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Don’t look now, but the holidays are just around the corner. Be prepared to host meals, entertain guests and spend time with family and friends by making sure the interior of your home is holiday ready.

Decorating can be a lot of fun and a great way to express yourself artistically, especially since there are so many options available that add warmth and color, and help spread holiday cheer. Northwest Indiana is home to a wide variety of stores that carry unique holiday décor items and have designers on site who are well-schooled in the latest decorating trends and can offer advice on the elements that will best enhance your home.

Today’s Trends

“Everything old is new again,” says Janice Levan, co-owner and interior decorator at Ambiance—Your Home, Your Story, located at 9490 Wicker Avenue in St. John. “People are going back to the decorations that they grew up with.” Levan says that includes traditional items for Thanksgiving, such as pumpkins, gourds, cider, nutmeg, cinnamon and mulling spices. That translates into décor in fall colors like gold, rust, yellow, red, burgundy, orange and green.

The same holds true for Christmas, she says. “People are going back to glass ornaments and old-fashioned trees with garlands. The farmhouse look is also very popular.” She notes that the farm influence can be seen in ornaments like tractors, barns and farm animals for children, repurposed-looking items that are new but look aged, and items made from natural woods, shiplap and galvanized metals.

“The kind of things you see on Chip and Joanna Gaines HGTV show ‘Fixer Upper,’” says Levan. “Mason jars, wooden word signs, snowmen, old-time glitter and glam, and anything in traditional Christmas greens and reds are all very important for the season.”

The adult coloring trend has made a big entrance in holiday décor with items that can be colored and then displayed, like mugs, ornaments and pillowcases for kids. There are also whimsical items, such as towels embellished with elves and night lights adorned with snowmen.

Levan’s advice on decorating your home’s interior: “If you’re just starting out fresh, stick with the type of décor you already have in your home; for example, if you have a farm look, go with it. Focus on choosing the décor for the tree first. The tree is the place where you can really add your personal touch. Then work on the mantel,” she says. “Choose from battery-operated candles with realistic-looking flames, ornaments, night lights and lanterns with a remote control, which are safer to use and can go on the tree or the mantel.”

Ambiance has an in-store, custom floral designer who can decorate lanterns and other items with arrangements for the holidays. Then, simply change out the flowers and the decoration can be used all year long.

Décor and Ornaments

Laurie Jabaay, wedding consultant and one of four designers on staff, boasts that Brumm’s Bloomin' Barn at 2540 45th Street in Highland has “something for every season.” The inside of Brumm’s is indeed a feast for the eyes, filled to the brim with decorative holiday items. For Thanksgiving, there is an array of fresh and artificial floral arrangements in traditional harvest colors, wreaths made from a variety of materials, glass pumpkins, candles of every size and shape in spicy fall scents, fall themed picture frames and lamps, wooden signs, colorful handmade, scented soaps, decorative plates and platters, and more.

Christmas décor includes sparkling indoor lights, as well as rhinestone angels, reindeer, vases, trees and trim. There are conventional candles and flameless LED candles, wreaths, artificial and fresh floral arrangements, garland, statuettes, stars and Santas, to name just a few. Oh, and ornaments; hundreds and hundreds of ornaments.

“Nobody has a better selection of ornaments,” boasts owner Jerry Brumm, who is particularly proud of his sports-themed ornaments. “The Chicago Cubs ornaments are big now,” he says.

A Fresh Touch

To add natural beauty and complement decorative items, fresh flowers are a tried and true holiday staple. At Monarch Florist Gifts and Events, 1686C U.S. Rte. 41 in Schererville, co-owner Jen Steliga notes that the trend in floral arrangements is quite traditional. Thanksgiving designs include rich fall colors and Christmas arrangements are typically about one to two feet long and low to the table so they may be displayed at a meal.

Steliga says that though they sell more fresh arrangements than poinsettias, the iconic Christmas plant is still popular in classic red and white, and in updated pink, speckled, marbled and candy cane patterns. She adds that Monarch sells fresh wreaths for the front door, a tree poinsettia that is similar to a topiary, and also a very large poinsettia that is about five feet wide by approximately four feet tall.

“In case you think that someone already has poinsettias, you can bring them orchids,” Steliga says. “Orchids will bloom throughout the season and will keep all year long. We do a lot of orchids at the holidays.”