Emily Buckley, editor in chief 

Decorating is a big part of setting the mood for the holiday season, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be stressful or cost a fortune. Andrea Walters, the decorator and buyer at Locals Gifts in Logan, offered the following six tips to help you decorate your halls this year.

  1. Start outside. “I like to walk in and feel the magic,” Andrea said. “Start on your porch, with a wreath on your front door or something sitting next to the door, then come inside and do a little bit of decorating throughout your home. It doesn’t have to be big, but just a touch of Christmas or winter throughout the main walkway of your home will make it feel more inviting.”
  2. Spruce up something simple. Andrea suggested a fun way to decorate a mantle, swag down a stairway or the front of your house is to start with a simple garland (one with pine cones or berries attached), and add picks that are a different color, different shade of green or something that is frosted or flocked. Then she likes to add ornaments to make it full.
  3. Balance your vision with your children’s contributions. Andrea says there is no need to have a separate “kids tree.” She decorates her designer tree first and then lets her son add his homemade ornaments. “If they are scattered throughout it will look beautiful and represent your family at the same time,” she said.
  4. Stay within your budget. If you are a budget-conscience decorator, Andrea suggests choosing one main focal point that you love (that may cost a little more), and then find less expensive items to go around or on it to accent the piece. This secret works well on table centerpieces and mantles.
  5. Decorate in odd numbers. This is true for ornaments on a tree, table displays, mantles or any other decorating scene. Andrea says she decorates her trees from the top down, putting three items of different sizes, textures and colors in clusters and works her way down, jumping from side-to-side of the tree.
  6. Add words. Andrea likes to incorporate words into her displays. “It makes it eye catching and inviting,” she said. She suggests using decorative signs, metal cutouts, ornaments or block letters to add this element. “But don’t overdo the words,” she said. “That can become a mess quickly.”