Interior Designer Kristen Buckingham Offers Holiday Decorating Tips

Designer Kristen Buckingham's 7 Tips For a Merry California-Inspired Christmas

Designer Kristen Buckingham's unique decorating style lends a sense of elegance to relaxed interiors — for proof, just check out her gorgeous Los Angeles home. I I love Kristen's fresh sense of pattern and color, which are showcased in her furniture and home designs at her new Los Angeles showroom.

Kristen took some time off from decorating, designing, and running her thriving business to lend CasaSugar readers a few ideas for decorating this holiday season. These Cali-inspired ideas are great tips to try no matter where in the country or world you're celebrating this month!

  • Start with a great tree. “I like Noble Fir. They have the longest lasting needles and strongest branches for heavy ornaments. To avoid little hands and pets, keep heirloom ornaments a safe distance up the tree.”
  • Look for vintage silverware at flea markets and tag sales. “Unique sterling place card holders, julep cups, and napkin rings can be found for cheap at flea markets and estate sales. They add just the right bit of affordable shine to a holiday table.”
  • Use butcher paper and grosgrain ribbon to wrap gifts. “Butcher paper is inexpensive and easy to get your hands on — but the best thing about it is that it’s the perfect neutral background for whatever embellishment you want to add. I have a lot of fabric swatches and remnants that look great when mixed with grosgrain ribbon on top of packages. If you keep the grosgrain to a single color, you can mix it up with different patterns of fabric. Try plaids and stripes together."
  • Set up croquet in the backyard for inexpensive postdinner entertainment for everyone. “In LA you can play outside year-round, so why not take advantage of the weather with a simple to play (and set up!) game of croquet? It’s the best alternative to that postmeal nap.”
  • Keep reading for more of Kristen's tips, plus photos of her holiday decorating!

  • Instead of expensive floral centerpieces, go foraging in the garden and supermarket. “Use interesting botanicals from your garden, such as decorative cabbage or Winter branches to make a great centerpiece. You might also try bowls of acorns or fruit from the produce section. Lady apples, pears, persimmons, and pomegranates add loads of natural color.”
  • Use a mix of tapers and pillar candles. “Candles always add to a holiday party — any shape or size works, just stick to one color and make sure not to put any scented candles around food.”
  • Avoid the hostess gift cliché. “For something more interesting than a bottle of wine or a candle, try a gift bag of cookies. You can make your own or go to a good local bakery. My personal favorite is a place called DeLuscious — if you have them delivered, they send the cookies out complete with a bottle of milk!”

Take a peek at Kristen's butcher-paper-wrapped gifts, as well as her holiday decorating at the showroom.