Deck the Halls

Kristen Stern wants this holiday season to be the most beautiful yet. After five years as an interior designer and home stager, she launched her company One Day Decorating. When a client asked for Stern’s help in decorating for a company holiday party, she leapt at the challenge and has included holiday decorating in her services ever since. She shared her favorite new trends of the season, as well as tips for keeping sane while decking the halls, with Pulse.

Long Island Pulse: What are the biggest trends in holiday décor this year?
Kristen Stern:
Slim Christmas trees are one of the hot trends for the 2013 holiday season. These are trees that have a width typically 40-45 percent of the tree’s height. People like the idea of having multiple trees in their home, including dens, dining rooms, kitchens or bedrooms. I also see parents putting small trees in their children’s bedrooms, giving them an opportunity to express their own style.

LIP: Are you seeing any other tree trends?
Another trend I like is tree grouping. I had a client who, instead of having one large Christmas tree in her living room, wanted to have a grouping of decorated trees as the focal point. I was hesitant at first, thinking it would look a bit excessive, but it turned out to be quite stunning. This look can only be accomplished if the room is very grand. Having a skinny tree makes it a little easier, since it takes up much less room. Also anticipated to be popular again this season is old fashioned, oversized, multi-colored string lights. The trend is to mix them with tiny white lights, creating a nice blend of old and new.

LIP: Why hire a professional decorator for the holidays?
The holiday season is often noted as the most wonderful time of the year, however it can leave some people overwhelmed and frustrated. If you are dreading the thought of decorating, if you just don’t have enough time, or if you desire a fresh new look, you should consider hiring a professional to do the job for you. We will use clients’ decorations, bring in our own or use a mixture of both. We present our clients with a number of decorating options—including a takedown service—after the consultation.

LIP: What is the biggest mistake homeowners make when decorating?
Not having a color scheme. Good holiday decorating is all about color and coordination. The formula that I use is to choose two dominant colors, one accent color and one “sparkle” color to use more sparingly than the accent color (like sage green, ivory and pewter with a splash of frosted white; or bubble gum pink, cherry red and plum with a splash of silver). The dominant colors should work cohesively with the colors already in the room.

LIP: For homeowners who don’t want the holidays to dominate their décor, what are subtle ways to incorporate the season?
Bring the outdoors in! Shop in your own backyard for natural elements like pine, fir, holly, holly berries, boxwood, acorns and pinecones. Place these items on mantles, hang them over doorframes or place them in vases or bowls to create nice centerpieces. For a magical touch, add little white Christmas lights to greenery.

words: justine lorelle lomonaco | photo: lynn spinnato

justine lorelle lomonaco

Born in California and raised in the Midwest, Justine Lorelle LoMonaco spent the last four years indulging her East Coast side on Long Island and in NYC. She has contributed to a variety of lifestyle magazines and websites and maintains a blog, In her spare time, she loves reading, running and eating in her Astoria neighborhood.