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One Designer's Sanity-Saving Holiday Decorating Advice — 'You Do You' — and How to Follow It

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Homepolish‘s West Coast Creative Director, Orlando Soria, is known for giving refreshingly real design advice, whether it’s via his Instagram feed (follow #orcondo for hilarious renovation and decorating updates) or to celeb clients like Whitney Port and Gray Malin.

When it comes to decorating for the holidays, he maintains there’s no one recipe for a perfect room. Down for a “big froofy Martha Stewart Christmas? “Go ahead and spend 20+ hours decking the halls,” like the designer did in his own Los Angeles home. But if you’re looking for something a little more low-key (and way less labor intensive), check out his easy and affordable ideas for creating your own winter wonderland, below!

RELATED: MDLNY’s Fredrik Eklund Just Won Christmas with This Gingerbread Replica of His Connecticut House

1. Not Everything Has to Be Santa

“Some of my favorite Christmas decorations aren’t specifically Christmas-oriented. Trees, snowflakes, even small wooden cabins or light-up villages are all holiday hints you can scatter throughout your home to create a festive environment that doesn’t feel contrived. Anything wintry can be a Christmas decoration.”

WATCH THIS: Nate Berkus Plays Interior Design ‘Would You Rather’

 

2. Work With What You Got

“Okay, so I went crazy and have a huge tree and Christmas decorations all over my whole home. But it’s literally my job to do this (and I love it). If you live in a small space or you don’t care enough about Christmas to spend over 20 hours putting up and decorating a tree (which I did, seriously), there are so many fun ways to be festive without overdoing it.

Growing up, our house was always decked out. But my best friend’s house had no tree in it. All they had were chili lights around the kitchen window and I thought it was the most exciting thing on earth. This year, I gave a nod to that low-key holiday vibe by decorating a cactus sculpture I have with ornaments and lights. It’s fun and irreverent and everyone who comes in loves it. Your Christmas should reflect who you are. And if you’re casual and don’t want to have a big froofy Martha Stewart Christmas (literally my dream), YOU DO YOU.”

RELATED: Homepolish’s New Online Marketplace Is Officially the Only Place You Need to Shop for Your House

Tessa Neustadt

3. Make Heirlooms and Childhood Crafts into Holiday Decor

“My mom saved little crafts and art projects me and my siblings did when we were little and would bring them out for the holidays. Seeing them only once a year made it really exciting and added to the nostalgic, warm feeling of the holiday. I have some of these crafts still and I love getting them out every year to look at them and remember past Christmases.” 

Tessa Neustadt

4. Display Holiday Photos

“This year, I had my mom scan old photos and I had them printed at the drug store for a coffee table display of old Christmas photos. It not only makes a cute centerpiece, it’s also so much fun to show to guests.”

RELATED: Christmas Comes Early! See Which Celebs Just Couldn’t Wait to Deck Out their Halls for the Holidays

5. Swap Out Pillows and Throws

“A fun fact about accent pillows is that most of them come with removable covers that can be changed every season. I love adding in some warm, woven wool pillows during the winter months to up the cozy factor and accentuate my warm holiday color palette.”