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Designing Your Home Holidays

A couple brainstorming their apartment design

Christmas-time is here. Almost. As the most celebrated holiday in the nation fast approaches, the number of days you have to get your living space looking right are diminishing. From the luxury apartments in San Francisco to the quaint abodes of Bay Area residents at large, Northern California is gearing up for the holidays by putting together the perfect decorations that will make their domiciles scream "Christmas."

Not entirely sure how to get your pad in tip-top Christmas shape? No worries there. We've got a slew of ingenious design ideas that will make you the envy of all your neighbors, once they feast their eyes on your elegant holiday setup.

Christmas Decorating 101

So, what will you need to concentrate on to ensure your home looks great for the holidays? There are a few key areas, which we've laid out as such: home decorations, presents, and the Christmas tree. These will form the basis of your holiday designing plan of attack, and when you've got all three mastered, your home will look decidedly more cheery and bring a smile to your face by simply walking around and viewing the splendor.

General Home Decorations

This encompasses most of the space in your home. You've got your share of furniture, wall space, and flat surfaces on which to place various decorations. You just need to know which ones to use and where to put them. Let's start with something simple. You want to add some light to your holiday decor. You don't have to break out the electric Christmas lights just yet. You can add some charm to your lighting by instead using candles. They needn't sit out in the open either. Try employing some inexpensive, frosted glass jars. Place your candles inside the jars, set them alight, then watch as your home is filled with an array of soft lighting that sets the tone for the holiday season.

Next up, a holiday classic. You'll want to put a wreath, or two, or as many as you like on the door to your home and the walls inside your home as well. Buying a wreath is the quickest solution, but, if you want the most intimate and customized wreaths for your home, you'll need to go the DIY route to make it happen. Thankfully, this isn't a monumental tasks, and there are plenty of stellar guides, like this one from Martha Stewart, on how to do it on your own. You'll need some essential tools, such as floral wire, craft glue, and some gloves to avoid injuring your hands, then, with your wire crafted and wreath materials in hand, you'll glue those evergreen boughs and assorted decorations to your wreath frame, creating the ideal look for your home.

With some evergreen boughs leftover, you can take to placing them on other parts of your home. Have hanging lights? Hang some greenery to liven up the scene. How about some shelves or cabinets that need some extra pop? Go with the green to give them a fresher look. You're not limited to adding those evergreens either. You can incorporate ribbons, holiday fruits, and small ornaments as well to round out the design and make those areas of your home look much more festive.

Did you know that Pinterest has an idea board with more than 1,200 ways to decorate with pine cones? It's amazing that you can get so much use out of one simple element, and, while it's not likely that you can incorporate all of them in to your living space, you can certainly pick a few standouts to give your home a new look. You could, for instance, to a collection of cones and turn them into a fireplace decoration. Hang them as you would stockings, and add a bit of nature to this essential space in the home. Don't have a fireplace? You can spice those pinecones up with a touch of bleach or some glitter, then affix a ribbon to turn them into a hanging ornament you can place anywhere. You can even use them as an element in a mason jar snow globe. There's plenty of inspiration out there on what to do with simple decorations like this, so be sure to incorporate more to get the holiday look you desire.

Presents As Decoration

Now, you could wrap your presents in something plain and call it a day. To weave them into your overall design, though, you could instead employ some creative gift wrapping ideas and really make them stand out.

Try different wrapping papers, add bows and ribbons, affix ornaments made from cardstock or other materials — you've got a wide range of techniques to choose from in making those presents something more than just used space underneath the tree. HGTV has fifty such holiday gift wrapping ideas, which include bringing in elements like butcher paper, using unusual color choices, adding stencils, layering, and much more.

On To The Christmas Tree

Perhaps most central to the holiday design sense is the Christmas Tree. After the Herculean effort you most likely put into tracking your tree down, you'll want to make sure it looks great standing in your home. There are numerous guides that will walk you through the steps, including ones from Worthing Court and Re-Fabbed, that break it down in easy to follow fashion.

Remember the essentials at all times. You'll need your ornaments, you'll need your lights, and you'll need to employ some patience to make sure you get hanging everything in its proper place right. It might take a few tries, and you might even step back from your tree after throwing up a few decorations to realize something is off, but if you hang in there and approach this design step methodically, you'll be rewarded with a peerless Christmas look that will be the envy of every guest that graces your doors.

This Is Why The Luxury Apartments In San Francisco Look So Holiday Ready

It's because amazing communities like Vintage provide the perfect space in which to do some holiday decorating. Here, where the living spaces are ready-made to add some cheer and the community features make it easy to relax and clear your mind to gain inspiration, you'll find yourself able to put together a Christmas look like no other. Check out the fine views you'll see at Vintage, and make this your choice for a wonderful California Christmas for years to come.