By Stephanie Stroud

4 Minute Read


Have yourself a stylish little holiday season….at home.

Each year do you open the stack of holiday decoration boxes you have tucked away and think ugh, not this stuff again?  How badly do you want to throw it all away (or donate it) and start again? Well, I can help.

No, this is not one of those decorating tutorials where I send you to a craft store and tell you to heat up the glue gun.  What I WILL do is give you some simple phrases to keep in mind so that you can up your holiday decor game in no time.

Let’s get started….

Less is more



One of my style Icons, Coco Chanel, is known for her witty yet sound advice, that still holds true today.

“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”  

The same can be said when accessorizing your home and is especially helpful to keep in mind when accessorizing a bookshelf, cocktail table or any other flat surface. In its essence sometimes, less is more.  




The mantle shown here personifies this ideal with three elements: magnolia garland, glittery lights, and two simple yet elegant trees.

Sometimes holiday decor gets so fussy, it is an effort not only to put up- but to look at.  

Keeping things simple is not only refreshingly current but also peaceful.

Don’t you agree?

Use what you have

“Elegance is not putting on a new dress” – Coco Chanel

One of my design mantras (no matter my client’s budget) is, use what you have.  

I am not into wasteful spending, especially when many of us have beautiful things right under our noses that are just not utilized in the right way, or not at all!  

This is particularly true when it comes to our dining rooms.

What do you have in the depths of that sideboard or behind all the wine glasses in your china cabinet that is collecting dust?  

This year, I challenge you to pull out Grandma’s punch bowl or your Great Aunt’s candlesticks and get a workout polishing the silver – all of that shine makes a great backdrop to Holiday sparkle!  

Remember to keep in mind proportion, both vertical and horizontal.


A combination of tall and short items are most pleasing to the eye. Incorporate fresh flowers, like maybe the orchid sitting by your kitchen sink.  It can add a splash of color and height.

Need to give something a little boost? A simple cake stand makes a great riser to a too short silver tree. Now go open up those cupboards and start exploring.

“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance” – Coco Chanel


Be Bold

Make a statement, literally or figuratively, and leave it at that.  Large letters are sold everywhere these days and it’s an easy and contemporary way to decorate.




Add a little whimsy or incorporate your favorite holiday word or words. It doesn’t take a lot of effort but the end result and simplicity of it all will make you smile.  

And if you are like me, you will add just a pop of color to top it off.







Before we go

Here is a look at how two of our looks blend together in this formal dining room, simple, easy and elegant.  Now go pop the cork on some good wine, light the fire and enjoy your decor re-fresh!

Until next time, Happy Holiday Season.





Stephanie Stroud

Stephanie Stroud Interiors was founded in 2004 and is a Kansas City-based interior design firm with projects sprinkled throughout the metro as well as in Nashville, Dallas, and Chicago. Stephanie believes that everyone deserves a space they are proud to call their own; a well-thought-out beautiful home that is a reflection of those who live there. She is best known for creating polished spaces that are both functional and beautiful.  Always striving to make her work a reflection of her client’s personality, Stephanie has a knack for combining the old with the new which results in a look that is current, yet classic.  An award-winning designer, her work has been featured both locally and nationally.