GOT YOU COVERED: OUR VISUAL GURU JAY ON HOLIDAY DECOR THAT DOESN’T SCREAM “HOLIDAY”

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This year we like to think we’ve really got your back—from gifts to buy, to what to wear, to how to make present wrapping not totally terrible. We’re sitting down with our team to glean a little pro advice to get you through the season with flying colors (blue being a nonnegotiable, of course). Next up is Jay, the man behind the visual design in our stores. If anyone can share a thing or two about decorating for the season without going all tinsel and candy canes, it’s him. (Not that we have anything against tinsel and candy canes…)

There are plenty of things to consider before deciding to host a holiday party: guest list, food, drinks, outfit, playlist…and then that one little oft-overlooked-until-the-11th-hour detail, decor. First thing that comes to mind? Twinkle lights and candles. (Just us?) Maybe tinsel and a few candy canes too. All pretty, though some might say predictable. And if there’s one thing we love, it’s the element of surprise. So we sat down with Jay, a master of interiors and one of the most creative dudes we know, and asked him to give us guidance. Boy, did he guide.

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Let’s talk holiday decor. Imagine you have a tiny little space and you want to have people over for drinks or a gift exchange. What can you do to set the mood?

Jay: Start with lighting. Pick up some small table lamps or clamp lamps that you can position in corners or even against a disco ball. You can get them really cheap. And don’t go crazy with a seasonal color palette, a common misstep. It’s much more about what reflects you than what reflects the holiday.

What have you done in the past that felt “you”?
Jay: One year, when I was really really obsessed with downtown New York skate culture, I’d been collecting these Jim Jarmusch posters. I brought all of them into my kitchen, framed them and hung cheap Santa hats on the corner of the frames. You can do something like that.

Wow. Creating temporary art! Then, you could add sparkling lights, but they’re not the thing.

Jay: Exactly. Don’t think about “Pinterest board–worthy.” Think about what is you.

So, sparkly shine. That’s OK?

Jay: That’s awesome when done in a grown-up way. You can really commit to it and go all out. It’s OK to be a little over the top if it’s tongue in cheek. There’s a lot of sparkle in our collection right now, and I’m using it for the first time in stores. For colors, we’re loving brushed metals, rose gold and natural wood. Lots of light.

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You mentioned disco balls earlier. More on that?

Jay: I love using them in unexpected ways. If you go to the dollar store and see mini mirror balls, buy 10. Buy 40. Stack them up and blow it out. If you’re worried it looks like a cheesy office Christmas party, blow it out and go further.

OK. This sounds like fun!

Inspired? You’re going to need something to wear to your party, and Jay has shared his holiday picks with us. Also, take a peek here to shop our selection of home items.