11 Common Holiday Home Décor Mistakes
Before you begin your holiday decorating this year, use this list of the top holiday decorating mistakes as a guide to prevent style and safety faux-pas.
1. Forgetting Children And Pets
When you start to decorate your home, remember your décor should be tailored to your lifestyle, as well as your personal style. Keep children and pets in mind when adding décor pieces to your seasonal displays.
- Fake snow spray for windows is often made of a toxic formula, and is harmful if consumed. If there are children in your home (or pets liable to give your windows a lick), do not use fake snow spray on your windows.
- Breakable ornaments should never be placed on the lower half of your Christmas tree, or anywhere else within reach of children or pets. To prevent keepsakes from being broken and prevent injuries from shattered ceramic or glass, store fragile pieces away entirely, or up high.
- Overloaded tables are a risk to your décor and your loved ones. While it may be tempting to design intricate, style-stuffed holiday scenes on coffee or side tables, keep in mind these items can easily be knocked over by a child or curious pet. Place décor pieces on fireplace mantels, countertops and high tables, well out of reach of inquisitive hands and paws.
- Poisonous berries are unfortunately a common addition to many holiday displays. If you plan to decorate with Holly, Mistletoe or Jerusalem Cherry, keep them as high off the ground as possible. As these décor pieces are typically only used for aesthetic appeal rather than scent or touch, faux craft versions may be the best option for homes with children and pets.
2. Forgetting To Water The Christmas Tree
Natural Christmas trees are a tradition in many homes, and are a great way to add the wonderful scent of a pine forest to your house. Unfortunately, having a real pine tree in your house can present real danger, and requires maintenance. Always be sure your tree has several inches of water in its tree-stand bowl. A dry tree can easily catch fire from overly hot light bulbs, fireplaces and heating vents.
3. Overloading Electrical Outlets
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a brightly lit Christmas display, but you must prevent electrical fires from overloaded outlets. Always use surge protecting power strips, and never attach more than one string light set into a single outlet (placing one string light into the back socket of another, which is placed in the wall socket). While this may be convenient, it’s also dangerous. Purchasing extra power strips is an easy way to prevent electrical surge damage and potential fire risks.
4. Leaving Lit Candles Next To Décor Pieces
Candles are frequently included in holiday displays, and can add beautiful light and scent to any room with any holiday décor theme. When using your candles, do not ever place them directly beneath fabric, décor pieces or wood pieces. Plenty of space above and around your candles will prevent their heat or the flames themselves from catching anything on fire.
5. Going Too Far
Showing your holiday spirit doesn’t mean buying as much décor as possible. When setting up interior and exterior displays, choose quality over quantity. Well made, stylish pieces give your home a distinctive and chic look, while piling on the Santa figurines, candy canes, ornaments and poinsettias wherever you can squeeze them will only do more harm than good.
6. Wrapping Presents Without Marking Them
If you prefer to wrap your holiday presents all at once, be sure to avoid this frustrating mistake. Immediately after wrapping each present, add the recipient’s nametag. After two or more presents have been wrapped but not labeled, it can be easy to forget which package goes to whom. Rather than giving the wrong gift or unwrapping and subsequently re-wrapping gifts, make sure to take the time to write out nametags with every present.
7. Mixing Christmas Themes
Avoid awkwardly blending themes when decorating various rooms throughout your house, and outside. This can appear cluttered, kitschy and unstyled, leaving your home looking less decorated and more muddled. Select one of the following Christmas themes (or create one of your own) and stick to it.
8. Forgetting Key Rooms
Many homes center their Christmas décor around the Christmas tree and outdoors. While these are important spaces, don’t forget other frequently used areas of the home. A little can go a long way in unifying your seasonal décor scheme and greeting holiday guests wherever they venture within your home.
- Dining Room
- Guest bedrooms
9. Using Outdated Electrical Decorations
While using your favorite string lights or vintage light up Santa is a heartwarming reminder of Christmases past, outdated electrical pieces are also a fire hazard. Only use certified, well constructed and undamaged lighting and electrical décor pieces around your home.
10. Overloading The Mantel
The fireplace mantel is often the heart of a home’s Christmas décor, though safety and décor rules still apply here. When hanging stockings, garland, beads and other seasonal decorations from your mantel, be sure they do not come close enough to the fireplace’s flames to pick up heat, let alone catch fire. Even if you do not use your fireplace, keep an eye out for candles placed too near flammable mantel décor pieces.
11. Leaving String Lights Tangled
After you decide to remove your string lights, always store them in a neat bundle. Leaving them knotted and tangled will create a chore for next year’s decorating, and can damage the bulbs or string, leading to potential electrical issues.