Deck the Halls: Designing a Different Christmas

Principal Interior Designer at Edmond’s Traditions Fine Furniture, J. Mark Taylor, offers advice on modern holiday décor
Custom Rustic Poinsettia Arrangement
by J. Mark Taylor


Christmas is truly a wonderful time of year, and one that most of us look forward to with great anticipation.  In 2020, the Christmas season is particularly special as those who have been confined to their homes more than usual have an opportunity to bring a festive look to their surroundings with wonderful Christmas décor!

Front Door Wreath And Swags J. Mark Taylor, Rid

A good friend of mine, a landscape designer, once told me that her approach to creating a beautiful flowering pot included three things — a filler, a spiller, and a thriller. Those things I have decided, apply to my approach to holiday decor as well. For example, when approaching the design of a mantle, I must have a base (the filler), a centerpiece or focal point (the thriller), and something that extends from the central focal point in all directions (the spiller). These three elements are the basis of an interesting design.

Snowman Mantle J. Mark Taylor, Rid

This thought also works when creating a beautiful Christmas tree.  Often I create a magnificent, towering topper for the tree, including skyward branches, ribbon or other materials that fall, and other filler – different textures and coordinating colors.  Together, these make the focal point, or the thriller of the tree. After filling the tree with chosen ornaments (including the middle, near the trunk), I finish with wispy icy branches, or glittery sprays that extend outward and are down-swept from the branches of the tree. This method works well with traditional ornaments or more modern shapes and colors.  

Library Mantle Oklahoma Governor's Mansion J. Mark Taylor, Rid

Finally, don’t be afraid to use oversized ornaments.  They take your holiday décor from ordinary to extravagant!


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