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KEITH Etc.

SKI designer Keith Arnold’s talents are endless and his holiday stories priceless.
Here he shares his design secrets for decking the halls
and spreading some Christmas cheer!

Suzanne Kasler - Inspired 2016 Winter PHOTO: PAMELA MOUGIN

CHRISTMAS TIPS

“It’s just nice to meet another human that shares my affinity for elf culture.”
– ELF, The Movie

As you guys know my first job out of college was in the visuals department at Neiman Marcus. You know about my first day, Betty Turnbull and the pyramid, but did you know that Neiman Marcus has a lot of Christmas trees? I mean a LOT of Christmas trees! There were also wreaths, packages, flowers, windows and tables.

I remember that we counted and there were like 90 trees in the store. The visual staff was 5 strong so each one of us decorated 18 trees! Actually, it was more because the boss only did a couple. I worked there for several years so I need an abacus to figure how many trees I actually decorated during my tenure.

After spending so much time focusing on decorating for Christmas, I thought now would be the perfect time for me to share a few tricks I’ve learned…

Suzanne Kasler - Inspired 2016 Holiday PHOTO: Erica George Dines

HOLIDAY LESSONS LEARNED

1. You don’t have to string ribbon all through a Christmas tree
You can cut pieces of ribbon and simply poke it into whatever greenery and it will appear to travel through. You do not have to be able to make an exactly perfect bow to make a beautiful wreath or garland.

Suzanne Kasler - Inspired 2016 Holiday

2. Too much is a good thing
I think Christmas is better if it is a touch vulgar. I love trees covered in ornaments and garland with ribbons, bows and decorations.

Suzanne Kasler - Inspired 2016 Holiday PHOTO: Erica George Dines

3. Be whimsical
A bowl full of ornaments, an elf hiding in the dining room chandelier, or a glass ball instead of a candle make a great surprise.

Suzanne Kasler - Inspired 2016 Holiday PHOTO: Erica George Dines

4. Don’t worry about symmetry
Greenery, wreaths and Christmas trees are not perfectly symmetrical and you don’t have to be either. Concentrate on balance not matching…

Suzanne Kasler - Inspired 2016 Holiday PHOTO: Erica George Dines

5. Groups of 3
Like my approach to flowers, I like to do things in groups of 3. This really works well if you have inexpensive ornaments. Place them together in bunches of three and the overall effect is much more interesting.

Suzanne Kasler - Inspired 2016 Holiday PHOTO: Erica George Dines
“I just like smiling, smiling is my favorite.”
– ELF, The Movie

Suzanne Kasler - Inspired 2016 Winter