Pulling off the perfect holiday party: Tips and tricks to make your home shindig an unforgettable success
Perfect Holiday Planner
Whether it's an annual tradition or a simple get-together, hosting a holiday party at your home can be a joy for both you and your guests. Rebekah Johnson, founder of Bergner & Johnson Design, offers five fantastic tips to have your house looking holiday party-ready.
No. 1: Use Decorations in Keeping With Your Existing Decor
"Decorate your home in a manner that is true to your nature and the design of your house," Johnson says. Stay away from glitzy, commercial-looking decor items in a home that calls for restraint. While it may look fantastic in that magazine spread, but it might look out of place in your home. "I'm doing an event at a clean, contemporary home this year and we wanted it to look like Christmas but still fit the lines of the house," she says. "I found red lacquer magnolia wreaths for the front doors which fit the house and theme perfectly."
No. 2: Don't Overthink Tree Ornaments
"You don't want your tree looking like it came out of a department store," Johnson notes. A refined look can be achieved with a few elegant touches while still using some of the kids handmade ornaments. "Items like cording, ribbon and a mix of similarly colored ornaments can be on the branches close to the stem of the tree, with all your collected ones on the outside boughs so they can be seen," she suggests.
No. 3: Coordinate Your Mantel
"Mantel tops are a great opportunity to mix in unique items that coordinate with the room or artwork above the fireplace," Johnson says. "I have mixed in raffia and small straw ornaments in a garland with an interesting art piece that was made of wooden pieces and roping." Another of her clients had a still life of pears above her mantle, so she filled a garland with wooden pears and deep red ribbon for a striking yet coordinating effect.
No. 4: Keep Stair Rail Garlands Festive and Natural
Stair rail garlands remind everyone of traditional holidays. "When designing the look for the garlands, I like to keep them as natural as possible, starting with gorgeous fat pine," Johnson notes. Pine cones, tallow berries, holly berries and Florida berries are her preferred elements to place along ribbons that coordinate with the room. "I like to use rusty red ribbons in yellow rooms, silver or gold in formal areas, blues and silvers in blue rooms, natural cord in French inspired settings and bright red in darker rooms."
No. 5: Don't Forget Fresh Flowers
"If there's a large party during the holiday season, it's a good idea to go back and add fresh flowers to garlands, wreaths and even the tree," Johnson says. "I have filled a stair garland with dripping orchids for a lush party feel." She also recommends placing clusters of coordinating roses on the tree with existing ornaments to elevate the festive sensibility.