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Keep it simple

Wendy Bird November 1, 2007 Holiday No Comments on Keep it simple

The days of pulling out old, massive sets of dust-encrusted holiday decorations are over. Today’s embellishments should reflect the fluid, changing nature of people’s lives. That means keeping adornments simple, versatile and multi-purpose. “Think about what you have to plan for over the holidays and decorate accordingly,” says Stephen Chapman, a designer with Studio Flowers.Winter 2007The days of pulling out old, massive sets of dust-encrusted holiday decorations are over. Today’s embellishments should reflect the fluid, changing nature of people’s lives. That means keeping adornments simple, versatile and multi-purpose.

“Think about what you have to plan for over the holidays and decorate accordingly,” says Stephen Chapman, a designer with Studio Flowers.

“Not every light switch has to have a bow hanging from it.”

Chapman encourages people to look at the key areas in their homes, such as the entranceway or fireplace mantle when it comes to decorating. Embellishing a single key area is sometimes all that’s needed to make a home seem more festive.

“You don’t necessarily have to move your furniture around to accommodate decorations,” Chapman says. “Sometimes all you have to do is use a bunch of little things in certain areas to create a holiday atmosphere.”

Groupings of candles, vases filled with gems and greenery, or a trio of small bouquets can be zig-zagged down tables or shelves, leaving enough space for other items, such as plates of holiday food or family pictures.

“Bigger pieces, such as a large centrepiece or arrangement, should be saved for feature areas such as a kitchen island or a coffee table,” Chapman says.

He points out the an artificial wreath is an important staple in holiday decorating.

Aside from putting it on an entranceway door, the wreath could also be used as a table centrepiece that provides an accent to candles, surrounds a punch bowl or a tray of desserts.

He notes that any item used to decorate a dining table should be no higher than a person’s chin (when seated).

“Table trees are also becoming more popular,” Chapman adds. “You can achieve the same look of a large Christmas tree by putting a smaller tree on top of a table that has been draped with a cloth, without having to rearrange the living space.”

Today’s ornaments need to be easy to assemble and easy to pack away.

“My philosophy is ‘plop and drop’.” Chapman says. “Most of us are really busy during the holidays so we need to look
at keeping things simple, reusable and environmentally friendly.”

He mentions that a trio of large clear vases can be used throughout the year, with the contents being changed with the seasons.

“We really need to decorate to accommodate our lives,” he says. “Realistically, if you know that you have to plan for two cocktail parties and a Christmas Day meal, then you plan for that. There are some simple arrangements that can be put together that will look wonderful throughout those events and still look great by the time New Year’s Eve rolls around.”

Florists are usually delighted to help people when it comes to decorating for the holidays. In addition to carrying a wide array of fresh flowers, florists offer unique vases and decorative pieces that, with a quick change of greenery, can be used throughout the year.

Studio Flowers is located on Regent St. in the city’s South End.

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