Simple Tips for a Delightful Holiday Part 2: Space: Design Psychology

Create a Focal Point
Create a Focal Point and allow the rest of the room to support it and you.

If “harried and hurried” is not making you happy (sometimes it is a LOT of fun to be excited and moving fast), this list will give you a few ideas to add some joy, time and to your Holidays and life. 

Part 2 —  Space:  Design & Feng Shui Tips 


  • Choose a theme.  Experts design their holidays the way they design everything, for simplicity and focus.  Choose 3 colors and stay with it.  Pick up an accent color already in your home and add a bit of old world hominess, which is a beautiful theme this year:  Old School Christmas is helping us enjoy warmth of our spaces and each other. Limited color palette will create calm and serenity.   A few color schemes that you might like:  green-red-brown of nature and natural items hanging on the tree dried apple slices, fresh cranberries and popcorn on a string as garlands, large pine cones or bundles of cinnamon sticks tied with a ribbon, or green and red  and a touch of pure vibrant color like aquamarine…or try bronze instead of gold this year with indigo and white lights.  Lots of fun.
  • Create a focal point.  This is a very important factor in design and Feng Shui (where your eye goes, energy goes).  Find one thing that you want to direct the attention toward and allow that to be the room’s HERO.  Everything else will be supporting characters.  If it’s the Tree, allow space around it so that it takes on a even more special role.

    Grouping like items and like colors creates a calm, peaceful decor.
  • Grouping items gives coherence and calm.  Think about arranging your Christmas items in groups or themes: all the Santas together, displayed as if in an old-time Macy’s window, or all the Nutcrackers together or even all items of the same color or material.   Rather than scatter things about, but give them coherence and power in number.  Look for ways to turn a table or console into a beautiful honoring of what delights you.   When buying new items, buy three and group them.  It makes a statement of design, impact and importance.
  • Don’t over ‘do’  if you have a lot of ornaments, consider having two trees: one in the entry or living room and one perhaps in the family room or a child’s bedroom or guest room, one with old ornaments and one with themed ornaments like those gathered from vacations around the world.  Organize the ornaments on each tree and even create a themed tree for each child, in their bedroom with their own favorites.
  • Live with what YOU LOVE. Don’t be afraid to discard or give away ornaments or items you don’t like.  Only use decor that you love and makes you feel good. If something has a negative memory or is broken, depleting energy will surround it.  Give it away and allow for beauty to fill the void where negativity once existed.
  • Engage All Senses.  Scent creates emotional responses and memories.  Simmer mulling spices on your stove, light a peppermint or evergreen candle, use clove or cinnamon ornaments or place potpourri in your linen closet and bathrooms.  The warmth of these scents actually triggers our bodies to respond with characteristic warmth.

    Engage the senses as with these beautiful Jo Malone candles, rich flowers and simple treasures.
  • Use Your Feelings to Decorate     Whichever theme, color scheme or ornaments you choose, be sure to decorate with intention and purpose, thoughtfulness and joy.  The energy with which we do things permeates those items or spaces – it is true.  We are each powerful beyond measure and remember:  “any sufficiently advanced technology is initially indistinguishable from magic.”  You are magic – create it well.

FENG SHUI Tips:   

  • Soften the surroundings:  
  • Keep the knives out of sight and remove the carving knives from dinner table; this will help keep edginess and arguments to a minimum.
  • A round or oval dining table gives the best energy for an enjoyable dinner.
  • Soften a square or rectangular table with a dining cloth, a central medallion will bring focus and camaraderie.
  • Don’t seat folks who normally conflict, directly across from each other.  Place them at an angle or on the same side (with a friendly person between them).
  • Instead of lots of intense red this season, choose some Pink or even Navy accents.  Limiting the amount of red THIS holiday, will help to bring more calm and less stress, less emotion and fewer outbursts: opt for soft gold, glowing blues or rich greens.
  • Add space :
  • Allow for breathing room:  when adding your decor or any gifts, remove whatever else you can.  Patty Kraemer, of Kraemer Connect suggests:  “one thing in, and two things out!”  Clear all last year’s clutter, donate all you can’t or don’t use, leave some things empty and open.  This will bring freshness and more light into your entertaining.
  • LIGHTEN IT UP!   Infuse light into the darkness of Winter.   This time of year celebrates our journey into deep, dark Winter taking the light of inspiration with us.  Even if you don’t decorate, bring out the candles and a few twinkles, or sit by a nice warm fire.  Soft, gentle light is most beneficial this season.
  • Be prepared to LAUGH!  Do a little search for a favorite joke or two and be ready to shift into Holiday Spirit at a moments’ notice.  If they are particularly corny jokes, be ready to exit–stage right.

    LUKE, I Felt Your Presents
Here’s one of my favorite Holiday jokes:
Darth Vader breathing for a few moments….
–you know the sound, you have to make it–
“Luke, I know what you are getting for Christmas.”
[Luke is curious.  Make a quizzical face.]  
Add a few more Vader breaths and then…
The Punch Line:
“I Felt Your Presents”
Part 1  Mind            Part 2  Body             Part 3  Spirit           Part 4  Space