18 Holiday Decorating Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making
These holiday decorating mistakes can make your home look sloppy, waste energy, and even put your home and family in danger.
You think it’s all about red and green
Just because red and green are the go-to color palette of Christmas doesn’t mean your holiday decorations need to follow suit. “One big mistake is forcing red and green. It’s not necessary at all! Coordinate your holiday accessories around your home’s day-to-day décor,” says Jacquin Milhouse-Headen, owner and editor of Interiors by Jacquin. For example, you could use your main color scheme (teal, purple, maroon) as a base and accent it with metallic holiday-themed items in gold or silver. “I’ve seen beautiful garland in every shade,” she says. Find out the real reason Christmas colors are red and green.
You put your Christmas tree in the wrong place
If you go through all the trouble of cutting down and decorating a Christmas tree, it should be the star of the room. That means a little furniture rearrangement is worth it to find the perfect place to stand your tree, ideally in a visible corner or against a main wall where it immediately draws your eye. And be mindful of what’s around it; make sure it’s far away from fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, and anything else that could cause it to catch fire.
Avoid cookie cutter decor
If you’re looking for a unique way to deck out your home this holiday season, consider homemade bead garlands instead of your go-to Santa figurines and tinsel. “Locally owned bead shops are in every city if you know where to look and they can help you avoid the stale holiday feel,” says Milhouse-Headen. “You can find beautiful beads like metallic and wood and create a set of ornaments or garland.” And here are 24 DIY decoration ideas anyone can handle.
You leave the lights on all night
Leaving your string lights or window candles shining all night can be a huge energy suck, especially since nobody is awake to appreciate them. Outdoor lights left on overnight can also be bothersome to close neighbors trying to sleep. Set a reminder to turn off all your decorative lights before you hit the sack, and try not to turn them on until darkness falls.
You overdo it
You don’t need to display every single holiday decoration you’ve accumulated over the years. Instead of being a sentimental look back in time, it’ll just end up making your home look sloppy and cluttered. “Try to choose three to four holiday elements per room. That way they’ll really stand out and wont be overwhelming,” says Milhouse-Headen. Here are some ideas for a gorgeous Christmas mantel.
You forget about the kids
It might seem impossible to forget about your little one this holiday season, but when it comes to decorating it’s easy to overlook hidden hazards. If your child is at the age where they grab everything in sight, avoid hanging ornaments from the lower tree branches they can reach; this will prevent breakage and make it harder for them to find small parts (like those sharp metal hooks) to shove in their mouths. Trim any low-hanging branches that stick out at their eye level to avoid accidental eye pokes, and hang the lights out of reach so they can’t get tangled (or yank your whole tree down).
You don’t get creative with wreaths
Wreaths can be so much more than a ring of artificial green pine boughs. Buy or DIY a wreath made of real pine boughs (bonus: that Christmas tree scent!) or woven bare branches; then accent it with a pretty bow, ribbons that match your main décor shade, or pinecones. “Don’t forget about fresh elements!” says Milhouse-Headen. Here’s how to DIY your own cinnamon-scented pine cones.
You decorate only the living room
You don’t have to go all out in every room of the house, but adding a holiday touch to other rooms in your home can spread Christmas cheer beyond the tree. Place a seasonal candle or holiday scented soap in the bathroom, and tasteful wreaths or garland in the kitchen. Take a look at these 12 clever Christmas party themes to kick the holiday season off right!
Your lawn is covered in decorations
Too many inflatable snowmen or Santas, light up reindeer, an elaborate nativity scene, plus a house draped in twinkle lights can throw passerby into sensory overload and make it difficult to appreciate any of them. Stick to the indoor rule of three to four decorations, or settle for a more classic look with a beautiful wreath or big red bow on the door and fake candles in each window.
Your decorating timetable is off
Even if Christmas is your favorite time of year, try to be patient. “I think a foolproof rule is to let Thanksgiving pass and then start decorating,” says Milhouse-Headen. “Remove everything by the end of the first week of January. You’re bringing in the New Year and it’s the perfect excuse to take down last year’s decorations and maybe even incorporate some fresh décor.” Here are 8 DIY ornaments you’ll be proud to hang on your tree.