Simple Holiday Home Decor 2016-17

Holiday Decorating Ideas For Contemporary & Neutral Spaces

Decorating for the holidays is about creating a cozy, warm and hospitable experience whether you host numerous parties and overnight guests or you simply enjoy peaceful solitude in the season.

Many people struggle with the prospect of introducing seasonal color and patterns into their contemporary or neutral spaces.

Creating a comfortable “warming effect” in your home for the holiday season is about appealing to the senses in a tactile and experiential way, not necessarily in a traditional holiday fashion. Simple holiday decor is endlessly livable, with a longer shelf life through winter.

Adding texture, rustic and sensual touches will suggest a seasonal change while transforming the most austere loft or condo into a welcoming home. This is also a big trend in home decor for 2016-2017, as neutral colors are having a resurgence. When decorating with neutrals you need to mix textures to create interest. For holiday it is a matter of “turning up the heat” with subtle touches that make a house a home.dix-pond-holiday-decor-2016

7 Best Elements to Create a Holiday Home

Here are seven elements to create inviting holiday home decor:

Light creates a holiday mood like no other design element. An empty room can be magical, simply because of lighting. A tastefully, decorated room will be uninviting with cold, dreary light. Multiple candles, clustered votives, spot lights, incandescent table lamps, white Christmas lights and wood fires are endlessly romantic.

Texture is an essential element for visual interest and ups the coziness factor in a room. This comes from plush wool or cashmere throws, layering hand-woven, novelty or knitted pillows,  natural, rustic accessories including baskets, wood, stone or slate pieces. Mix complementary pillow textures, like smooth with chunky, shine with matte, etc.

Shine. Adding subtle shimmer adds luminous sophistication to a holiday room. Silver, gold and copper metallic fabrics, beads and details on pillows, trays, mercury glass, hand-blown candle holders and serving pieces add a magical sparkle.

Handmade imperfection is perfect for adding warmth to contemporary and urban interiors. Accessories such as chunky, hand knit throws and pillows, hand-woven textiles and rugs, hand-cut wood boards and trays, hand blown glass, stone vessels, hand-thrown ceramics, soften a room and help create a comforting space.

Nature added to a room in the form of flowers, plants, twigs, trees, wreaths, wood, stone slabs, slate and marble serving pieces add natural texture and beauty to a room. Rustic elements in modern spaces are a hot trend in home decor.

Scent. Add natural fragrance to a room. Balsam fir, pumpkin spice, paper whites, cinnamon, a burning fire, etc., in candles, infusers, flowers, plants and seasonal foods stimulates the imagination and sets an exciting party mood.

Sound. Make your own playlist of holiday, cocktail or party music. It can transform the atmosphere better than any design element, except lighting.

Neutral holiday rooms provide a backdrop to add and rotate seasonal color like autumnal shades, rich reds and black accents. Use pillows, throws, area rugs, flowers, plants and colorful serveware to interject a pop of seasonal color.

Festive holiday neutral style works in any region, from a Boston condo, a Brooklyn loft, Aspen, California beachfront or Florida coastal home.


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The Dix & Pond Blog, by Stephanie Bernier is the blog of  Dix & Pond Consulting, a Boston-based, company that consults on creative direction, brand experience, trends, business strategy, product development and merchandising. Clients include home, apparel, footwear & consumer companies.  CONTACT US TODAY! 

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Will Haters Kill The #Curry2 Chef Sneaker?

Curry 2 Low Chef Sneaker Debut Lambasted

Under Armour debuted NBA, All-Star Steph Curry’s new Curry 2 Low “Chef” athletic sneaker, June 9 to an immediate explosion of haters on social media. They had a field day mocking the all-white, low-top sneaker on Twitter #Curry2 with snarky comparisons to “Dad shoes”, Seinfeld and elderly walkers. Although they were pretty creative and witty in their criticism, I couldn’t help cringe for the battered creative team at Under Armour and the innocently blindsided, two-time Golden State Warrior’s MVP, Stephen Curry. It hurts.

All white sneakers have been trending recently, but they are only “cool” in the context of being worn by cool people. When an urban, badass 18-year-old wears them, they are cutting edge. When clunky, all-white athletic sneakers are worn by anyone over 40, they conjure up images of low-brow, comfortable, nurse and mall-walker shoes. Fashion is always about context; for example, a Millennial can rock a bucket hat, on a man over 40, its touristy, geek-chic.

Curry 2 Low Chef

Curry 2 Low Chef

A Case Study of The Power of Social Media

As a design director, I can easily imagine the path followed to get to this design. White sneakers are trending and they probably thought it was a sure thing to preview this color. It comes in several other colors, that are considerably more radical, like black with team orange details, which was the most sold-down color on their website, as of this post. (White was available in all sizes.) Personally, I would have taken a more risky approach to the overall design and colorways for a such a mega-superstar shoe. Safe can backfire in a crowded market, but it’s easy to be a Monday morning quarterback.

I don’t believe in collective designing but with social media we live in times of instant approval or rejection of people, thoughts, services and products. For a high-profile intro with so much anticipation and hype, I think I would have focus-grouped the design concept mid-stream with sneakerheads, pre-release. This skewering of the #Curry2 can’t help the Under Armour bottom line.

Not sure if the haters will prevail to dent sales, but I think this will go down as a case study for academia on the power of social media and commerce.

Some other posts you might enjoy:

Tough Retail: 7 Ways to Grow Your Consumer Brand

Are Sporting Goods & Outdoor in a Death Spiral?

The New Definition of Athletic Apparel

The Dix & Pond Blog, by Stephanie Bernier is the blog of  Dix & Pond Consulting, a Boston-based, company that consults on business strategy, creative direction, brand experience, trends, product development and merchandising. Clients include retailers, apparel, footwear & consumer companies.  CONTACT US TODAY! 

Thank you for sharing with a friend, if you enjoyed the post! 




Color Trends 2016/2017 Going Green

The green color family is trending for spring 2016/17.

The green color family is trending for spring 2016/17.

It’s time for change. Green is the color of renewal and rebirth. Going green is a huge fashion color trend for spring 2016/2017. Especially alluring is lady-like, retro pistachio, my vote for color of the season. Also important are rich emerald, olive, dried basil and deep-woods green.

Olives are highly versatile classic neutrals. They are important for safari and military inspired looks and make perfect foils for a range of colors. They pair well with reds, yellows, oranges, pinks, blues and  purples. Olives looks especially sophisticated with the fashionable ultra-pales.

The olives will be key anchors for bottoms, outerwear, tops, shoes and bags. Emerald and pistachio sing on active, tops, career, dresses, accessories, swim and lingerie.

The Dix & Pond Blog is the blog of  Dix & Pond Consulting,  a Boston-based, company that consults on trend and creative direction, brand experience and business strategy, product development, merchandising and provides executive coaching for retail, apparel, footwear & consumer products companies.  CONTACT US TODAY!  or call 617.733.7411

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How to Create a Great Fashion Website

The 4 Key Design Elements of The Best Fashion Websites

The 4 Key Design Elements of The Best Fashion Websites

Fashion is an emotionally-driven purchase and it is challenging to create a fully engaging brand experience with limited sensory elements in 2D on the web. To sell fashion successfully online, it takes differentiated product, a strong brand identity and robust design. See the 4 key design elements of the best fashion e-commerce sites. A must read for fashion entrepreneurs, retailers, copywriters, graphic and web designers.


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