By Sophia Bennett
2020 will be a holiday season like none other, and with the way things are going, 2021 doesn’t look like it’s going to be much better. Scientists are predicting that it could take until 2022 to get the virus under control, so it looks like we should be looking forward to all of the 2022 federal holidays instead. But despite the grim state of the world – or perhaps because of it – people don’t appear to be scaling back their holiday decorating plans.
“Without question, this holiday is about gratitude and celebration,” says Kim Tokarski, a merchandizer with Frontgate. “Reflecting joy and happiness in your home will be key. Gatherings will be much more intimate, and we are inclined to continue to nest at home. Showcasing your home for the holidays gives us a lift in spirits, which is why we are seeing customers go at the decorating game better than ever this year.”
Laura Tadt, design director at The Airtex Group, believes that consumers will respond to the stress and uncertainty of the pandemic by filling their homes with comforting, reassuring looks. “Nostalgic colors and motifs create a cozy environment that prioritizes cheerful, relaxed looks over rigid perfection,” she says.
Handcrafted looks and DIY decor will also be important. Many decor and home improvement stores offer discounts on tools and DIY supplies during this season (https://www.raise.com/coupons/lowes, for example) which can make it easy for families to get into DIY holiday decorating. Projects like these can give consumers an outlet for budget-sensitive self-expression, and creates an opportunity for connectivity with family.
Making your own holiday decorations this year? Consider more eco-friendly options with some advice from the U.S. Green Building Council.
“I think what we will see with holiday decorating is not only the beautiful ornamentation of the holidays, but also more emphasis on personalization and traditions,” says Sarah Williamson, design director at Pindler. People are looking for things that are comforting and familiar, but for many consumers, a prized holiday tradition is adding to their collection of holiday decorations. And there may be Americans celebrating Christmas at home for the first time this year because of travel restrictions, which means they need to build a treasure chest of ornaments, mantelpieces, table decorations and more.
We asked three manufacturers what they see as the top holiday decorating trends for 2020. A few even shared ideas for how to get windows and window treatments in on the holiday fun.
Sparkle and softness
This holiday season, look for luxurious fabrics such as velvet, faux fur and faux silk, as well as blingy ornaments covered in crystals and glitter. Frontgate is combining the two trends with embellished trees skirts and stockings that are selling out fast, Tokarski says. “Some of styles have as many as 100,000 (hand-sewn) beads and crystals. These will be great collectibles for years to come.”
With so many beautiful holiday decorations to choose from, it can be challenging to figure out where to put them all. Tokarski recommends thinking beyond the tree. “Use ornaments in unexpected ways: attached to packages with ribbon or adorning wall sconces or lamps,” she says. They can also be hung in clusters at the bottom of garlands or placed on the dinner table. Food with family at the table is a major part of Christmas, so consider using the best silver cutlery you have to really bring out the sparkle and set everything off.
Evergreen branches, woodland animals and other nature-inspired looks are typically popular around the holidays. That’s even more true this year because of consumers’ burgeoning desire to bring the outdoors in. Tadt expects designs that feature squirrels, acorns, crafted pine trees and other winter foliage will surge this year in line with the desire for outdoorsy imagery.
Beyond setting greenery on a mantel or winding garlands up a staircase rail, Tokarski recommends using real or faux greenery in unexpected ways, such as atop a dresser in a bedroom or draped over a mirror. “Use smaller decorative trees in clusters to create small moments throughout your home, such as in an entryway, a breakfast room or a child’s bedroom.
“We love (garlands) draped over windows indoors or out,” she continues. “When decorating hard-to-reach places like above your window or above your door, consider cordless greenery. It makes setting things aglow as simple as pushing a button, so you will not have to fuss with the garlands until it is time for the decorations to come down.”
Many people will host their Christmas parties and other holiday gatherings outside this year because of the pandemic. To help make the outside as beautiful as the inside, Frontgate offers a range of lights, including lantern silhouettes, globe light strings, snowflakes, and Edison and meteor light strings.
“These bring life to your home and yard, whether draped in trees or wrapped around a lamppost,” says Tokarski. “Utilize lanterns with battery candles to further enhance your lighting mood.”
“The traditional holiday colors of green, red, silver and gold will be accompanied by crisp winter whites and deep, rich blues,” says Williamson. “Both blue and white are popular in homes year-round, so adding a few festive touches to accompany these timeless hues will be easy and have a big impact.”
“Burgundy and gold is another classic color combination that will inspire consumers again this year. “Frontgate livened the look this year with gold embellishments, burnished mixes and touches of blush,” says Tokarski.
Tadt shares a similar message. “Rustic neutrals mimicking those found in nature exude comfort and warmth, but add in some bright, playful colors such as magenta and gold to bring a feeling of optimism and positivity to the space.”
Metallics remain a key part of any holiday decorating scheme. One way many people are putting a twist on traditional looks is by used mixing metals. “Gold, silver, rose gold and copper finishes look great displayed together,” says Tokarski. “Be adventurous and try it out during the holiday season. It might prompt you to consider other mixing options as the season transitions.”
Want more on what colors and images will be popular this holiday season-plus tips on making money from holiday decorating? Check out our feature article by JoAnne Lenart-Weary from the November + December issue of Window Fashion VISION. Subscribe today to access the article.
Window coverings and other soft treatments
If you or a client have ever thought about switching to velvet draperies, the holiday season is the time. Velvet curtains are definitely back in style, thanks in part to modern fabrics that are much easier to wash. Plus, “velvet window coverings add a sense of quiet luxury to the space,” says Tadt. “Play with tiebacks for a subtle update to existing window treatments. Silver and gold accents add a touch of soft glamour, whereas a more rustic ribbon brings a comforting, crafted feel to the space.”
“At the windows, we’ve seen more embellishment, with trim on the rise,” says Williamson. “Using a subtle metallic trimming or temporary garland accent on existing drapery treatments can add a touch of festive fun to any space.”
Tadt also recommends using pillows to bring both glamour and down-home familiarity. “Add in layers of tactile comfort throughout your space,” she says. “Use chunky knits or elevated faux-fur throws in a subdued palette. Handcrafted techniques such as knit, crochet and macramé feel warm and authentic.”
Incorporating textiles into holiday decor also extends to the dining room. “As you consider your holiday table, popular items such as place mats, napkins, napkin rings and faux floral arrangements will create a composition,” says Tokarski. “Antler serving pieces are really resonating with the customers and (can be) easily incorporated into both traditional and transitional styles.”