Sources of Inspiration

If you’re looking for holiday decorating ideas, look no further than the area’s luxury resorts.

Desperately seeking fresh deck-the-halls ideas? Some sources of inspiration you might not have considered are the luxury resorts in the area. Upscale hotels dress their public spaces to the hilt at this time of year, so all you have to do is visit a few to get some great décor ideas you can use at home.

The staff at Orlando’s Greenery Productions knows a little about decorating major resorts—trimming trees and stringing holiday lights are a major part of the foliage supply and “interior landscaping” company’s business. At press time, plans were still in the works for this year’s holiday decorating, but some of the trees they’ve trimmed in years past suggest elegant yuletide looks for your own home:



This holiday display at The Ritz-Carlton’s The Vineyard Grill beautifully illustrated the importance of taking the décor beyond the tree. The lighted garland and wire reindeer atop the china cabinet, and the nutcrackers enclosed within, helped to expand the festive tone throughout the room.




Greenery Productions designed this Paris-themed tree for Citron restaurant at JW Marriott, Grande Lakes, Orlando. The chic black, silver and red color scheme, the sophisticated fringed tassels and the fleur-de-lis ornaments could create a sophisticated French connection in your own home. You may not wish to appropriate the idea for an entire full-sized tree, but a miniature tabletop tree or pair of topiary evergreens would look très merveilleux decked in Parisian style.





This holographic silver tree was at Todd English’s bluezoo restaurant in Walt Disney World’s Dolphin hotel. A simple twist of neon-blue rope lighting made the tree glow.





 Steely Magnolias

If you’ve seen one holiday wreath, you’ve seen them all, right? Not so fast. Odds are you’ve never seen one like the Weather Resistant Red Painted Wreath (right). It’s comprised entirely of real magnolia leaves that have been painted with automotive lacquer paint and topped with a clear finish coat. The color won’t chip or fade and will withstand rain (and snow for those not fortunate enough to live in the Sunshine State). It’ll last five years if stored properly—far longer than an untreated magnolia wreath can survive. The wreath is available in 23 inches ($119.95) and 34 inches ($249.95); (type wreath in the search field).


In the ‘Still’ of the White

From the looks of the annual fall furniture market in High Point, N.C., which took place in October, white will be a top color in 2011. One furnishings and textiles designer who went for a whiter shade of pale is Richard Frinier. His Richard Frinier for Brown Jordan Collection is sleek, ultramodern and fresh in a palette of soft whites complemented by subtle tones of soft gray and blue-green. Frinier’s “Still” outdoor sectional (above) pays homage to Danish modern with a splash of The Jetsons thrown in, and he’s even designed a collection of accessory trays (left) to complete the cool and collected look. The collection is so new that prices and local retailers weren’t established at press time;



There’s a Gator Under the Table

Los Angeles-based metal sculptor Bruce Gray has elevated the alligator to high art, giving obsessed UF fans yet another piece of reptilian décor to add to their homes. Gray’s “Alligator” table (below) measures 16x12x59 inches and is available in a powder-coated paint finish ($4,400), disk-ground aluminum ($5,000) or disk-ground stainless steel ($7,000). The disk-grinding technique gives the metal a textured matte finish; if you prefer a painted finish, Gray will paint it in just about any color, including Gator blue or orange;

 Décor Abounds on Park Avenue

Park Avenue in Winter Park is one of the best places around to find beautiful home accents. Boutiques such as Timothy’s Gallery and The Scott Laurent Collection have lovely pieces from local and national artists and artisans, and Ten Thousand Villages has an international selection of Fair Trade decorative items.
But if you stop your Park Avenue shopping sojourn before crossing Canton Avenue, just beyond the aforementioned shops, you’ve missed another excellent source for décor. The Paper Shop isn’t just a stationery store; here, you’ll find elegant tabletop pieces and home accents. My top pick is the Michael Aram “Lemonwood” ice bucket (right). This smooth and shapely ice bucket is crafted of stainless steel, gold plate and oxidized bronze; the charming lemon on top gives a nod to our citrusy city while preventing the elegant piece from taking itself too seriously. It’s $250 at the Paper Shop;

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