This may surprise some, but I’m not one to decorate seasonally. It took me 6 months to decorate our 850 sq. ft. condo. Imagine if I had to change it every 3 months! Granted, only a few accents should be replaced to make a home “in season,” but I’m still in the honeymoon stage with my condo as it is. Adding a few leaf motifs would just seem…cheap. And there’s a difference between fashionably frugal and cheap.

However, Christmas is the exception. I LOVE decorating for Christmas. I love all things sparkly, from wet snowflakes to sequins to diamonds. (I’ve been known to cause temporary blindness with my NYE wardrobe selections).

There are several different approaches to holiday decorating. Some choose to have their home professionally decorated. This is great for people who love to entertain and/or live in a large house. Decorating the 18 foot tree in your 2 story foyer can prove dangerous without professional help. When having office colleagues over for dinner, the bright green penguin towels in the bathroom may not suit the corporate image one is going for. It may even be as simple as getting bored with the same ornaments and the same centerpiece and the same mantle decor year after year and wanting some fresh ideas. All of these are reasons interior design is a successful profession.

To the other extreme, some openly believe that when it comes to Christmas decor, the tackier the better. If it can’t be seen from space and it doesn’t give you a massive headache upon plug-in, it’s just not Christmas. Forget the gifts, the entire Christmas allowance is put toward the astronomical electrical bill.

There is no pattern or technique for these displays (well maybe the car owner started out with some sort of idea in mind). They basically resemble what the North Pole would look like after a terrible earthquake. But to some, that is what Christmas is about. It’s a traditional holiday and there are many different traditions honored around the globe.

Not to say that massive amounts of lights and exterior figures are always tacky. A beautiful light display can bring local fame and make your home a traditional landmark for all ages.

In the middle of those extremes lie people like me. I like to make my house appear professionally decorated for the price of a few tacky stuffed animals. The only constants in my Christmas decor are a well decorated tree and stockings. Everything else changes year to year. With so many creative ideas out there, why stick to the same centerpiece year after year? Especially when you can make a tradition out of creating new decor. I like to spend the month of December doing arts & crafts. Each night I warm up my hot chocolate, slip into my slippers, and settle down in front of the glitter and paint.

Here is some great inspiration to get your house looking DIY beautiful:This is a very easy way to spruce up your coffee table. Just place some ornaments in a bowl for instant Christmas decor. BHG used multi-colored ornaments of similar sizes but this project has many different looks. Use 1 color of the same size for a simpler look, or 2 colors of 2 different sizes: large green globes with small gold globes.

This look is more fitting for a formal dinner party. Place overgrown branches in a wide vase and weigh them down with metallic glass stones. Once secure, place clear glass ornaments on the branches as if it were a Christmas tree. The candlelight balls shown on the branches can be found at Crate & Barrel, but you can achieve a similar look for less with various sized candles places around the vase. If you still have room on your table, place a few glass ornaments on a mirrored vase.

These candles will make any room in your home feel like Christmas. Buy the candle in a Christmas scent like Sugar Cookie or Christmas Tree and surround it in a large vase with cranberries. Place a few in the bathroom so you don’t have to go the way of the green penguin towels.

I love this ornament chandelier. Tie ribbon of different lengths to metallic ornaments and hang from a chandelier or ceiling fan (only if you’re not using the fan this time of year). This would look great over your dinner table, bed or center stage in the living room. If you’ve already placed the ornament centerpiece bowl on your coffee table, I would suggest hanging the ornament chandelier in another room.

Check back later in the week for a how-to for mantle decor, pictures of my own Christmas tree, and DIY gifts.

Pictures from top to bottom:

1. – 3. Redesign + more

4. & 6. Design Crisis

5. Lori…Lovin’ Life!

7. & 8. Dobbies

9. & 10. Better Homes & Gardens

11. & 12. Learnvest