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Pinpoint your holiday persona
Traditional, mod or romantic? Celebrate your style this season


December 2012

Are you a dyed-in-the-wool traditionalist who decorates for the holidays exclusively in red and green? Or perhaps you yearn to experiment with a new style and color scheme, but arenít sure just how to reconcile your existing things with a new look. Local decorating experts are here to help you find your holiday decorating personality.

Timeless Traditionalist

"At Christmastime, many of us like to be surrounded by things that remind us of our past," says Kristin Severson, co-owner of The Lemon Tree in Mequon. "You may have classic red and green and plaid decorations, charming glass ornaments on the tree, evergreen wreaths with big red bows in the windows, and garlands on the stairway bannister," she says. Collections of old toys, nutcrackers or snow globes can be placed in vignettes on tabletops or the mantle. "These collectibles have more of an impact if they are grouped together. But you donít have to display every piece in your collection. "Bring out different items every year to make it new," says Dan Moorehead of Moorehead & Rhodes in Mequon. "Collectibles can also make a great tablescape for a holiday meal," he adds.

"If you have a favorite style, it isnít necessary to buy new things every year," Moorehead says. "You can use what you already have, but add something new. For example, change the green in your color scheme to chartreuse or lime green. Youíd be surprised at the difference it makes."

Christmas Minimalist

If you prefer your decorations served up without a lot of fluff, you might be a minimalist. Minimalist style can work equally well for a contemporary or a country style house. "Instead of a big tree, consider natural foliage like a potted evergreen tree or just place a branch from your yard in a large vase and decorate with pinecones and ribbons. Use displays of fruits and nuts for color and scent, and candles always add warmth," suggests Jessica Arendas of Susan Fredman Design Group in Whitefish Bay. Create a centerpiece by tying evergreens together with raffia and putting them in clear glasses, or hang greenery boughs with ribbon from a chandelier. To avoid clutter, take down a picture and replace it with a fragrant wreath. Remove items from tables to make room for a Christmas poinsettia.

Retro Reinventor

While the term kitsch might refer to the tacky or tasteless, collectors of Christmas kitsch from the 1950s to 1970s donít care. If you love kitsch, donít hide, express yourself! "We are seeing aluminum trees with the spinning color wheel that were popular in the í60s and other items like big lights and toys from those years," Arendas says. Bring out the pastel garlands, the plastic pixies and Santas, stuffed elves and reindeer, and take your family and friends on a quirky journey back in time. "If you arenít sure of your style, tear out pictures from magazines, then pick out the things that you like," she says.

Christmas Dreamer

What could be as simple and calming as white Christmas dťcor? This style can work well in a small apartment as well as a large house. "White candles inside hurricane lamps and an arrangement of potted paper whites on the mantle or a table make a beautiful statement," Severson says. "Charming white ornaments on a snow-flocked tree covered with white lights is a classic look," she adds. Hang white velvet and lace stockings on the fireplace or the bedpost. Place a cotton or organza runner and china bowls of glass ornaments on your dining table. Toss a furry white throw on your sofa and youíre ready for a white Christmas dream. 


This story ran in the December 2012 issue of: