Making seasons bright is an understatement.
Stars and deep-pocketed décor aficionados are spending top dollar to get their homes in the holiday spirit by hiring interior designer “elves” to craft winter wonderlands adorned with glass baubles, rhinestone reindeer, festive floral arrangements and snow-covered garland for a statement-making staircase.
“Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star Kris Jenner never spares any expense when it comes to transforming her Calabasas, California, home into the North Pole. Last year, the momager went heavy on the green and red, with candy cane-colored, oversized ornaments on her floor-to-ceiling tree. But this year, design experts say clients are going with a more neutral color scheme and a minimalist approach.
“We’re seeing that a lot of people want to go a little more neutral with their décor. Glass ornaments are hot again, people are going back to traditional,” Shayla Copas, a Little Rock, Arkansas-based interior designer and author of “Four Seasons of Entertaining,” told FOX Business.
Brenda Lang, a Chicago-based interior designer agrees, adding that her clients have been asking for neutral tones and silver and gold metallic colors this year that channel Restoration Hardware-meets-Christmas chic. And it's all about doing it for the priceless holiday photo, she said of social media driving clientele.
"Everyone is showing off their homes on Instagram and the tree is always the focal point," Lang said. "I love to use a lot of florals and greenery in my decor. A lot of my clients are on the sophisticated side and really want the classic warm lights for a timeless look."
Take Kylie Jenner, the youngest of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, who had a neutral themed Christmas tree covered in faux snow and white ornaments. The minimalist decor was balanced out with over-the-top gift-giving by grandma Kris. The momager bought her granddaughter, Kylie's baby girl Stormi, a mini-house for Christmas.
The less-is-more Christmas design trend can also be seen exhibited at Kim Kardashian West's home. The Skims creator displayed outdoor Christmas trees wrapped in white lights leading into a snow-covered indoor forest of puffy white trees lining her home’s interior. She referred to the snowy scene as “whimsical, like Whoville, but all white,” referencing the Dr. Seuss-inspired fictional town in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” on Instagram. Her indoor Christmas tree is also snow colored and lit up with white lights sans ornaments. And youngest daughter Kylie Jenner had a similar neutral theme with a faux snow-covered Christmas tree decorated with white ornaments.
Americans will spend more than $1.1 trillion during the holiday season in retail alone, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. And Copas says investing in festive, over-the-top holiday décor is an homage to the nostalgic feeling of being a kid again at Christmas – and some of the most expensive winter scenes can cost upward of $100,000 for retail and labor costs, Copas said.
Statement pieces she’s used this year include rhinestone reindeer that retail for $800 apiece and faux garland she layers with ribbons, ornaments and fresh cedar that’s draped over fireplace mantles, a focal point, she says, in crafting a winter scene.
"Dramatically draped mantles give off that feeling of warmth, especially when there's a fire going," Copas said.
The dining room is another place where she stages a decorative vignette. Copas staggers design elements around the dining room table, like angels and mini trees gilded in gold along with fresh greenery hung around light fixtures. It's a page straight out of Kathy Hilton's Christmas design playbook. The mom to Paris and Nicky Hilton set out fresh floral arrangements around her dining room table affixed with a crystal chandelier.
The staircase is also a focal point for design, Copas said, adding that she uses fluffy, plush garland draped with bright colored ribbon-like green, red and blue for a pop of color.
“The holidays are a special, magical time of year and people are willing to invest more in decorating because of that feeling of nostalgia. People tend to spend more around Christmas than any other holiday,” Copas said.