Design Dimensions

Your own Christmas magic

CUT-OUTS bring a clean, modern, two-dimensional twist to Christmas ornaments. Not for the traditionalists though, as these have a very modern vibe.

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.—Norman Vincent Peale, writer

I couldn’t agree with this more! Christmas is enchanting, to say the least. Just take a drive down our major avenues or stroll into the malls and department stores, and you feel like the world has changed into a better place. It’s the joyful, happy feeling you’d want to keep—if only for a few weeks. Needless to say, the assemblage of lights, sparkle and color make the Christmas season a visual feast.


Part of this annual magic-making is the process of rummaging through stored boxes to find our old décor, and scouring the bazaars, specialty shops and wholesalers to find new pieces to freshen up—or altogether re-create—our Christmas decor theme. In my case, I hold on to my ornaments and a color scheme for two or three seasons and slowly rehash what I have into a new one each year.

Color transitions


Through the years, my décor has gone from the traditional reds to the spicy saffrons and oranges, variations of magenta, strong blue-violets, icy blues, silvers, to and last year’s very sane yet very elegant light champagne gold and silvers. The color transitions have been like going around the color wheel, with many items being reused for a season or two as they adapted, and before finally being replaced. It’s like slowly shedding old skin. A few years back, I finally bought the bold black Christmas tree I had longed for. Fortunately, black works with everything I already had.

This year, I’ll be rehashing my champagne tones and throwing in some warm silvers, graphites, and black. New ones, yes. I’ll also be bringing out my old streamlined silver accessories and, to add detail and texture, I’ll celebrate meals with some intricately detailed vintage silver flatware that once belonged to a grand aunt.

A few thoughts

For those who are still mulling over what ornamentation to have over the holiday season, here are a few thoughts:

• Vintage items like beads, lacework and gilded ornaments are not only classic pieces that can be used over and over, they can also be mixed with clean and modern décor to shift into a more contemporary and polished theme. The trick with using varied shapes and textures is to work with a unified color.

• Wine and ruby reds are very popular Christmas hues, and so are the various shades of green. But non-colors like whites and creams of the traditional “white Christmas” are making a strong comeback and are made even more up to date when mixed with icy tones of grays, silvers, gothic graphites and black.

• A black-and-gold combo creates a bold yet formal elegance, and is put up with the return of baroque. Best suited where the background color palette is in jewel tones or in warm neutral tones, the visual cue of black and gold is that of indulgent luxury. It also possibly is one of the more trouble-free combinations to work with since gold is the easiest and most basic of Christmas colors available.


• Glass is always enjoyed as a holiday décor for its glazed surfaces that naturally reflect light, especially when cut or faceted. Glass and crystal décor may look expensive, but with much of it coming from China, it has become a more affordable luxury.

• Reused and recycled materials are popular among the environmentally conscious. When worked within a strong theme, these decors need not looked rehashed: they can be quite stylish and unique.

• Cut-outs of virtually any material ranging from metal plates, wood panels, acrylic sheets, and even paper, bring a clean modern twist to Christmas decoration. This is not for the traditionalists though, for two-dimensional décor have a very modern vibe.

At the end of the day, the season’s decors are for your eyes to feast on. Staying within your aesthetic comfort zone will not only be the best style for you, but it will also give you the greatest visual pleasure as well. The pieces you retain through the years are a good place to start re-creating your Christmas magic.

Contact the author through [email protected] or through Asuncion Berenguer Facebook account.

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TAGS: christmas, décor, decorations, Design
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