture, such as taking a chair or a table from another room. "Swap out your accessories, too. You’d be surprised how new your room will feel just by moving the furniture around."

Joe Laszkiewicz, Milwaukee store manager of Nonn Design Showplace, a provider of flooring and cabinetry, suggests adding a seasonal or holiday-inspired area rug. "Go as dramatic as you want. It will completely change the look of the room," he says.

Or, for about $20, his store makes tops for end tables out of scrap granite. "Place it on a base and you have a whole new table."

If you want a more ambitious project, Laszkiewicz suggests facing your fireplace with new tile or even pieces of granite. M