So you want to show off your inner Martha Stewart for the holidays but you can't design your way out of a paper bag? And you're short on cash? No problem. Your home can still be the envy of your neighbors this holiday season.
Professional home stager Sophie Burgess of Sophie Sticated Staging in LA says that if you follow just a few simple tips, your holiday decorations will look like a million bucks.
Stop by a garden store and ask for discarded tree branches. They cut them from the bottom of the Christmas trees they're selling anyway -- and voila -- free greenery for a garland. Or just cut them off a tree in your yard.
Pick up fruits like oranges or apples and incorporate them into your garland for a colorful touch that'll give off a lovely scent all season long.
Pick an "inspiration piece." Something you love that will become the focal point for your decorations, and then work outward from it.
Edit and group like items. So if you have 10 nutcrackers, pick your favorite ones and put them together in a grouping. Don't use them all -- it's too much nutcracker. Also, don't spread them out all over the house; they'll just become holiday clutter.
Sophie says if you want to spruce up a room anytime:
Hit garage sales, thrift stores and Habitat for Humanity (yes, they sell furniture) and look for new furniture pieces. They don't have to be in perfect condition, because you should also...
Invest in spray paint. You can paint anything and give it an entirely new look.
If you have furniture you're emotionally attached to but don't love how it looks, paint it and you'll give it a brand new life.
Mirrors. Mirrors. Mirrors. If you don't have a large one to hang, gather all the small mirrors you have, paint all the frames the same color, and hang them all in a rectangular pattern. It's as though you've hung one huge mirror.
If you don't have the time to do it yourself, Sophie will do your decorations for you for a flat fee, plus whatever you want to spend on decorations. You can reach Sophie Sticated Staging at 626-665-3734.