Decorating Your Home for the Holidays!

One of the most beautiful things about decorating for the holidays is all the ways you can bring the outdoors in. From Christmas trees to poinsettias to mistletoe and eucalyptus garland, decorating with live plants is a lovely way to bring the holiday spirit into your home. One of our favorite ways to feel festive is to hang fresh holiday garland from a bannister, mantel or mirror. We tapped our friend Tara Guenther, owner of the Chicago floral shop Taxaflora, to answer all your questions on how to make a fresh holiday garland of your own.

holiday garland

What should I look for in a fresh holiday garland?

The main types of greens that are available in garland form are cedar, pine, magnolia, olive and eucalyptus. You can find these at a local garden center or a big-box store (like Lowe’s or Costco), or pre-order them from a florist. Here, a few online options that sell live garland, too (check shipping times before ordering):

How do I calculate how much garland I need?

Measure the length of your banister or your mantel (or whatever you’re aiming to hang the garland on). Then, calculate 1.5 times that dimension. For example, a 6-foot mantel multiplied by 1.5 would mean you need 9 feet of garland.

holiday garland 

What materials do I need to hang a fresh garland?

The main way to hang a fresh garland is zip ties, but you can also use strong fishing line. (Avoid wire, as it can scratch finishes.) Then, after you’re done hanging, you can add embellishment with extras like satin ribbon, or silk if you want a luxurious touch.

How do I keep fresh garland looking fresh for the whole month of December?

Lightly mist it with a spray bottle every day. It sounds obvious, but don’t hang a garland right above direct heat. A fresh garland hung above a wood-burning fireplace really doesn’t stand a chance of surviving (and is a fire hazard, too).

What are some unexpected spots to place a fresh garland?

If you have a bay window or a side table in a foyer, those can both be lovely spots. Layer them with holiday plants to create depth for an eye-catching display.

holiday garland

Can you tell us more about Taxaflora?

I’ve been drawn to flowers since I was young, starting out making my own bouquets with flowers from my mom’s garden. After managing a floral shop in downtown Chicago for a few years, I realized I wanted to start my own company. I opened Taxaflora in Logan Square in 2018. Online, I offer a few holiday items that can be shipped, like wreaths. For local Chicagoans, I also offer private classes on how to make your own fresh evergreen wreath.

More of our favorite holiday decorating resources

Hanging fresh garland is an easy and beautiful way to start decorating your home for the holidays. But don’t stop there! From traditional (think wreaths with bows in every window) to modern (a few simple candles on the mantel), there are holiday decorating ideas to suit every taste. You don’t have to turn your home into a scene from a Hallmark Christmas movie, filled with kitsch and all the red and green, either. (Although, don’t get us wrong — we love a good predictable holiday flick). Here, a few of our favorite roundups lately to inspire your holiday decorating:

From all of us at Centered by Design, we’re wishing you a very merry holiday season and a cheerier 2021! (By the way, don’t miss our 2020 Gift Guide.) Contact us here to tell us about what projects you’d like to do next year and learn how we can help.