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Smart Design With Suzette: Answering Holiday Decorating Questions

on December 15, 2017 - 7:51am
Decorating outside with wreaths and greenery. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos

December brings hot cocoa, blankets, movies and lets face it, lots of anxiety with the holidays. There is quite a lot going on trying to get everything done, keeping everyone happy, juggling your schedule with shopping, party hopping and decorating this time of year.

A few clients brought some of their decorating issues to me in hopes that I might help calm their anxiety and get it all done. Have you wondered how to hang wreaths on a brick fireplace? How to hang wreaths from windows on the outside of the house? What to do will all the holiday cards you receive? I’m here to help!

Wreaths hung on windows across the front of a home have to be my most favorite Christmas decoration of all. You may already be hanging wreaths on your windows, but if not, this will definitely help you out.

Measure your windows before purchasing your wreaths.  You don’t want them to be too small or too big. For instance, a 32-inch wide window should have a wreath around 21-22 inches wide.

Hanging On Windows
There are several ways to hang them outside on your windows – ribbon, suction cups or magnets. If you wish to hang them with ribbon, be sure to buy outdoor ribbon about 2 1/2 inches wide and about 4-5 feet for each wreath depending on the size/height of your windows. Attach the cut ribbon and wrap it around the top of your wreath. Hot glue it together after wrapping it around the top of the wreath. You only need a little to hold, if you use too much, it will melt the ribbon.

If you have double sash windows, lower the top sash about a foot and push your wreath out the top.  Secure it by tying a knot in the end of the ribbon to hold the wreath in place. Be sure and label somewhere on the ribbon, which wreath goes in which window. Since your windows will vary in height/length around your home or from one floor to the next, this will make it easier since you don’t want to waste time tying and untying knots or trying to figure out which wreath goes where.

Additional tip:  If you live in an area that gets a lot of wind during the month of December, you may want to tie some fishing line to the bottom of your wreath and fasten it to the lower window to anchor the bottom half down.

Brick Fireplace Wall
I came across these awesome spring-steel brick wall hanger online at They snap easily into a brick wall and can support up to 25 pounds. You will not need to install anchors, drill into the brick, or damage the mortar in any way. When you are done using the brick wall hangers to hang your wreaths on a brick wall, you can unsnap them and save them for later use, or use them in another location. In order for the brick wall hanger to work, you will need at least 1/8″ of a mortar recess.

Holiday Cards
Holiday cards and family photos are wonderful to receive. Rather than sticking them on the fridge or lining them up on a table, there are plenty of creative ways to string them up and put them on display.

Try a simple twine strung across a window (tied to a picture hanger) can go from mundane to totally festive with some clothespins, cards and even an ornament or two.

Another cool idea if you have a decorative ladder in your home, try tying string or ribbon to the top of one side, and clipping a cascade of letters down it.

For the eucalyptus lover (like me) a simple DIY that feels modern yet jolly - hang eucalyptus on your wall and attach the cards to them.

If you have a house with a staircase, a sweet way to display your holiday cards is to weave them into a spruce garland that’s wrapped around the banister or around a doorframe. It’s a beautiful way to enhance your holiday greenery and give your cards pride of place.

The holiday season is a wonderful time of year, complete with family gatherings, meaningful traditions, delicious food, and gifts. Whether you stay in town or travel, I hope you have a safe and happy holiday!

Feel free to contact Los Alamos Interior Designer Suzette Fox for help with your home. For more information, find her on Facebook at and on her website