Home & Design Influencers Share Holiday Décor Secrets

“It’s full-on Christmas in here right now,” Leanna Laming says on Nov. 3. Though it’s only a few days after Halloween and more than three weeks before Thanksgiving, she’s busy making handcrafted bows and putting finishing touches on the 12 (yes, a dozen) Christmas trees in her family’s Houston-area modern farmhouse.

“My husband knows and appreciates my Christmas craziness,” Leanna says with unapologetic giggle. “I’m way over the top. It’s not for everyone, but I love it because it makes me happy.”

And who couldn’t use an extra dose of happiness this year? Leanna (@lifebyleanna), like many of us, is decking the halls a little earlier than usual this season because, well, 2020. We caught up with her and two additional STAINMASTER® social media influencers living on opposite coasts – Jess Davis (@carcabaroad) in Florida and Janna Allbritton (@yellowprairieinteriors) in Oregon – to learn how they’re getting their homes ready for the holidays.

Influencer Holiday Décor Tree

When do you start getting your home ready for the season?

Jess: “As soon as Halloween is over, it begins. I’m from New Jersey, so I’m used to white winters. Even after a decade here in Florida, it doesn’t feel quite right to have sand over snow.”

Janna: “I normally wait until after Thanksgiving to break out the décor, but this year I’m making no promises! I’m itching to decorate and overall really excited for the holidays.”

Leanna: “Always before Halloween! I’m from Pennsylvania, so I’m used to snow this time of year. But my husband is from New Zealand and grew up celebrating Christmas in the middle of the summer, so the holidays in Texas feel normal for him.”

Are you going for an overall mood or vibe with your holiday aesthetic?

Janna: “When the weather here turns cooler, we get plenty of rain. That means we all stay huddled up inside, so I want to create a welcoming, cozy environment for our family and loved ones. This year is a reminder to be thankful for each other and to treasure every moment we have together.”

Leanna: “Cozy and magical. I hope people walk in, fell welcomed and at home, and want to stay awhile. This time of year, everyone want to be around others and be joyful. I think that’s one reason why many people are decorating even earlier this year. Everyone is especially ready for the comfort and warmth the season brings.”

Influencer Holiday Décor Bedroom

How would you describe your holiday décor style?

Jess: “Overboard while maintaining an achievable look. My neighbors think I’m insane (laughs). I love adding little touches to the kitchen, like shelf decorations, and to our kids’ bedrooms with things like pillows. More than anything else, I love the glow of a beautiful tree.”

What are some of your cherished holiday traditions?

Leanna: “Growing up, my mom would decorate our house from head to toe, and our tree was always the first in the neighborhood to go up each year. When I got married and started a family, I knew I’d create something similar. Each of my three kids (under 6) have a tree in their room and get free range to pick out their own ornaments. We also have a nostalgia tree in our playroom with ornaments we’ve picked up on family vacations and ones the kids have made at school over the years.”

Janna: “We go together as a family to cut down our tree at a nearby farm – even if it’s pitch dark or pouring rain – then have dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant. And while everyone knows I’m not an amazing cook, I do love to bake Christmas cookies, my grandma’s rolls and other favorites. The smell of dough rising says the holidays.”

Holiday décor living room

How do you create (and stick to) a theme for your holiday look?

Jess: “I’m a big quote person. We like to hang metal lettering over our front door or position seasonal signage next to the tree. Last year’s theme was ‘All is Calm, All is Bright.’ This year, we’re going with ‘The Weary World Rejoices’, which we think is appropriate and timely. Those words are over the mantle so you can see them right when you enter our home.”

Janna: “It all starts with words or a phrase, for me. I land on a big centerpiece item each year to keep the décor focused, versus sprinkling different elements throughout the house. That’s how I can really bring my theme to life.”

How does your approach to holiday décor bring out your creative side?

Janna: “My crafty side definitely comes out this time of year. Nothing makes me happier than sitting down at the counter and working on little projects like table settings or ornaments. The more you pour your heart into your holiday look, the better.”

Leanna: “The holidays present so many opportunities to be creative. Designing and putting together a tree is a creative outlet for me. I love adding unexpected touches, mixing things up and thinking outside the box. For example, one year I cut up wrapping paper with musical notes to put on the tree, and I hang light-up Christmas houses on our walls. I also do a lot of bow making – for our staircase, tree toppers, garland and more – and I love wrapping pretty presents. My kids also truly enjoy getting to be involved with decorating.”

STAINMASTER carpet Holiday

How would you describe your go-to Christmas color palette?

Janna: “I’m pretty traditional. I love red and black. Most people don’t want something as bold as red year-round in their house. But in the winter, we love bringing in all that cozy color. Because the weather is so gray, why not bring some extra warmth into the house? This is the first home we’ve had with all white walls and an all-white exterior. And that’s on purpose. Because it gives us a lot of creative freedom with color, especially over the holidays.

Jess: “This year we’re doing a very neutral, but glamorous, tree. And using gold ombre and other coastal tones inside and outside – from snowflakes on the tree to gold ornaments on the porch.”

Leanna: “I incorporate blues and golds into the traditional red/green look for a slightly more modern feel.”

How do you bring holiday flair to your home’s exterior?

Janna: “Decorating porches is my favorite! Even though our only consistent visitors these days are our Amazon and UPS delivery drivers, we want everyone to get a welcoming, warm-and-fuzzy feeling right starting at the edge of our property when they head down our long driveway to the house. We have a vintage green chalkboard on our front porch, white lights and cedar bows, and we dress up our outdoor furniture with holiday pillows and splashes of seasonal color.”

Leanna: “We have two trees on our porch. It’s a beautiful time to utilize our outdoor living space here in Texas, since it’s a rare month when we’re not sweating nonstop!”

Influencer Holiday Décor Entryway

Let’s talk flooring. What works best, both in terms of look and feel, during the most wonderful time of the year?

Jess: “I could cover my house in purple spraypaint and it would still look beautiful because of this (STAINMASTER® luxury vinyl) flooring! We can literally do anything with our décor because our floors are so warm and inviting.”

Janna: “We chose neutral colors for both our STAINMASTER® carpet and Luxury Vinyl flooring. Carpet is never as glorious as it is this time of year, when temperatures drop and all you want is to feel cozy and warm. We live in a 130-year-old home, so it can get pretty cold. Bedroom carpet in the Oregon winter is sweet glory.”

What decorating advice would you offer those who may be feeling a little extra stressed out this year?

Janna: “It’s fun to surf Pinterest to see what’s fresh and new, but don’t focus too much on that. Do what feels right to you.”

Jess: “Don’t buy everything new. It’s easy and fun to make things like wreaths, handwritten scrolls and other accents yourself. If you do choose to buy new, go for things you’ll use year after year.”

Leanna: “If you go full-on Christmas crazy like me, it can make the season more stressful. I decorate super-early because I know how long it takes and don’t want to be stressed at Thanksgiving. I want to be able to fully enjoy the holidays. So my advice is don’t stress out! If you like to go big with your decorations, that’s great, but do so before the hustle and bustle kicks in. And above all, do what’s right for your family and what makes you happy versus trying to keep up with current trends or match your home’s style. The holidays should be about fun, nostalgia, tradition and making memories.”

Holiday Saying

Find Your STAINMASTER® Style For The Holidays

You Might Also Like