The holidays are a wonderful time of year; over-indulging, visiting family & friends and taking a break from the stresses and toils of everyday life. Whether you’re at home or at work, the decorations are an incredibly important part of the holiday season.
We created this Ultimate Guide to Holiday Decorations to show you how to boost your business or adorn your home, so that you are ready to welcome everyone for the holidays.
Why have holiday decorations? Needless to say that the holidays just wouldn’t be the same without them – decorations are a big deal for both homes and businesses alike. Decorating the tree and turning on the lights is a family event that can really make the holidays feel festive. Why should businesses be left out?
Once the holiday decorations are up in the office, the whole mood will change. As a company, putting time and effort into your decorations for the holidays shows your employees that they are valued and that their experience at work is important to you. This improves the management-staff relationship and actually can increase productivity over the season and into the New Year.
For retail companies, holiday decorations can improve the traffic into your store. They give new and existing customers alike a positive experience of your brand. During the holidays, a store without decorations is like directing customers straight to the impressive holiday displays next door.
The most popular holiday themes
Holiday decorations have come a long way since the first bauble on the tree and now living holiday displays are celebrated as part of the PIA Awards. While many homes still favor traditional ornaments and colors, most businesses have started to move away from reds and greens to experiment with a wider color palette.
According to holiday decoration expert Yvonne Burch, Holiday Manager for Ambius Chicago, “More companies are opting to use chocolate browns, lime greens and metallic colors in their displays.” Snow-scenes and winter displays have also become increasingly popular in recent years, though the new wave has seen decorators experiment with contrast; black trees and white gold plants play nicely with tradition to give an instant impact.
How to decorate your home/office
Holiday decorations have evolved and so there aren’t any hard and fast rules. In your own home, you can be as lavish or extreme as you like, but commercial spaces require more discretion. The decorations you or the professionals choose for your retail stores will have connotations for your brand.
The tree is often the focal point of many holiday displays, with large trees being particularly popular as mall centerpieces. The size of the tree that you choose will depend on the amount of space you have and where it’s located.
Larger trees are usually placed in atriums and reception areas to create a dramatic first impression for visitors. Smaller ones will be better suited for corners of the office, so that employees don’t feel like they are working in a forest. Wrap different sized boxes in paper to match your color scheme and act as gifts under the tree, until you can go home to the real ones.
Expert Tip: If you’re rushed for time and don’t want to be decorating the tree while deadlines pass you by, then consider a pre-fluffed tree. Arriving with all its branches spread out and fluffed up will save you a significant amount of time. To avoid business disruption completely, a professional company can deliver a fully-decorated tree and have it installed overnight.
Poinsettias are still a popular addition at home and work, for their traditional red and green colors. Although they do also come in pink, white and even yellow if you’re looking for something different. If you want the ‘wow factor,’ then poinsettia trees, which are a large display of poinsettia plants in a metal framework, make a great impression.
Lilies and orchids are also a popular choice at this time of year, to give your decorations a touch of opulence. Remember though, that indoor plants can be difficult to maintain and will depend on the environment. The amount of watering will need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. It may change depending on the amount of heat and light the individual plants are receiving.
Expert Tip: Poinsettias are extremely susceptible to the cold. If you are buying a holiday poinsettia yourself, make sure it’s covered when you go outside and placed in a warm vehicle during transportation. Even a couple of minutes’ exposure to the cold could mean your poinsettia turns black and dies the next day.
After the Christmas tree, the lights are often what bring the holidays alive. Holiday shopping certainly wouldn’t be the same without them. Gone are the days of finding the blown bulb in a string of holiday lights. Now homes and businesses are using LED lights that are more durable and energy-efficient, meaning lights can be used over multiple seasons. In retail environments, curtains of lights are a favorite way to create an impact and look especially impressive hanging over the sides of escalators and staircases.
Expert Tip: Instead of spending hours removing the lights to pack away the Christmas tree at home or in your office, install your lights in sections. The lights can then remain on the Christmas tree when you pack it away, so it’s ready for next year!
Bows, swags & ornaments
Whatever you choose to decorate your tree, ceilings and walls with, it’s best to decide on a simple color scheme that you can carry through all your decorations. Traditionalists might want to stick to red and green, however silver along with a strong color to match your home decor or company brand works very well. If you’re worried you don’t have a decorator’s eye, a good way to perfect the professional touch is to decorate in clusters. Placing bows, ornaments or baubles on the tree in triangles will give a fuller look, rather than a scattered look.
Expert Tip: To make attaching your ornaments easier, wire them onto the branches. You can also make bows out of wired ribbon. They are easily scrunched up for storage and re-vitalized next year, like magic.
There’s actually more to decorations than meets the eye. Using scent to improve the feel of holiday decorations has been around for a long time. If you’ve bought pine cones or made mulled wine because they smell of the holidays, you’re already thinking about scenting.
The sense of smell evokes strong memories. The right scent will put your customers or employees straight into the holiday spirit. Add the scent of pine trees to your artificial Christmas trees for a better effect, or even a peppermint candy scent. Retail stores are now making holiday scenting part of their brand marketing, creating a positive signature scent, especially for the holidays.
Final Expert Tip: Finally, if you are decorating your home or the office yourself, then it isn’t a job that has to be completely re-done year after year. For smaller trees, simply place a bag over the entire tree and put it into storage. Next year, you can plump up the decorations or replace them if need be. Instant decoration!
Enjoy the holidays by making your decorations the best they can be this season. With our expert advice and guidance, your home or office will get everyone in the holiday spirit.