Need some inspo before you start decking your halls this year? Mr. Christmas is here to help. Decorator Benjamin Bradley is so good at it that he’s earned the nickname “Mr. Christmas” and has his own reality show, “Holiday Home Makeover with Mr. Christmas” on Netflix. It’s described as “Queer Eye” meets “Elf” and it shows him helping families turn their homes into winter wonderlands. So before you hang that first string of lights, check out his do’s and don’ts for decorating during this pandemic holiday season.
- Do focus on outside – Since gathering inside is out this year, it’s all about making the exterior festive. And with all that space outdoors, you’re not limited by ceilings, so go big or go home. “Outside, go as big as you possibly can,” Mr. Christmas explains. “If you want a garland on your door, don’t buy a regular pinecone, buy a big one. Buy a 20-inch now instead of an eight-inch.” And don’t forget to hide your cords for a “tidy presentation” outside.
- Don’t just unbox and prop – There’s nothing wrong with an artificial tree, according to Mr. Christmas, but you have to show it some love first. The tree will be flat when you take it out of the box, so you need to spend time fluffing the individual branches with your hands to make it look more natural.
- Do work with wreaths – If you don’t have room for a full-size tree, don’t just get a shorter one, get one with a smaller circumference as well. And if you want to skip the tree altogether, an evergreen garland or wreath will do the trick. Mr. Christmas says you can hang lights, ribbons and ornaments on it and get that festive touch without taking up floor space.
- Do consider color schemes – One common mistake he sees a lot? People mixing up years’ of accumulated decorations without trying to make them look unified. If you have decor that doesn’t automatically go together, this pro advises using the same color ribbon or candle on everything to tie it all together.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff – People are decorating earlier than ever this year and Mr. Christmas says if it makes you feel better, go for it. He explains, “It’s like birthdays – we only get so many, and if it makes you happy, put it up.”