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Some Holiday “No, No, Nos”: The Difference Between Chic and Cheap.

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Okay, so over the past decade, we’ve coined the term shabby chic as synonymous with “stylish”, but that doesn’t mean we necessarily have to give up good taste or style. Just because something is “inexpensive” doesn’t mean it has to be tacky or “cheap”. If fact, decorating (your home) at a discount (especially for the temporary holiday season) is highly recommended. But experts caution against confusing cost-effectively chic with simply tacky and cheap.

Here are some of the biggest offenses that can leave Santa chanting “No, No, No” instead of “ho, ho, ho”.

1. Faux-Velvet Bows: Real plush velvet bows are fine for adding warmth to the warmth of your home and hearth (indoors) but faux-velvet is best kept outside.

2. A Carelessly Crafted Christmas Tree: A Christmas tree should look stately and regal (as it does in the great outdoors). Be sure to put some effort in how you assemble your tree and make sure it is standing up straight. Another good idea is making sure the ornaments are ample and carefully placed.

3. Tree Tinsel: Keep in mind this is an “additional” (and optional) accessory. Use minimally and sparingly.

4. Faux Firs: Plastic Christmas trees (unless unavoidable, such as due to allergies) should be avoided if possible. If however you do opt for one, consider investing in a newer (more realistic) model that looks, lush, plush and “authentic” (many even snow capped tips and pine cones)

5. Using Christmas Cards As Tree Ornaments: Christmas cards are NOT ornaments and SHOULD NOT be displayed on your tree. Display Christmas (holiday) cards on mantles, racks, shelves, etc. but not on your tree.

6. Plastic Tablecloths: Nothing screams “tacky” louder than vinyl and plastic, especially during the holidays. Cloth is much more opulent, elegant and sophisticated, and generally not any more of less expensive than plastic or vinyl. If you are concerned about spills or stains, keep in mind that today’s fabrics are usually easily washable and many offer patterns that help camouflage any potential mishaps. If however you opt for plastic, such as if you will have small children present or lots of people make sure that the tablecloth you chose looks new and is free of stains, rips, tears, or burns. If you don’t have a new one, keep in mind they are relatively inexpensive, no more than $10, and usually a lot less. By the way, if you’re going to use a “nice” plastic table cloth don’t forget to invest in some of the more lush paper and plastic dinnerware, flatware, tableware, and napkins available for refined and redefined casual elegance.

7. Plastic, Silk, or Cloth plants (poinsettias): Experts note that greenery (unless its outdoors or unless you have severe allergies) should always be real and fresh and also large enough to NOT look dingy, frail, or stingy.

8. Faux Snow: Décor experts concur that snow (of any kind) belongs outside.

9. Golden (Garland) Arches: Using tinsel or garland on walls and archways is passé and for good reason. It doesn’t look good. Streamers, tinsel and garland are meant to be used sporadically on the tree and not for adorning your home; it simply makes it look cheap.

10. Plastic or Outdated Tree Ornaments And Villages: Christmas balls that are “unraveling” (you all know what I’m talking about) belong in the garbage not on display on the tree. Even if your tree is sparse, make sure it features unique and eclectic decorations for a more classic and opulent appeal. Also look for nativity sets, historic village pieces that are made of porcelain or ceramic instead of plastic

11. No Tree Skirt Or A Bad Tree Skirt: Cheap plastic tree skirts are a sure fire way to attract attention to something you should be trying to hide. Consider instead a richly colored velvet tree skirt is less noticeable and much more appealing. And, if you’re concerned about water damage, experts suggest wrapping a large piece of plastic underneath the showpiece skirt.

Long Island Home & Lifestyle Articles > Some Holiday “No, No, Nos”: The Difference Between Chic and Cheap.

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