How to Transform Your Home into a Winter Wonderland

Global event designer Edward Perotti has managed over 2,000 events, including social galas, ornate weddings, corporate affairs and notable events in such places as the Palace of Versailles, the Louvre, the Great Wall of China and the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul. He gave us some ideas on how to create the perfect winter wonderland at home this holiday season.

Winter Wonderland Holiday Decor

He’s passionate about decorating the home himself, without any help from his events team or even a florist. “It’s just me and my holiday elves – otherwise known as my family.”

Perotti brings his event design perspective to his personal decorations. “It needs to be a cohesive experience and convey an overall emotion,” he says. “Living in sunny California, our winter is far from frosty, but this year I’m creating our very own winter wonderland.”

Perotti is not a fan of decor that is overwhelming. “I don’t believe in decorations that hit you over the head with a theme. Instead, I like to create a mood and feelings with design moments,” he says. “The trick is to establish a flow from the front door to the mantel and continue it throughout the house. It all needs to tie together with a common thread and tell a story.”

Living Room

Starting with the fireplace, Perotti explains the following:

  • I searched for (and found) a faux, long (about 3’) single antler, which I’ve attached to our small mantel. We’ll use this to hang stockings. This year, the stockings are an ivory velvet trimmed in faux fur.
  • Our fireplace hearth is a white-painted brick – very mid-century modern during the year, but also perfect for a winter wonderland. We lost the actual use of our fireplace with our remodel (California building codes), so the inside of the fireplace is the perfect location to create a winter display.
  • Combining white poinsettias, mercury glass elements (you can never have too much mercury glass!), vases, oversized ornaments, faux deer antlers, pine cones, battery operated mini LED lights and candles, I create a winter motif in the fireplace. (We use LOTS OF CANDLES for this. The remote-controlled artificial ones are great so that I can turn them on and off with one click.)

Trimming the Tree

The tree is always updated on a regular basis. For the winter wonderland theme, this is what Perotti says he’ll be doing:

  • The ornaments and trim are cream, mercury glass and crystal. To continue upcycling, I’ll also include ornaments made from boxes, wrapping paper, books, etc.
  • Clear lights add the necessary sparkle.
  • In keeping with our overall design mindset, the tree will be crowned with a beautiful silver Frank Lloyd Wright tree topper.
  • The tree skirt matches the stockings, made from the same ivory velvet and faux fur.

“Throughout the rest of the house, I’ll reinforce the theme with matching style vignettes. The entrance credenza, coffee table and even the staircase landing will all be decked out in winter wonderland,” Perotti says. “The house will be filled with the coolness of ivory, crystal and mercury glass along with the warmth of the faux fur and candles.”

Dining Table

Perotti says the trick is to set the dining table once so it’s ready for entertaining and daily use. In this way, he says you don’t have to make any changes from the beginning of the holiday season to the end.

In keeping with the winter wonderland theme, he’s creating a runner of decor that is tonal by design.

  • I start with faux antlers and spray paint them a matte white linen. Then, I paint mason jars in the same matte white (four of each).
  • I’ll then add mini mercury glass bud vases and an assortment of leftover silver ornaments and white-tipped pine cones.
  • The final touch to the runner is ivory hydrangeas, added to make an eclectic runner that stands on its own yet ties in with the entire holiday decor style.
  • To the table place settings, I’ll add galvanized metal chargers, grey and white thick striped napkins and basic white china for a table that is ready to entertain.

“If you want to make the dinner a family style, add a variety of white, metal and clear glass cake pedestals,” Perotti says. “Put the platters of food on them and make your cuisine part of the decor.”

Would you use these tips this winter?

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