We have a special treat for you today! We're sharing an up close and personal interview about the holiday season with the man that built GHID, Garrison Hullinger! He shares his secrets about how he decorates his own home for the holidays and personal insight into one of his holiday parties!
How would describe your personal style for holiday decorating?
I really like a more natural holiday setting, using lots of natural evergreens, berries, magnolia leaves and even boxwood to help carry the look through the holiday season, then I like to pile on the faux snow. I grew up in the Midwest and we always had snow at the holidays so I love seeing snow on the branches.
How do you carry your style throughout your home?
I'm more of an impact person...we put a tree in the living room window, pile greenery on the fireplace and dining room buffet and really don't pull Christmas decor into the rest of the home. I like the appeal of having special bar towels for the wet bar area and special towels for the guest bathroom but that is as far as I take it.
What is one thing (if money weren't a factor) that you would want in your home for the holidays?
How do you two come up with a theme for your party (if any)?
I'm not really a theme person, many times I'm the most casual dressed person at my own party...I'm all about comfort.
What are your roles in planning and executing your party?
I think of our guests, my partner, J, loves to cook for our guests, he prepares the menu and always does a lot of research and tasting of a classic holiday cocktail. We try to send out a save the date and then followup with another invite a few weeks out from the party.
What was your favorite party? Why?
We love a party where we have people show up and have a good time. I'm not a huge fan of making people bring food to our house (yes, I have issues with wanting all servings on white dishes so that sort of starts the issues when guests bring their own plates in)...we love our garden parties. J puts so much effort into our gardens and then I try to be creative in the lighting and mood setting for the parties.
Did you ever have a snafu at your party, and how did you recover from it?
One of the worst parties was a garden party, a regional magazine wanted to photograph our backyard patio space in April but wanted us to appear as though it was Memorial Day...wouldn't you know that day in April, a few years ago, it was so cold that it actually was sleeting...the photographers equipment kept freezing up and they had to bring in heaters at the last minute to help keep everyone warm during the shoot.
What is one thing you can't live without in your home for the holidays (related to decor)?
I love having boxwood square wreath on the front porch of the house and fresh green garlands wrapped around the columns of the porch.
Can you leave final thoughts on decorating for the holidays and entertaining your friends/family?
I fully believe you have to think of your guests, if the majority of the time would be better spent at the dinner table together and your living room is bigger than your dining room flip them for the day/night...also, no one wants to hear about how much work you put into throwing the party. Lighten up and have some fun times, if someone compliments you on your decor or your food, take the compliment and pass around the good times.
I hope this interview equips you with helpful tips and tricks for hosting holiday gatherings.