Deck the Stairs

Simple Holiday Decorating
Deck the Stairs

Does the Spirit of Christmas Past live in that dusty old box in your basement marked XMAS?

Need a new holiday décor plan? Tired of the tchotckes spread all around? 

Fear not.

We asked an expert, Dee Dee Taylor Hannah, a very savvy Canadian decorator and architect, for one quick solution to dazzle your family and friends as soon as they walk in the door.

Dee Dee has been spotted a few times on the set of Oprah (not kidding), runs a successful design build firm and is a fantastically fun mom of two.

Let’s hear what she has to say about choosing an area which is central to the home and provides a great focal point.

“Decorating for the holidays: we all know the standard fare of wreaths on doors. Interestingly, we’re now seeing them on the front of people’s cars. Personally, I am not a good driver so I cannot entertain that option!

The most fun for me is the staircase. 

The poor stair rail and pickets need a little dressing up. Start with a bough of cedar and wrap it around the handrail. Now you have an anchor on which to hang decorations. Accent with whatever seasonal items you like such as ribbon, your favourite baubles, or gingerbread cookies. 

Get the kids involved! You can make the stair decorations formal on the main floor with ornaments and seasonal fruit and move to more kid-oriented ideas like little toys as you ascend. I love the idea of fresh flowers woven in for Christmas morning or a special party.

The post at the end of your stair is called a newel post and it’s where you can explode your creativity. Gather your favourite ornaments and fix them together with a large bow. Hang this in front of the post.  You can even add a bell for effect or hang a wreath.”

So there you have it: approach your holiday decorating as you would anything important in life: remember that less is more, focus on doing one thing really well and the rest will fall into place (and won’t take as long to put away after the holiday season).

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First published 2005.11.29

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