It's that time of year again. The time to drag down the dusty box from the attic marked "holiday" that's filled with broken ornaments, tangled lights and gilded accents that we dutifully place around the home in their prescribed holiday spots. But what if this year, our holiday décor looked, well, updated?
For Venice-based mama, designer, and blogger Sarah Sherman Samuel, getting the festive accents just right lie in two key pieces: "As soon as the holidays hit, I start decorating by adding a little extra sparkle to my space with metallic accents and twinkle lights." Plus, "bringing in fresh greenery (with or without sparkle) makes it feel more like the holidays," she tells MyDomaine.
To make sure you get the most bang for your holiday buck, focus your decorative efforts in the rooms that get the most foot traffic. Ahead, we chatted with Samuel to see how she's updating her living room, bar, and dining room with choice pieces from Bloomingdale's and some easy DIY tips that you can copy. We promise, you've never seen holiday cheer look this good.
The Living Room
Naturally, your living room will be the area that you entertain the most in. For Samuel, her living space "is the biggest room in the house, so when we have friends over, we end up congregating here,” she says. “I wanted to bring warmth to the sofa by adding layers with a graphic blanket and a sheepskin throw." Her pro tip? "When in doubt, add a sheepskin rug. I love how they can transform a space, making it more inviting. You can throw it over the arm of a sofa, on the back of a chair, or layer it over the existing rugs on the floor.”
"We created a nontraditional wreath-like wall hanging out of eucalyptus and wrapped in tiny copper lights to give it a warm holiday glow,” she says.
As for coffee table décor, Samuels likes to keep it simple by focusing on one thing: “Candles and more candles! They have a way of making a space feel cozy with their ambient glow and welcoming scents.”
Of course, no entertaining space is complete without music. Samuel's music-playing device of choice is a Crosley record player. "The sound quality of vinyl adds to the nostalgia that surrounds the holiday season," she says. Her favorite tune: "‘White Christmas’ by Bing Crosby. Growing up in Michigan, we almost always had a white Christmas, and hearing that song takes me back to all the childhood memories."
The Bar Cart
The second most congregated area of a home during a party? The bar cart, of course. Samuel’s consists of basic go-tos like a decanter, wineglasses, and various spirits to appease any preference. Ease and accessibility are also important. “Since the kitchen isn’t nearby, having a stocked bar cart is essential. I like guests to feel as if they can make themselves at home, so ample seating and a loungey vibe are a must.”
“Choose a decanter that matches your style," Samuel recommends. “I love the geometric silhouette of the glass on this one." This decanter also has a stopper and setting with gold accents and wood, making it extra special.
The Dining Table
Similar to the wall garland in the living room, Samuels carried the same eucalyptus greens into her dining room, opting for a runner instead of bouquets. “I made a simple garland from my favorite greens, then sprinkled it with copper candle votives and holders for a no-fuss centerpiece."
Whether you're catering or cooking a five-course meal, a cheese board is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. To display them, choose unique cheese boards that will add a decorative element to your tablescape. "The green of the cutting boards here is my favorite shade of green,” Samuel says. “It picks up the color from the eucalyptus, creating an elegant, almost monochromatic look to the table. The geometric shapes of both the cutting boards and the votives create a modern look I love."
Now that your living spaces are ready for hosting, how about the rest of your home? If your bedrooms need a little sprucing, see some of our favorite picks from Bloomingdale's below.
What décor accents instantly get you in the mood for the holidays? Tell us in the comments.