Deck the halls: Holiday design advice from our pro

It's just a few hours until Thanksgiving and that means we're only about a day away from the official time to trim the tree and deck the halls. It can be stressful but it doesn't have to be. Take a little advice from Lynn Masters, our gift buyer, designer and merchandiser.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into design.

A: I've always been interested in art and creative expression, but my interest in design was piqued at University. The differences and relationships between fine art and functional design fascinate me, and I'm fortunate to get to play with that relationship at Garden Supply.

Lynn Garden Supply Company



Q:Tis the season for decking the halls! For many people, this is a daunting task. Where do you suggest those of us who aren’t designers begin?

A: Start with pulling accents together. Even if there's a hodge-podge of color and texture from ornaments and decor gathered over the years, there's almost always a common element you can emphasize among them. This could be a color palette, a texture like velvet, burlap or flannel, or something as simple as an artificial pick used in all the greenery around the house to tie it together. I think there's a little bit of you in everything you collect for your holiday decorations, so find out what makes them yours and emphasize that.

Q:What are your top three tips for decorating for Christmas?

A: Number One: Go big to small. Start with big, chunky, or eye-catching pieces, place them, then decorate around them with smaller elements. 

 Number Two: Simplicity is elegance in the home. You can be funky and eclectic without being cluttered or overwhelming. Pick a theme or color palette and stick to it. 

 Number Three: Remember that this is a celebration! Don't overwhelm yourself with the tiny details or perfection, and let yourself have fun with making everything merry and bright. 

Q: Now for the age-old question…What’s the best way to string lights on a tree? It can get messy if you’re not doing it right!

A: That question has a million different answers, and I can't say for certain that there is a "right" way. If I'm lighting a live tree, I'll take long strands of lights, start and the bottom, and run the lights out to the end of each large branch , wrap a few small branches at the end of the large branch, and back in to the trunk. Out to the end, then back in at the trunk, going around the tree all the way to the top. This technique uses a lot of lights, but when its all done the effect is "Oh Tannenbaum"-worthy. I like to use lights that can be strung together end-to-end but still allow other things to be plugged in, so I can add branches of fairy lights or a lantern or something later without having to run any extra extension cords in.

Q: You did a Christmas tree unveiling this year at Garden Supply Company. Which is your personal favorite tree and why?

A: The unveilings were such a good time! Its hard to choose a favorite, of course. The color palette of Jewel Royale (the tree closest to the front door in the store) is probably my favorite with the rich reds and blues and gold, but I'm also particularly fond of the Coastal tree, more for the ornaments than anything. The glass pieces in that section are really unique and beautiful. I love them all of course, and I love getting to indulge in each theme when I decorate, but my personal decor tastes are much more understated so I gravitate towards the pale blues and cream tones. 

Q: What’s GSCO's top-seller in the holiday design department this year?

A: There have been several really popular items this year! Gnomes have been peeking out of every corner and crevice in the Peppermint section, but everyone wants to take one home for themselves and a few extra for gifts. The Thymes Frasier Fir line of candles, sprays, and soaps has been disappearing fast as well. The frosted glass pieces from Stony Creek are probably the best-seller of them all. They brighten up any corner and come in a seemingly endless assortment of holiday and winter-themed scenes, so they make perfect hostess gifts.

Q: Any other designers advice?

A: If you're stumped on what to do or just need some holiday cheer, stop by the store! Let us help you with ideas for your space, or just come in to see Santa's workshop in all its sparkly splendor.