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Holiday Decorating

Doug Dolezal

Doug Dolezal

Interior designer Doug Dolezal, known for his chic but relaxed take on decorating, wants to take the stress out of decking your halls for the holidays. At the Rancho Santa Fe Community Center, he offered a practical primer for keeping celebrations festive without the frenzy. The first step, he says is to “divide and conquer” by gathering all your holiday decorations in one place.

1. Toss trashed or broken items into Hefty bags.
2. Box or bundle those decorations you never liked (be honest) for Goodwill.
3. Set aside items you love, but which need a bit of TLC, for a bit of glue and glitter. Dolezal sends sentimental ornaments, those that have special meaning to friends and family, packaging them in shadow boxes or acrylic containers.
4. Save decorations that you like, and those that work in your home, for the holiday decorating at hand.

Dolezal says the key to design is finding one focal point for each room, whether it’s a mantel, front door, or buffet. More is not more — so don’t festoon every surface. But scale is key, he says, so go for abundance. nstead of one poinsettia in a foil-lined pot, for example, lose the foil and gather at least four of the holiday plants in a large French market basket. Or follow the lead of legendary designer Sister Parish, whose go-to touch was a basket brimming with white hydrangeas.

Other Dolezal tips:

1. Twist garlands together, whether real for faux, for a lush look.
2. Add natural elements — eucalyptus, boxer, cedar, and juniper berries — to artificial greens on a wreath or mantel.
3. Fill tall glass vases of varying heights (three is the magic number) with pine cones and ornaments.
4. For a high-low look, layer a burlap runner on a damask tablecloth, centered with a fir garland. Add candles, and scatter with nuts, apples and persimmons. It’s your home for the holidays. (www.dougdolezal.com)

Photography by Gail Owens


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