Deck the Halls: Crafting a Magical Christmas Setting (With a Dash of Imperfection)

As the holidays draw near, it’s time to infuse your space with the enchantment of the season!

As a designer, I’ve seen it all when it comes to holiday decorating, from perfectly coordinated color schemes and matching ornaments to DIY disasters and tangled lights. But let me tell you, the homes that truly stand out are the ones that embrace their own unique charm, imperfection and all. There is room to carry on sweet family traditions. But this holiday season, let’s ditch the pressure of achieving Pinterest perfection and embrace the joy of individuality! Here are some tips to help you create a festive and inviting atmosphere that’s stylish and effortlessly yours.


colorful christmas lanterns & lights


My Approach to Effortless Entertaining

Gone are the days of suffocating checklists and Pinterest-perfect pressure! Let’s dance to a different beat this holiday season, embracing the joy of laid-back hosting. It’s about enchanting memories, not the stress of impressing others. Imagine laughter dancing around the tree and twinkling lights, friends sharing stories over clinking glasses. Forget the magazine-ready scenes – this is your haven, crafted with improvisation and heart.

We begin with light strokes: festive drinks, cozy dinners, and joyful gifting. Fill the fridge with light faire you can continue as the night unfolds, or slow down if the stories and drinks are flowing and everyone is cheery. Hungry later? Let’s raid the fridge and create a feast of laughter and surprise pairings. Decorations? Unleash your inner elf, drape lights with abandon, and let creativity take flight.

Pro tip: Don’t stress about planning a ‘menu.’ We go the all-appetizer meal route—they don’t even have to go together or follow a theme other than ‘foods we love!’ They are just some of our favorites, all pulled together to make a meal we love anyway! And it’s one of my favorite traditions. 

Want to see what’s on my table? 

    • Shrimp – either -cocktail or steamed with lemon-butter dipping sauce
    • Bacon-wrapped dates
    • Apples + pears – sliced and topped with a gorgonzola butter drizzle
    • Bruschetta
    • Stuffed mushroom caps

And the thrill of the “wing-it” moment? Pure magic! An extra guest? More laughter, another chair. Playlist dies? Time for a jam session! The unexpected is where memories bloom.

The most enchanting moments aren’t check-marked; they’re sparked by genuine connection, laughter’s embrace, and loved ones gathered. You, my friend, are the architect of these moments.

This holiday season, ditch the pressure. Dance to your own festive tune. Let the joy of the journey guide you. Imperfect evenings and enchanting memories – that’s the true beauty of laid-back hosting. Celebrate unscripted.


Embrace the Eclectic Mix in Your Christmas Setting

colorful christmas tree decorations

Forget the pressure of picture-perfect Christmas decor; remember, we embrace imperfection here! Joanna Gaines and the HGTV crews might have people swooning over their curated spaces, but let’s be honest, who can (or wants to) buy brand-new, perfectly matched ornaments every year? Not us regular folks! Instead, let’s embrace the joy of eclecticism, where every piece tells a story, and every quirk adds a touch of your unique personality to your Christmas setting.

Mix and match with abandon: Don’t let dusty boxes of grandma’s china and those funky ornaments you picked up on a whim languish in the attic. Pull them out! Pair a delicate heirloom platter with a modern metallic vase. Hang childhood macaroni reindeer alongside hand-blown glass baubles. Let the mismatched melodies of your collection weave a tapestry of memories and laughter.

Texture is your best friend: Velvet throw pillows nestled amidst faux fur add depth and warmth. A rustic wooden table draped in a shimmering tablecloth creates a touch of unexpected elegance. Don’t be afraid to play with contrasts – rough and smooth, shiny and matte, all dancing together to create visual interest.

Glitter, the universal language of joy: A little sparkle may go a long way, but a lot brings only the biggest smiles! Sprinkle it on pinecones, dust it on ornaments, or let it cascade from a twinkling garland. It’s like adding a dash of pixie dust to your holiday magic, guaranteed to elicit a smile from even the grumpiest Grinch.

So ditch the cookie-cutter Christmas scenes and embrace the beauty of the unexpected. Let your personality shine through with every ornament, every texture, and every sprinkle of glitter. 


Modern Magic on the Table: Less is More

Ditch the stuffy tablecloths and embrace crisp linens in cool, contemporary hues. Think charcoal grey, and deep navy, or (you know we love the color!)

 deep raspberry. Let the fabric flow effortlessly, each plate a blank canvas for your food to shine. No fussy placemats here – let the dishes stand alone.

For the centerpiece, skip the towering, conversation-blocking arrangements. Opt for a low-key whisper of elegance or whimsy: a driftwood garland with fairy lights, a scattering of sleek glass orbs holding metallic ornaments, or a single, sculptural candle in a striking ceramic holder.

This modern magic isn’t about perfection–it’s about connection. Dim the lights, light the candles, and let simplicity be your ultimate sophistication. This Christmas, whisper your elegance – it’s guaranteed to make a statement.  


A Soundtrack for Holiday Shenanigans

The same carols on repeat can get stale, so ditch the predictable and create a musical adventure! Craft a playlist that reflects your unique holiday spirit as vibrant and eclectic as your decor.

Mix in classic holiday tunes with modern twists, or add festive songs from your favorite movies. Throw in a few of your favorite artists, from current hits to decades past. Let the music set the mood for laughter-filled games, heartfelt conversations, and a spontaneous living-room dance party.

Remember, the perfect holiday soundtrack isn’t about perfection; it’s about capturing the joy and energy of the season. So crank up the tunes, let loose, and let the music move you!

Try some easy, preset playlists:


colorful decorative mini christmas trees & tall white candles  Colorful christmas tree ornaments and garland.


Celebrate Imperfection

Remember, creating a warm, inviting, and festive space is the most important thing. Don’t fear a few imperfections – they add character and charm to your Christmas setting! Embrace the beauty of the unexpected and let your unique personality shine through. Have fun with the process and enjoy the spirit of the season!

So, ditch the stress and grab the glitter! Let’s celebrate imperfection as the secret ingredient to festive magic this holiday season. Embrace the mismatched ornaments, the wonky DIY creations, and the sing-along sessions that veer off-key with joy. Remember, the most beautiful homes aren’t museums of perfect decor; they’re havens of laughter, connection, and your unique story.

Let your personality guide you, unleash your creativity, and when all else fails: glitter + twinkle lights = happiness! Play with textures, colors, and traditions, creating a space reflecting warmth and joy. And most importantly, have fun! This holiday, the only rule is to celebrate what makes you, you. 

I hope these tips inspire you to create a holiday atmosphere that’s both stylish and effortlessly you. Remember, there are no rules for decorating for the holidays. So, raise a glass to the unexpected, the imperfect, and the utterly delightful chaos that makes the holiday spirit shine brightest. Happy decorating, merrymaking, and imperfection-embracing!