Decorating for Christmas on a budget | Home & Garden
If you’re anything like me, you love Christmas decorations, but lack the creativity to bring your ideas to life. Lucky for me, I know Bethany Oliver. She is a decorating genius, and all around talented woman. I met her when she did my wedding invitations earlier this year. I found examples of her work on the Carriage House Facebook page, and knew Bethany would make my house look just as fabulous.
Her resume isn’t too shabby either. Bethany and her business partner, Jason Allen, have decorated the homes of several country music stars in Nashville.
I know, hiring a decorator sounds like something for rich people. But Bethany’s services are reasonable, and she can help with little or big projects. We decided to focus on our Christmas tree, entry way, and mantle. I had a strict budget (who doesn’t during the holiday season), and was able to stick to it with Bethany’s help, plus a little bargain shopping.
First, the Christmas tree. Before our decorator arrived, my husband and I put up a real tree we purchased from Lowe’s for $35. It is a seven foot tall Douglas Fir, and it smells fantastic! We cut off the end of the trunk like you’re supposed to, and kept it to make into an ornament since this is our first Christmas as a married couple in our new home. I got our tree stand that holds up to a gallon of water, at Old Time Pottery in Madison. I went on Black Friday, so I got some great deals on a lot of items. They’re still having some sales, so you can cash in on those if you need some glittery Christmas paraphernalia.
For the decorations, I used some family ornaments and two boxes of filler ornaments I also bought at Old Time Pottery. Bethany put the lights on the tree, adorned it with gorgeous burlap ribbon, and hung the ornaments. She made it look fancier than I could have imagined. It’s not so fussy that it looks unreal, but the burlap and twigs make the tree look homey.
Bethany moved to the mantle next, framing the fireplace with garland and accessories. I used stocking hangers I bought several years ago, but I bought four new stockings at Hobby Lobby when their Christmas decorations were half price. They have a 40 percent off coupon most weeks in their sale paper, so take advantage of that when you can.
She put the garland on the mantle first, and then attached more beautiful burlap bows at each end, twisting in some twigs. I bought the garland (several strands of lighted and not lighted) at Old Time Pottery, along with three cone trees and two metal lanterns with candles. We filled the lanterns with Epsom salt (since snow melts in a toasty home), and put the candles inside.
Bethany then decorated a window and my entry way with garland adorned with bows and berries. She placed a kissing ball (made with fresh greenery) in the middle of the entry way, putting the cherry on top.
The whole process took less than five hours. I helped out with a few of the tasks, but you can be as uninvolved as you want to be. Even if you don’t hire a decorator, you can check out some of Bethany’s beautiful ideas on the Carriage House’s Facebook page for some inspiration.
To contact Jason or Bethany, email email@example.com.