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Getting in the Holiday Spirit by Design

December 05, 1991|BRIAN ALEXANDER

Here are some tips for holiday decorating from designer Karen Knox:

* Go to greenhouses, wholesalers and your neighborhood florist to get ideas. Most greenhouses will either sell you products or direct you to retail stores. Ask your florist or greenhouse operator if they know of workshops or classes.

* Wander into large hotels or other buildings with decorated lobbies and see how the professionals did it. Look at books for ideas.

* Whatever theme you choose, follow it through. Play appropriate music. Serve the right food. Make invitations and gift cards match your theme.

* Pines grow all over North County, so you're true to the locale in using one. Once you've got it, light it with as many lights as possible. The rest is trimming.

* Ribbons are a must no matter what your theme. Use them on table tops, hang them from ceilings. Dangle them in windows. Use them in your tree.

* Buy a staple gun, some fabric, and drape it dramatically. If you're doing Hollywood, go for lame. If it's Mission, go deep red.

* Do not scatter decorations here and there. Designate two or three spots for decorating and do these heavily. Do everything big, larger than life.

* Plan. Make a list of what you want to use and where you want to use it. Think in terms of items you will likely reuse in later years. Before heading out the door, check availability and prices by phone.

* Set things up yourself, or, if you can, have friends come over and make a party of it.

* Be prepared to spend some money. How much will vary greatly. A really good job may cost $500, but you can spend thousands, too. Help from a designer will cost between $25 and $40 per hour. Count on a minimum of three hours.

* Relax. Says Knox: "Decorating is not brain surgery. This is supposed to be fun."

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