Color schemes for holiday decorating

Photo by Shoshanah Siegel/Signal Tribune<br><strong> For added sparkle, place lit candles and baubles in front of a mirror.</strong>
Photo by Shoshanah Siegel/Signal Tribune
For added sparkle, place lit candles and baubles in front of a mirror.
Shoshanah Siegel

If you love a traditional tried and true holiday season, you probably won’t think much about a color scheme for your decorations. You’ll gather together everything with sentimental value in any color and find just the right place for it.
But if you’re just starting out or want your decorations to complement your home’s décor, you’ll find that all your decorating decisions will be easier if you begin with a specific theme and color scheme. Here are some ideas:

Colors and items from your childhood
If you have particularly happy memories from holidays past, try selecting a color theme to enhance that memory. For example, if you loved candy canes, choose a red-and-white color scheme. Did your tree have shiny silver tinsel strewn on the branches? Or was your tree all tinsel, with a turning color wheel illuminating it? Did you have bubble lights? You can either search to find originals of these items from the past or purchase reproductions.

Bring in the bling
I was always envious around the holidays because we did very little decorating for Hanukkah, and I loved the beauty of the season, especially the bling. Now, I bring bling into my home and love helping friends and clients decorate theirs for the season. For more sparkle, string garlands of faux crystals from chandeliers and lampshades. Or use strands of gold or silver pearls, mirrors or iridescent beads that will reflect the light. For more of a glow, set items on shiny metal trays or chargers or on a mirror.

Items of inspiration
If you’ve seen a beautiful fabric that would be spectacular on the center of your dining-room table, draw your colors from the fabric’s design.
Check out color schemes used in gift-wrapping paper. See which ones you like and think about the style, the motifs represented, and the colors. Choose a paper that would look good in your home and find more decorations to place around the house that coincide with the theme and color.

Go global
Go beyond borders and celebrate a region of the world that’s new to you. Mix it up with a Latin or Mediterranean holiday theme. Or go with an Asian influence and celebrate the Chinese New Year. Pick a theme, and browse the stores or shops that have unique products from around the world. The possibilities are endless.

Too many colors?
Yes, I am all for the color, but going with a monochromatic theme can create a sophisticated and elegant feel. Monochromatice means using different value of the same color, darker or lighter. However, it’s all about the texture like velvet, leather, silk, or faux feathers and furs.

Let there be light
Hanukkah isn’t the only festival of lights. The African tradition of Kwanzaa and Sweden’s Santa Lucia Day shine brightly too. Whether inside or outside, lighting can change the mood instantly. For outside highlights, Pamela Patsavas of Distinctive Event Productions in Chicago suggests the latest trend— bulbs attached to stakes in the ground or secured and draped from the bows of trees. Greet your guests with illuminations leading to the front door. Inside, change bulbs to amber to give off a warm glow rather than a stark whitewash. Give depth to any room by placing lights in plants.

Let your imagination flow
There’s no end to the themes you can embrace. Try snowflakes, country rustic, Hollywood glamour, penguins, black and white with a splash of color, the ocean, birds, cats, dogs, pine trees. For continuity, carry your theme and color scheme throughout the house. Have fun, and enjoy!

May your season glow.

Shoshanah Siegel provides color consulting as well as space planning, remodeling, upgrading and staging through her firm Your Color Diva. She can be contacted at (562) 427-0440 or at [email protected] or .