Saturday, January 1, 2011

My New Year's Bouquet and the Best Time of Year to Buy Holiday Season Decorations

First of all, Happy 2011 everyone! I hope this year brings peace, joy, good health and prosperity to all of us on this planet. I was itching to blog earlier this Holiday Season about -- you guessed it, decorating for the Holidays, but an untimely lower lumbar injury got in the way of a good portion of my well-laid plans for the Holidays ...

{I bought decorative form white mums the other day and re-used my drying red and green berries from my earlier holiday season arrangement. Placed in a stainless steel wine bucket {designer tip #1}, my New Year's bouquet is every bit the shiny, classy arrangement that reflects the kind of year I want to have!}

While it is a little late in the game for this year, I decided to share my thoughts anyway while they are rolling around in my brain. Like the slow-basting of a turkey to produce the most succulent results, I've 'simmered' my Holiday Season decorating to get my vignettes just the way I want them.
What does this mean in practical terms? Christmas 2009 decor was "very simple" in my home. I would prefer to not have anything (this translates to art & furniture also) than to have the wrong items {designer tip #2}. Immediately after Christmas in '09, I headed to the stores to buy the silver, white & clear decorations I envisioned being clustered together to hang from my window handles.

(Of course, from a price perspective, the best time of year to buy Holiday Season decor items is after Christmas -- but if you find a 'must-have' item before the sales are on, I say you have to get it to avoid being disappointed. Although, waiting usually works out for me ...)

I tied them together with gift-wrap ribbon, and then used a shimmery Debbie Travis ribbon I purchased this year to hang them from my window handle:

I brought in other elements of gold, white and silver on this window sill through a gold damask-embossed vase, silver glass planter, white ribbon on the wreath (to replace the tacky red & gold ribbon that came with the inexpensive fresh wreath purchased at a discount big-box store {designer tip #3}), gold NOEL letters, and the small tree is made of gold-sprayed 'wood chips' (close-up below).

I love this little tree!

I love the pom-pom white mums! Mums are a great flower - they last a long time and are inexpensive; I find them both flirty and elegant. They are absolutely one of my fave fleurs!

{Btw, the Vancouver Art Gallery Store is a *wonderful* place to hit right after Christmas - get there on Boxing Day if you can; they have classy and different kinds of ornaments etc. and are all half-off right after Christmas. {designer tip #4}}

The look I prefer for my own home is one that is simple and elegant, so I kept many of my vignettes quite minimal. For the display cabinet off our kitchen, I simply used silver glass candle holders and gunmetal metal pine cones (both clustered in 3s, of course), along with a mercury-like glass small tree.

Without question however, my favourite new little vignette this season is the balls I hung in front of our sofa from the ceiling. They are plastic (so lightweight), and have a wonderful light-catching sparkle to them (I used gold, shimmering-cream and a gorgeous deep bordeaux).

{Use 3M Command hooks to avoid damage to your drywall, or if you've got a textured ceiling, try using athletic tape before resorting to white duct tape which is sure to pull off some of your ceiling when you remove them.} {designer tip #5}

If you're local, tune in this Fall to hear about the workshops I plan to have on creating truly gorgeous, sizable 'star flakes' that, hung from the ceiling, will add fabulosity to even the most high-end homes!

It is my hope that you would be surprised at how little I spent on my holiday season decorating (yes, I am one for a bargain -- as long as what I buy doesn't look like it was a bargain...).

I purchased at least a dozen new items this season (most are shown in this post). Between finding coveted sales and shopping at big box stores, I spent less than $125 before HST. And that includes this whimsical -- if perhaps slightly odd, but fits our space perfectly and I love it -- artificial Christmas tree!

We finally tore down our old, falling-apart 1918 house in 2008, and my husband forgot to take our expensive artificial Christmas tree out from the storage under our front steps; well, he remembered just as the bulldozer took its first swipe ...

We decided in that moment we had to let that go along with our old house. We'd been without a tree since then -- which I have not minded at all (I had actually stopped putting the tree up already a couple of years prior).

{I highly recommend foregoing a tree to anyone who feels the need to simplify during the Holidays and doesn't have children in the picture they feel a tree is important for. You can still have a wonderfully festive home without a tree, in my opinion!}

But when I saw this tree at HomeSense the other day, I knew it would fit our space perfectly and with the price being close to free, I didn't give it a 3rd thought [I always give decor a 2nd thought ;) ].

(While many designers feel that anything other than a fresh tree is not 'designer' at all, I am not one who likes to kill trees, even if they are bred for that purpose. So in my 'design for living', tastefully-decorated artificial trees are just as beautiful as the real thing.)

Ok - almost there, but I love these items too much to not share these ideas with you:

I found these trellis-patterned olive green felt placemats before Christmas; instead of using them as placemats, I put 3 in a row in the centre of my table {designer tip #6} for a simple yet elegant Holiday Season look for day.

I also love the silvery-y gold painted ceramic fruit and glazed ceramic white 'petal' tea-light holders.

Want to benefit from my knack of finding just the right items (whether you're on a budget or you can splurge to your heart's content)? Treat yourself to a 'Shopping Day with Elizabeth Roberts Design' -- we'll have a great time and I will also impart as much learning in the process as I can.

My final new item that inspired an alternate dressier day look for my table is this pair of white-with-silver-damask patterned vases.

Simple, white stock flowers (another favourite of mine) with red & green berries kept the look clean and elegant.

As one who doesn't take down Holiday Season decor until the weekend after New Year's Day, I get to enjoy all my vignettes (and overall festive feeling they embibe) for another week. Even if your Holiday Season decor is coming down today, I hope that you have found there to be many more tips 'n ideas in this post than those pointed out in pink, and that you'll be inspired to keep one or two of them in mind for next season.

One final closing thought for this late Holiday Season post: mandarin orange anyone? :)

Whether it's a whole home renovation or new build you need a colour palette and finishings for, or just one room you're looking to re-decorate or better showcase, contact me to find out how I can help you create the feel you want in your space, your place, your life.



  1. Liz is one of the finest designers in Vancouver BC Canada