A Minimalist Guide to Holiday Decorating

A Minimalist Guide to Holiday Decorating

I must admit that there are years that I have spent so much time and energy decorating my clients’ homes, that I don’t have much left when it comes to my own house. I wish I could say I am a Martha Stewart or Joanna Gaines, but in reality I am just me – a hardworking entrepreneur who is truly grateful when her husband cooks dinner most nights! He could be happy not even putting up a tree as John’s decorating needs are far more simple than my own. So some years I like to keep our decorating simple!

So this year I decided to offer some suggestions for a Minimalist’s holiday decorations.

  1. Wreaths – Simple and easy – don’t feel like you need to limit them to doors – they work just about everywhere to make a room feel festive.
  2. Lights – We are blessed to live in the historic downtown of “Christmas City”. So we have candle lights in our windows on all year round. And we have our backyard string lights out all year, too! So believe me when I say – add a string of twinkle lights anywhere – it doesn’t have to even be on a tree. The sparkle with get you in the mood in no time!
  3. Pillows – This may sounds silly, but just like adding accent pillows to your sofa, holiday pillows can bring a festive feel into any room (a great addition to Guest Rooms, too.) I love to swap out my personal favorite, Buffalo Plaid fabric pillows, just after Thanksgiving and they are so timeless they can last long into the winter season!
  4. Holiday Centerpieces and Florals – Sometimes putting up a tree doesn’t make sense, especially if you are traveling for the holidays. So I like to add greenery to a central area of focus, like a dining table. Faux LED candles mix well with greenery and last through the New Year’s celebration, too! Even if I don’t get around to going all out with my holiday decorating, I will put a section of garland on our fireplace mantle along with a couple stockings to let Santa know where to find us, even though we don’t have a chimney (it’s an LED fireplace.)
  5. Christmas Card Display – I love when I can use something simple to decorate that changes each year! I also love getting Christmas cards from family and friends! What better way to decorate than to use something you already have in a creative way! Simply displaying these beautiful cards and photos by hanging them from an existing piece of wall art or simple ribbon hung vertically down a door can add holiday cheer to any space – and a great way to keep things organized, too!
  6. Scents – Nothing appeals to our imaginations like the smells of the holidays. Gingerbread, pumpkin spice and pine needles are just a few of the many scents that can bring about the holiday spirit. So even simple candles or (even safer wax melts) can add to your holiday cheer.
  7. Finally, don’t forget the reason for the season – if I do nothing else, I like to put up my Nativity Set. It reminds me how truly blessed and thankful I am!

Rounding this list off with some hot cocoa or egg nog (with or without the rum) and some holiday music is all you need to make it look and feel like Christmas at your house.

Carrie Oesmann
Carrie Oesmann


has spent the past 20 years developing her skills and expertise in the real world of interior design. With her new blog site, “My Bailiwick”, Carrie shares her valuable insights on her experience as an influencer in global community of interior design professionals.

Carrie addresses all the aspects of interior design; working with clients, partnering with contractors and developing designs that really work within her clients’ budgets, personal taste and lifestyle. Carries insights bring the design process into focus as she explains how decisions are really made and why. And how each of those decisions impacts the big picture.

Carrie’s active lifestyle proves her mantra “A body in motion stays in motion!” So outside of her thriving design business Carrie pursues life with a passion. Whether she is teaching Pilates, training for a triathlon, traveling the world, or simply enjoying a round of golf and taking her golden-doodle Bailey to a local nursing home for a visit, Carrie is constantly on the go.

Gold and silver awards for her designing talents are a testament to her creativity and dedication to her profession. Carrie’s work has been featured in multiple trade magazines including New York Spaces, Distinctive Kitchens, Design NJ, New Jersey Home and Style, to name a few, as well as designer showhouses and even a television pilot. Carrie holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and an Associate’s Degree in Interior Design from Centenary College. She is an active professional member of NKBA, the National Kitchen and Bath Association and ASID, the American Society of Interior Designers, and is one of the elite who have passed the rigorous national qualification exam, making her an NCIDQ certified interior designer.

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