Photos by Andi Holliday

A home stager shares her tips on easy Christmas decorating

Last week in my pilates class, I couldn’t help but overhear my classmates discussing the age-old Christmas question: Do we stick with the artificial tree that’s never let us down, or do we go out on a limb (pun intended) and get a real tree? The pros and cons from a woman beside me on the Megaformer went a little like this: “Well, if we get a real tree, it also does the work of a scented candle, but in that same vein, we have to pick up the thousands of needles that will inevitably coat the floors. Then again, there’s just something so special about a real tree that my kids haven’t experienced yet. But the setup of an artificial tree is so hassle-free that I could do it alone…”

This got me thinking: how important is traditional décor during the holidays? Andi Holliday, owner and designer of Stage Presence Interior Redesign & Staging, helped break it down for me.

“I think it’s really important to decorate with color schemes that are going to coordinate with the home,” Holliday says. “Everybody knows Christmases are green and red, with lots of red ribbons and gold ornaments. That’s still very pretty, but if you were really wanting to entertain and impress people—and do it in an updated way—then maybe you would one year decide to decorate in tones of gray, with wintry whitebark florals that follow the theme.”

When selecting a color scheme, Holliday recommends sticking to three or four colors and varying their hues. “It is very simple if you think about it,” she says. “If you keep the same three or four colors, and if you repeat those colors in the hues of your dishes, your centerpiece, the pots that hold the greenery, your pillows, your throws—it just makes for a less chaotic scene.”

Getting down to more details, Holliday shared her opinion on floral arrangements and setting the table. “I think sometimes it can be too much, almost like you chopping down a little Christmas tree and putting it on the table,” she says. “I would keep the greenery as small as possible. Then I would put light colors against dark and dark against light. Setting out small bulbs—maybe even tulips or gardenias—that look light against the darker greenery would be really pretty.”

Still, Holliday says it’s important to remember most of all what the holidays are all about: family, friendship and the memories that are shared. “When it comes to the Christmas tree, we’re still going to put up our old ornaments and the gifts that we got from our parents and the crafts that our kids made at school. We’re going to put them up every year.”

For more on Andi Holliday, visit or read this story from the inRegister archives. And don’t forget to tag us in your holiday decor on Instagram @inregister.