Decking the halls in one day for under $250 using an unexpected holiday hue
Produced, designed, written and directed by Brian Patrick Flynn with photography by Christina Wedge
When it comes to guys and holiday decorating, I envision spaces more in sync with A Charlie Brown Christmas than The White House Holiday Special. Although I’m a practicing decorator, I’m certainly no exception to the rule. In fact, just a few years ago, my own dark, sparse apartment suggested that Halloween, not Christmas, took place on December 25th. But this year, I did kinda get into Christmas; however, taking more than a day to plan and execute it, notsomuch.
Always up for a challenge, I decided to conceptualize and bring to life my own holiday décor in a single day—on a teeny, tiny budget. To make the entire situation even more difficult, I declared red, green, silver and gold totally off limits. Instead I stuck with violet, brown, white and bronze, hitting up only three checkbook-friendly stores to find it all: Wal-Mart, Target and Big Lots. Now that my halls are decked in a less cliché manner, am I in the Christmas spirit? Kinda. Am I more focused on the six-foot, ultra-white tree in the corner throwing off the balance of my living room’s year-round look than the gifts below it? Bah humbug, yes.
Visions of sugar plum
Lucky for me, my living room’s year-round color scheme is violet-inclusive. It also sports plum, grape and lavender. No, that’s not a spelling error, lavender is with two E’s. Lilac, regardless of how you spell it, can stay the hell away; I’m not a fan—at all. To work the royal hue throughout the room, I picked up a $25 embroidered snowflake pillow and a plum-and-grape-striped, $15 Sock Monkey from Target to pull the colors from the frames down onto the sofa. As if that wasn’t enough, I bedazzled the stuffed primate with a sparkly tree ornament from Wal-Mart [$5 for a box of eight]. Come January 1st, that snowflake pillow is headed straight to storage.
With a keen eye and tightly zipped wallet, you too can appear to have good table manners! Just kidding—kinda. Ah hell, I’ll just come out and say it: I’m guilty of elbows on the table and forgetting which fork goes where, okay? Happy now? While scouring Big Lots, Target and Wal-Mart for discount tabletop items that didn’t look so discount-ish, I decided to stay away from seasonally-themed pieces altogether. Instead, I opted for a set of white Shabby Chic plates and darkly-stained, woven chargers from Target. For ambience, I hit up the store’s accessory section, then grabbed bronze candleholders and brown metallic pillar candles—candles meant more for the turkey-inclusive holiday than the one with a jolly, bearded, deer-loving dude who plays in chimneys all night. Furthermore, the chocolate and bronze tones enhance the effect of the Graham & Brown “Illusion: Black” wallpaper—my Christmas present to myself. If you’re any good in the kitchen with those heat machines [some people call them stoves], click on over to All the Best to link to a kickass hot chocolate recipe.
Fake, plastic trees
I don’t care whatchya’ll say, I’m proud of my fake, plastic tree and all of its fake, plastic ornaments. The pre-lit six-footer from Wal-Mart only set me back a teensy-weensy $39. As far as the mega-store’s thrifty ornaments are concerned, I mixed a variety of five different styles at only $5 per box of eight. How about that vintage angel tree-topper? Creepy huh? I have no idea where the hell it came from. Perhaps she’s the Ghost of Christmas Past. And if so, sister-angel-friend can focus on yesteryear all she wants while I deal with the present. Can y’all guess what I want for Christmas this year? More readers.
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