How do you impress holiday guests with lusciously lumpless mashed potatoes? Want the secret to wrapping all of your gifts economically, yet so beautifully your loved ones may actually feel bad about ripping it to see what’s underneath? Looking for the classiest way to display your holiday cards? And eager to do it all with that inimitable Sedona pinache? As our gift to you, we’ve asked our columnists, the local experts on home style – Stephanie Larsen and Lynne Montedonico of Stephanie Larsen Interior Design – to share some of their best holiday decorating and kitchen tips. And don’t miss a new take on holiday table centerpieces from Annemarie Hunter of the Hummingbird House, who introduces us to “rustic bling.”
Holiday Decorating Tips from Our Experts
Organic is the watchword in Sedona-style holiday decorating, say local interior design experts Stephanie Larsen and Lynne Montedonico of Stephanie Larsen Interior Design.
“Here in Sedona, I think we do things beautifully and tastefully,” Stephanie says. “You don’t need to decorate every inch of your home. You can focus on a vignette, such as your tree or your front door or your table.” Materials such as ribbon, copper, raffia and berries, according to Stephanie, are more Sedona’s style than a lot of “glitz.”
Lynne likes to get creative when displaying Christmas cards. Rather than taping cards to the back of the door, she prefers to set up a beautiful display basket. “A basket becomes part of your décor; you can arrange cards in the basket so anyone can reach in and select one to read,” she says.
Though most people do not decorate as extensively for Thanksgiving as for Christmas, Lynne says food presentation can add beauty to the day.
“Place everything on the table so that it works together,” she says. “Cranberries and parsley around the turkey makes the table look as good as the food.”
Stephanie agrees the tablesetting and appearance of the meal are the most important aspects to Thanksgiving decor.
“It’s like a prelude to Christmas,” Stephanie says. “Thanksgiving puts you in the spirit for the rest of the season.”
Stephanie and Lynne also recommend shopping at post-holiday sales to get a leg up on next year. Plan next year’s theme around this year’s sales. And don’t be a snob; they say you’ll be amazed at the quality you can find at Target, Pier One Imports, and even dollar stores.
Stylish Holiday Memories from Stephanie and Lynne
Stephanie and Lynne both have fond childhood holiday memories that still bring smiles to their faces today, when they both have children of their own. Larsen, who grew up in a military family as an “Air Force brat,” says her family created lasting traditions despite living in nine states in 11 years.