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Friday, December 23

Holiday decorating

I seem to be talking about color lately.

When you think of this time of year, red and green come to mind.

There is something about seeing all of the decorations up WAY too early every year (I swear I saw some up right after Halloween this year) that makes me want to do the exactly opposite. I do holiday decorating for client’s homes…I see the red and green everywhere I go from the bank to restaurants to every retail store. (Don’t even get me started on the music blaring either!)

I wouldn’t exactly call myself a Grinch, but there is something about all of the commercialism that just ruins the holiday excitement for me.

This year, I decided to do something a bit different and much more me.

Who says you HAVE to use red and green?

It just so happened that The San Francisco Chronicle was interested in the way that I decorated as well. You can check out this story HERE and see how three different designers decorated their spaces for the holidays. Each one is different and unique in its own way.

What do you do to decorate your place?

Do you stick with the red and green or do you own thing?

Whatever your holiday traditions are- wishing you a wonderful rest of the year and looking forward to a great 2012!

Here were some of my tips from the article:

For Grant K. Gibson, holiday decor is synonymous with a classic but organic and refined look. Instead of decorating with a traditional tree that takes up space, Gibson prefers to outfit his apartment in Pacific Heights with a tablescape framed by hanging boxwood wreaths, vintage silver ornaments from the Alameda flea market strung with raffia from magnolia branches in urns in varying heights, and stacked boxes wrapped in crisp white paper and tied with simple black ribbons.

"I live in a small apartment and don't have a lot of room for a big tree," says Gibson, who was named one of Elle Decor's "5 up-and-coming designers to watch" earlier this year and whose work has graced the pages of publications including House Beautiful.

"I like to keep the look classical and timeless but with a twist, using a juxtaposition of different textures and layers so it's not so one-dimensional. This is relaxed, approachable, doesn't seem overly commercial, and allows plenty of room for entertaining."

Gift-wrapping tips:

Consider unexpected materials. "I like to use Chinese newspaper from Chinatown and twine for wrapping gifts. It is a very humble and simple way to add interest."

"Use one type of paper to wrap gifts. It ties everything together and makes it consistent. It doesn't look so busy and cluttered."

"I send cards and give gifts after the first of the year. It makes it extra special, and this way it's not jumbled together with all of the other cards and presents."

San Francisco sources:

Sue Fisher King (3067 Sacramento St., S.F., "It's the perfect place to buy anything for the holidays. I love the scented candles, linens and jewelry there. It's my favorite store in the city, and I send everyone there from out of town."

The Ribbonerie (3695 Sacramento St., S.F., "They have a great selection of grosgrain and velvet ribbons."

Trader Joe's ( "I get bunches of white roses here as well as pomegranates."

Green Apple Books (506 Clement St., S.F., "I'm there just about every weekend. Vintage books make such great gifts."


"We do our holiday celebration on Christmas Eve. I cook for days and always have everyone over to open presents. I like to give mason jars with bing cherries, half a cup of brown sugar and bourbon. I love how the cherries turn the bourbon a deep, dark shade of burgundy. It makes a great drink as is on the rocks, or you can mix it and make a Manhattan with bitters and vermouth.


ArchitectDesign™ said...

Grant, love your decorations and then changes you've made to you apartment!

Windlost said...

Hi Grant, I love the simple elegant decor the best. White and black - perfect by me. I don't like red, so I use it rarely as it seems to clash with the greyed out colours in my house, but for some reason I craved a little this year, here and there.

Enjoyed the article from the Chronicle. :D

xo's from Canada, Terri

mary said...

I love the black and white--last year I had red paper and wide black ribbon. I also wrap all of my presents with the same paper and ribbon every year: makes the entire season come together. Thanks for all of your super posts over the past year; I'm wondering what you have up your sleeve for next year. Merry Christmas! Mary

Anonymous said...

Your apartment might be my favorite. EVER.
Love you you decorate. So much better than the green and red shit everywhere. YUCK.

Anonymous said...

Just perfect, Grant...I've been using newspapers (funny papers!) to wrap gifts, but I love the Chinese newspaper idea:) So many good ideas here.

You are headed to New York? Or up the Coast? Wherever you go, I do hope your Christmas is a very good one and the year ahead even better than 2011 (if THAT is possible!!!).

With love,

Anonymous said...

You take much better photos than the Chronnicle!

Sent from my iPad

Anonymous said...

*** There is something about seeing all of the decorations up WAY too early every year (I swear I saw some up right after Halloween this year) that makes me want to do the exact opposite. ... (Don’t even get me started on the music blaring either!) ***

I walked into Macy's San Francisco on Nov 1st (the day after Halloween). The store was already partially decorated, and I saw people adding more decorations. When I heard the Christmas carols on the sound system, singing about sleigh bells and snow (it was warm outside!), I turned around and walked out of the store. There should be a special Grinch award for Macy's.

Anonymous said...

Hi Grant

Would you kindly re-post your recipe for bing cherries and bourbon? Thanks and xoxo Bonnie

Grant K. Gibson said...

Here you go Bonnie:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Grant. I cannot wait till next summer when the fat bing cherries are back. Happy New Year.

Grant K. Gibson said...

If you are feeling desperate for this recipe- buy some frozen cherries from Whole Foods or Trader Joes. It isn't exactly the same- but a good subsiitute if you can't wait until cherry season again.

Happy 2012!


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