Decorating Tips from Biltmore

Christmas at Biltmore 2018

If you think decorating your home for the holidays can sometimes be a little overwhelming, imagine what it's like to deck the halls at a home with over 250 rooms! Decorators at Biltmore House, America's largest private home, have made holiday decorating an art, and in the spirit of the season, they compiled a list of decorating ideas that will help bring the warmth and spirit of a 19th-century holiday to your home.

For a peek at decorations at Biltmore, see our online 2019 Christmas at Biltmore photo tour!

  • Choose a theme for your tree. A children's tree is always popular with antique or reproduction toys gathered around the base. For a softer look, consider using dried flowers, paper fans, ribbons, crocheted and handmade ornaments to create a Victorian looking tree.
  • If you have antique collectibles, showcase them during the holiday season. Nestle them in evergreen and choose decorative ribbons that will tie in your color scheme.
  • Instead of red and green, sprinkle crimson, burgundy, champagne, and gold throughout your holiday colors scheme. Survey the colors in your home and coordinate appropriately, or just try a combination you like.
  • Wrap a staircase in evergreen roping and punctuate with moire bows.
  • Include hanging prints or photos in your holiday decorating. Trim them with fresh greenery, dried flowers or ribbons to add color.
  • Make a gumdrop tree by placing several small branches in a clay pot. Press Sugar-coated gumdrops on the twigs, and place small, brightly wrapped packages around the base.
  • Cluster fresh flowers such as paper wipes, with globed candles and nestle them in a bed of ivy or evergreen on a sideboard or occasional table. Drape with strands of glass beads and crystal ornaments for dazzling holiday arrangements.
  • Use festoons of greenery, instead of traditional wreaths. Decorate with silk bows, old-fashioned ornaments or dried flowers.
  • Use handmade ornaments side-by-side with hand blown glass ornaments similar to those used in the 19th century. Ornate Victorian patterned paper can be folded into paper fans that are decorated with a bow. Pomander balls (dried fruit with embedded whole cloves wrapped with tulle and ribbon) are not only decorative but fragrant.
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