What? December already? Embrace it! Use art to make this holiday season the most colorful and sparkling ever. Using simple art techniques can help you create a coordinated, professional-looking holiday home, whether you decorate one room or go all out and alter your whole house.
The color wheel is an excellent tool. Basic wheels are made up of three primary colors (red, blue, and yellow), each separated by its corresponding secondary color (purple, green, orange). Colors opposite each other on the wheel are called complementary because they work well together.
Take red and green, for example, the traditional Christmas colors. Red is primary (cannot be mixed using other colors), and green is secondary (made by mixing yellow and blue). Visually, they stand out because green is the combination of the other two primary colors, so all basic colors are represented here. When you see green, red POPS next to it.
So what pops next to yellow? It’s complementary, purple. And, of course, blue and orange are the last combination of complementary colors.
For the holidays, the best plan of attack for amateurs (most of us) is to pay attention to the color wheel and use it to create the look you want.
For soothing decorations, use colors close to each other on the wheel. Hanukah colors of blue, white, and silver look amazing on their own or mixed with other colors like sea green or purple, and of course, with candles and twinkling lights.
For a knockout combination, combine traditional Christmas colors (red and green) with a highlight such as purple. Green foliage (trees, wreaths and other greenery) looks best when decorated with red berries or ribbon. I love to use pyracantha berries (turning red in many places in December), holly, or other red berries such as nandina (heavenly bamboo).
Pyracantha and holly berries are mildly toxic, so keep them away from small children and pets. In fact, keep ALL ornamental plants and even fake ones away from pets and kids. ‘Tis the season for snacking—let’s keep it to real food. Red berries can be very tempting to children.
To help keep little ones safe, you can tie berries with ribbon and hang them on your wreath. It’s so pretty!
White lights look good with anything. More is better, as far as I’m concerned.
Colored lights are a tradition, but I prefer strings of one color blended with my multi-strands to create a more interesting, custom look. I love red, so I place half mixed and half red lights on my tree, highlighted with lots of silver decorations. Red adds drama; lights add sparkle.
I have also used all white lights on my tree. This requires a bit of creativity with more dramatic decorations, but if you use a lot of one color, you can make quite a statement.
Explore the professionally-arranged Christmas trees and other holiday displays featured in department stores. Their designers work on these all year. Copy what you like, and often that involves white or silver.
White is not really a color, but a reflection of all colors, which results in a plain background for colors to pop. Blue and white is a Scandinavian color combination that always works, though it can sometimes seem a little sterile. Add some silver (tinsel or decorations) and create magic.