5 Ways to Make Your Home Merry this Season

Target's home style expert, Camille Styles, gave us the lowdown on decorating your home for the holidays.
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It's (almost) the most wonderful time of the year! With the holidays on the horizon, it's time to start sprucing up your space in a cheerful and festive way. You may not know where to start, but Target's home style expert, Camille Styles, does. Her five handy tips will help you take any room from drab to delightful.

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Tip #1: Layer your basics with new seasonal touches. You don't have to buy everything festive when the holidays roll around. "My strategy is to stock my kitchen with well-designed and functional white dishes that can be paired with serving pieces for every season," Styles says. A few festive dessert plates layered on top of basics adds cheer without the price tag. Styles does recommend splurging for the holiday mugs, though. "They’re a classic that I love using for hot tea and cocoa all season long," she says. The same idea works for bedding. "I love sleeping in white sheets, so I left those as-is and swapped our normal white duvet cover for a subtle-but-seasonal plaid comforter and matching shams. Adding throw pillows and a cozy quilt or a blanket at the bottom of the bed ups the luxe factor."

Shop the look: Festive dessert plates, holiday serving platterholiday mugs, plaid comforter, holiday throw pillows

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Tip #2: Themes are your friend. Start by choosing a loose theme for your decor, then pull together pieces that have a similar vibe. This year, Styles went with a whimsical and woodsy theme. She kept things simple with a soft, limited color palette that hints at festivity without overdoing it. "For my bed, I used soft grays, pinks, and greens with a pop of vibrant red," she says. Then, she accented the room with small touches that enhanced her theme. "Bottlebrush trees are one of my favorite ways to bring a natural, woodsy feel to any room of the house, and since they’re faux, I can look forward to unpacking them again year after year," she says. But Styles emphasizes the importance to not taking anything too seriously. "Holiday decorating should be fun and lighthearted!" she says. She keeps it fun by letting her kids make woodland scenes throughout the house with the bottlebrush trees and various animal figurines. 

Shop the look: Red throw pillow, bottlebrush trees, woodland animal figurines

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Tip #3: You can buy and DIY. Styles likes choosing a few DIY activities for the family to do together. "The kids love seeing their handmade creations displayed in the house," she says, "and it’s so meaningful to get them out year after year." Hang pomander balls and garlands studded with citrus fruit around the house for a classic holiday touch. Make ornaments with cinnamon sticks to pretty up your tree and spread warm holiday scents throughout the room. Create your own cute place cards to add a personal touch to the holiday table. After that, though, Styles likes to leave things to the experts. "The season gets so busy that after I’ve spent a Saturday crafting with my kids, I load up on everything else from Target," she says. "From gorgeous wreaths and the perfect stockings to ornaments for every style, I can really deck the halls without breaking the bank."

Shop the look: "Joy" wreath, stockings, ornaments

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Tip #4: Cozy is key. Winter is all about making your home a snug place to escape from the cold. Styles loves using candles, dim lighting, and thick, layered bedding to create a warm, fuzzy atmosphere. "When it comes to holiday candles, I say more is more!" Styles says. "I stock up on tons at the beginning of the season and keep one burning all the time." To create a snuggle-worthy bed, Styles keeps that aforementioned limited color palette in mind while piling on tons of different textures. "I use as many layers as possible: plaids, chunky knits, faux fur, and tassels for a holiday nest my family all wants to burrow into." As for lighting, anything harsh is a no-go. "Lighting is key to creating a cozy feeling, especially for a holiday party," Styles says. Her strategy is to turn off overheads and instead light the way with dimmer lamplight, lots of flickering candles, and, of course, a lit fireplace.

Shop the look: Holiday candles

Tip #5: Follow the rule of three. No matter what you're arranging—trees, figurines—or where you're arranging it, always go with clusters of three. "This formula works really well in just about any style of decor from traditional to modern," Styles says, and it keeps the look feeling luxe, not messy. Another quick styling trick: Fill a natural wood bowl with sparkly ornaments. It takes five seconds and pulls together both rustic and modern styles for a polished look. 

Shop the look: Wood bowl