Holiday Decor - Deck the Halls, Don't Wreck the Walls!
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Holiday Decor - Deck the Halls, Don't Wreck the Walls!

Most of us want to decorate our houses beautifully for the holidays. Fragrant evergreen wreaths, boughs, and a freshly cut tree. Stockings hung by the fireplace and candles glowing softly all around. The perfect setting really brings that holiday to life for you, your family, and your guests.

The drawback to such a magical display of splendor can be the after-effects:  scratched paint from garlands wrapped around the banister, holes in the mantle from tacking up stockings, a nail hole in the front door from hanging the wreath.  Let's face it:  holiday decor can wreak havoc on your home if you're not careful.  Below are some tips on how to decorate with care, to avoid these pitfalls.

Protect Your banisters: As part of their holiday decor, many people wrap garlands (either real or imitation) around their banister railings.  And while this beautiful look screams holiday splendor, it can severely scratch the paint or finish on your railings. The solution?  Before you decorate your banister, first wrap it with a long cloth bandage (the kind you would wrap a sprained ankle with). Tape the ends of the bandage to the underside of the banister to hold it in place while you overwrap it with the garland. This protects the finish and can be easily hidden beneath the garland.

Protect your home from nail holes:  I am in love this holiday. In love with Command Strips and Hooks from 3M, and nobody paid me to say so. These strips allow you to hang hooks that hold up even the largest wreaths and overflowing stockings. They come in beautiful brushed brass and nickel finishes, so they won't interfere with your decor scheme. The best thing about these ingenious hooks is that the come off SUPER easily, and leave no mark or residue at all.  For simple adhesion that doesn’t require a hook, use the strips.

Prevent drippy candle messes: When using taper candles, make sure you use those little glass plates that surround the taper where it rests on the candlestick.  Failing that, consider placing the candle holders on a holiday teacup's saucer. If you have a candle shop nearby, many sell packages of small (about 2”diameter) circlets of thin foam rubber that you place over the bottom of the taper as you fit it into the candleholder--making it much more stable and less likely to wobble and therefore drip.

Arrange pillar candles of varying heights on plastic or glass chargers; then any drips can simply be scraped off when they're dry.

Since colonial times, there has been the tradition of putting a lighted candle in each window. This gives you a chic, minimalist way to say "Christmas" without going overboard. The problem is that it can be dangerous AND messy. Simple solution? There are plenty of battery operated or electric (but a cordless look is so much nicer) single-candle lights that give the same look without the fire hazard or waxy mess.

To protect your mantle from candle drips, consider cutting a piece out of a holiday-print (or plain red) vinyl tablecloth to perfectly fit your mantle. This adds to the festive look AND protects your mantel from drips.

Use these tips and you won't have clean up wax, spackle holes, or touch up scratches on your banisters.

©KatieK, December 2008

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Comments (2)

Yes! Command strips are a savior for the holidays. Good tips!


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