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Best Ways to Spruce Up Your Home for The Holidays

Experts from The Mall in Columbia share tips on mastering holiday decor.

With the holidays just around the corner, what better way to distract yourself from the chill winds of winter than to dress up your home for the celebrations to come? There’s no better place to discover decor dilemma solutions than at The Mall in Columbia, which boasts more than 200 stores ranging from A to Z—yes, that’s Abercrombie & Fitch to Zumiez. So, we hitched up our sleigh and headed for this top holiday decor destination to hobnob with the experts.

With all the aspects of the home to consider, where do you begin?
Kate Clegg, Chief Marketing Officer for Arhaus, says you can start with your curb appeal: “We see our customers focused on getting their front doors ready with everything from our pre-lit trees to lanterns.”

“Mantles are also a great place to begin,” says Z Gallerie’s Public and Influencer Relations Manager, Gordon Andahl. “Add some garland and tea lights for a little holiday glimmer. If you don’t have a mantle, use a console or coffee table to set the mood.”

Also near the top of the list is the foyer, says Clegg, where you can make big statements with small pieces including lighting, console tables, benches, and artwork. “Finally, of course, all of the entertaining rooms in your home, from kitchen to living spaces, need attention,” she says. “Start with ample seating to accommodate friends and family. And I also always love to have extra faux-fur throws on hand—they not only create a warm holiday look but are also amazingly soft to snuggle up with.”

Is there a science to coming up with a plan?
“Maybe not so much a science, but it is important for your holiday decor to feel cohesive,” says Clegg. “Keep your color scheme and general design direction consistent from room to room. I also love to have lit trees in every bedroom. There’s something magical about getting under the covers with the glow of little white lights in the room.”

What special touches could you consider if you do a lot of seasonal entertaining?
“Silvers and golds pair well with many color schemes and add the perfect holiday touch,” says Z Gallerie’s Andahl. “Napkin rings, glassware, and even silver and gold chargers can elevate a setting to give that perfect, finished look.”

What are some of the shops that are a big draw for decorating?
“Certainly near the top of my list would be Arhaus, which has furnishings for every room of the home,” says Barbara Nicklas, the Mall’s Senior General Manager. “Arhaus’ artisans across the globe create exclusive pieces shoppers will not find anywhere else.”

Another must-visit is Z Gallerie. “Decorating is personal,” says Andahl, “Some like to go over the top, while others like to keep it subtle, inside and out. The great thing about Z Gallerie’s holiday assortment is the ability to add glamorous accents to your design, regardless of your budget or style.”

And for the table and kitchenware?
Fear not, says Nicklas—just think Williams-Sonoma. “It’s the store for shoppers who are hosting parties and dinners at home during the holiday season. Not only do they have the top tools for at-home chefs, but they also offer seasonal tableware that will inspire your dining room decor.”

What are some of the newest shops in the mall?
“We have introduced many new permanent retailers this year,” says Nicklas. “Barnes & Noble opened very recently. Soft Surroundings is another great new retailer—perfect for updating your winter wardrobe. Peloton will be joining our lineup of permanent retailers this holiday season with a location in Center Court. We also have several fun pop-up shops planned for the holidays. In addition to a pop-up with LEGO, Hampden’s Ma Petite Shoe owner has opened Sock Appeal, featuring novelty and luxury socks for all ages, as well as handbags and accessories, jackets, and sweaters.”

But wait, what if shopping makes us hungry?
“There’s a wide variety of new restaurants and eateries at The Mall in Columbia,” says Nicklas. “The Walrus Oyster & Ale House, Uncle Julio’s, and Urban Plates have all opened this year and can be found in our outdoor plaza.”

For shoppers on the lookout for holiday sales, when do those typically begin?
“We find that retailers begin offering holiday sales and promotions right after Halloween,” says Nicklas, “The best deals, of course, are often offered on Black Friday and throughout that weekend. But the mall also has several events this season where shoppers can win prizes and access special deals at our retailers. Check out the calendar on our website for more information about these events.”