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Published September 23rd, 2015
Stylish Solutions
Be sure to look for ways to add texture with your color palate, like with these deep red feathers. Photos courtesy Couture Chateau llc

Every year it's the same thing. The suburban holiday season starts in Lamorinda grocery stores with the first corn stalk display out front, and lasts over four months through the New Year's Day football party at your home.
The number one question we get as a design firm from about September on is "Can you help us decorate for the Holidays?" The short answer is yes. The long answer? My teams and I love to decorate holiday homes, but we schedule and sell out somewhere in August for 1:1 appointments up through Dec. 5.
Here's the good news: To help stylish suburbanites from going 'off the grid' and giving up on the whole thing altogether, we put together cut-out tip sheets and video workshops that you can enjoy from the sanctity of your own home. Equipping you to take dominion over your holiday home is one of my favorite things. A few tips can make a difference in both your checkbook balance and how luxurious it looks.
First, choose your main color for the holiday part. Do you celebrate Christmas? Hanukkah? I always advise you choose your seasonal color palate from your main celebration. We have seen some fresh holiday color combinations at market this past summer, including bright oranges and Tiffany blues, but for time and space constraints, I am limiting this to the four most popular color combinations.
This foundational color will become your "Fall Frame Color," and your "New Year Accent Color," as well as being your "Holiday Main Color." Let me explain.
What typically happens when fall rolls around is you pick up a few pieces here and there and scatter them around your home. If you remember where you stored last year's fall decorations you may pull out that bin and work those items in, but many people either can't find the bin or didn't label it properly. It's OK - we've all done it.
The same thing happens once we are into the season, somewhere between Halloween and Thanksgiving. At some point we look up and all those scattered decorations look less than ideal. The photos from Trad Home don't match our mismatched menagerie. The solution? Get back to the basics with a color thread and edit-add-decorate from there.
Second, we plan. Even if you only plan one thing - your main holiday color - you will be ahead of the game. This is how we do it and create stunning displays from estate properties to small homes and boutique offices that work with the setting and don't break the bank.
Once you have chosen your color, you won't be re-inventing the wheel for every holiday that comes over these four months.
With my thread color for the season now through Jan. 1, I can wisely purchase and weed out old decorations.
We recommend you purchase ribbons, basic non-seasonal specific wreaths and neutral garlands in this color. You can even purchase floral sprigs or accessory items if you don't decorate with themed items. Many of our clients use this time of year to add to collections of Ginger Jars or Blue and White because they don't put up a tree.
That backbone color thread is what stays in your home throughout the season. The other parts change. You can see from our first color chart, the "pumpkin - deep red - brighter red color" combination at the top. Even though most people don't think about pumpkin orange looking good in their homes, this is our most popular color combination year after year.
We purchase ribbon in the deep red (looking always at undertones with our year-round color scheme), wreaths that might be feathers, leaves, berries or shells, and garlands of the same non-specific type.
By using those as foundations, we can accent with the pumpkins for fall, the maple leaves for Thanksgiving and bright red for the New Year's Day party, which goes well with requisite gazpacho.
I hope this has been helpful! Make sure to head over to the website and sign up for our Holiday Home Video Series, www.couturechateau.com/holiday. Let us know what your colors are for this season. Mine? Deep red. Unless Cal goes to the Rose Bowl, in which case we might celebrate Hanukkah with blue all around.

These berries and maple leaves complement any holiday d�cor.
This pumpkin color red pops against the festive silver for a fun New Year's flare.
Cut out graphics from our Holiday Home Video Workshop. www.couturechateau.com .
Ann McDonald, IIDA, NAPO, is the Founder/CEO of Couture Chateau, a luxury interior design firm in Orinda. For a complete blog post including other design ideas, visit www.couturechateau.com/blog

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