July 17, 2024

8 holiday decor tips from Melissa Bowers of MA Bowers Inc

8 holiday decor tips from Melissa Bowers of MA Bowers Inc

Interior designer and stylist designer Melissa Bowers shares her approach

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With the holidays fast approaching, it’s not unusual to feel a little panicky about how you will do up your home for holiday celebrations.

Interior designer and stylist Melissa Bowers, of M.A Bowers Inc., has a firm grip on where to start and what to avoid. Here are some of her top tips.

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Decide on your colour palette

Begin with your colour palette, says Bowers. Red and green are a classic choice, but don’t restrict yourself to these. One of her clients recently opted for a magical purple, red, gold and soft pink colour scheme. She says they decorated their Christmas tree with clear plastic ornaments holding pastel edible macaroons, which looked amazing.

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“Once you select your theme and palette, it’s easy to make the whole thing flow,” she says.

3 things to consider when choosing your Christmas tree

Consider height, fullness and species when selecting your tree. You may want a blue spruce because the silvery blue-green suits your colour scheme. Or opt for a noble fir, with its unfussy, clean esthetic. Many people like simple, full balsam fir trees, but they can be pretty hard to work with because they often need a little help as stems need to be added to cover up bald spots, says Bowers.

Don’t forget your skirt!

Every tree needs a skirt, particularly if the base isn’t packed with gifts, says Bowers. A vintage blanket or fabric for your tree skirt can play a big part in your overall holiday décor look.

Christmas tree
Melissa Bowers of M.A. Bowers Inc. shares the three things to consider when choosing a Christmas tree. Photo by Courtesy M.A. Bowers Inc.

Vertical versus horizontal lights

There’s quite a bit of debate that happens around stringing your Christmas tree lights vertically versus horizontally, says Bowers. People have strong preferences.

“I prefer the traditional horizontal installing of the lights, but I typically use double or triple the amount of lights,” she says. More is more.

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Loud is in

For years, it’s been all about minimalism in Christmas décor. But this year, says Bowers, the selection of 1950s metallic ornaments on offer is amazing.

The designer says she has a hotel client in Miami who is bringing back a tradition they first started when the hotel opened in the 1930s, throwing an annual tree trimming and lighting event.

“It’s all part of being together again and community. The more the merrier.”

Embrace tradition and nature

Bowers says when decorating her home and workspace this Christmas, she’s opting for holly and ivy garlands and wreaths.

The scent of these natural materials makes the air feel fresh, and mistletoe reminds those in the space of how seasons change and spring will come.

“Holly and ivy remain green year-round, signifying eternal life. The bright red berries for the holidays add cheerful spots of colour,” says Bowers.

For her Christmas tree, Bowers says she often opts for a potted pine — bonsai-like — dressed with a skirt, which she donates to a garden after the holidays.

Holiday décor pitfalls to avoid

Lighting and extension cords can trip people up in more ways than one, says Bowers. When decorating for the holidays, it’s worth looking at your floorplan and thinking about how you’re laying things out. Consider where the tree will go and if it’s the right location for surrounding cables and cords.

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Time it just right

If you put your tree up too early, it can dry out and not be in great shape for Christmas.

For one client, Bowers says they did a large-scale installation using fresh pomegranates. It looked terrific, but they had to replace the pomegranates twice within one month as they started to rot. If you’re using fresh and live materials, think about how long you want them to last.

Transition the look for New Year’s celebrations

Remove any holly and anything red. Replace them with festive black, silver and gold. You can keep all your greens but add some ribbons and a “bigger hit of sparkle,” says Bowers.

“Freshen them up with sprigs of green for more scent, and get out the disco ball.”

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