DOC Wrap-up: Tips for a Chic and Organized Holiday Season

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The fall season of our Designer on Call series wrapped up Thursday, November 8 with an informative seminar on how to have a chic and organized holiday season, presented by Caryn O’Sullivan of Drapery Street and Maria Baer of The Baer Minimalist. The session was focused on tips to organize yourself in preparation for the coming holidays and how to do it in a beautiful, chic way.

Maria Baer and Caryn O’Sullivan.

Caryn and Maria both had lots of tips and suggestions to not only have an organized and stylish holiday season, but also one that is true to your individual style and has meaning for you and your family. Here are 5 key takeaways from the workshop:

1. Create a Checklist

Before decorating a single branch of your tree or baking the first gingerbread cookie, it is important to make a holiday checklist to determine tasks at hand, budgets, etc. Once a plan of action is put into place it is much easier to tick off items on the list, or to delegate things to other family members!

Set out platters ahead of time and make notes as to what food will go where. It makes it easy when it is time to set the table for the party – and for people to help set up!

2. Attending Events

Look at your calendar ahead of time and think about your needs: do you need babysitters? Holiday outfits? Hostess gifts? Add these things to the list so you can cross things off your list early. Once the invitations roll in, you will have these things in mind so you can reply immediately. RSVP to your events and make it a point to be there and be engaged with the other party guests. Have fun!

3. Hosting and Decorating

Some of Maria and Caryn’s best tips involved hosting holiday events and setting a beautiful table. It helps to think about the look or the mood of the party you are going for and then you can plan food and décor accordingly. Determine your look – modern, traditional, casual – and then pick a color that you can repeat throughout your home in all of your holiday decor. A traditional red is always welcome, as is a beautiful, neutral gold. Add in texture with greenery and fabrics in cotton, burlap, even faux fur, and in a variety of patterns. On the tabletop, a selection of table linens with flowers and greenery and varying heights in candlesticks and serveware complements the metallics and sparkle of place settings.

Once your plan has been set in place, you can relax and mingle with your guests as they arrive. It is fun to have an activity like a gift exchange or game or even wine tasting to get people involved and talking. Setting the atmosphere is also something that instantly welcomes your guests – so make sure you have a cozy fire going, light some candles and make a Spotify playlist with all of your holiday favorites. Careful consideration of your home’s ambiance is one of the most important things when making sure that everyone feels welcome – that is what makes the holiday magic.

A modern place setting is achieved with square white dishware and matte black utensils. Touches of gold and greenery add elegant touches, along with a mini Champagne party favor.
A beautiful and polished place setting can also be made with paper goods. Hexagonal plates are stacked with celebratory swizzle sticks, in tones of gold and marble, setting a casual but refined mood.

4. Consumable Gifts

When thinking about those hostess gifts (and any other gifts), think outside of the literal box. Consumable gifts aren’t things that are easily wrapped in a pretty box, but they are things that most everyone enjoys. Whether it be a plate of home-baked cookies or a beautiful bottle of champagne, these gifts are always appreciated. Things like tickets to events, museum memberships or other experiences like classes to learn a new skill are appreciated as a new and different kind of gift.

Consumable gifts include candles. These Plaid candles are from Holder Mattress in suite 119 of the IDC.

5. Holiday Storage

When it is time to put everything away for the season, think about the decor you pull out every year. Are there things that sit in the box, unused? It might be time to donate or get rid of some decorations, making sure that you aren’t taking up valuable storage space. When storing wreaths, hang them on a wall with removable hooks. The wreath won’t be crushed and will be ready to hang for next year. You can also plan to hit the after-holiday sales to stock up on wrapping paper, ribbon, etc. Getting a head start on next year’s holiday is always a good idea.

For even more great tips and further details from the presentation, visit the two-part recap series on The Baer Minimalist’s blog.