Angie's List: Holiday decorations


Decorating your house for the holidays doesn't have to break the bank and can be affordable, even when working with an expert.

"We love our home and we love to entertain and we want it to look nice and be warm and friendly and welcoming," said homeowner Amy Sailing.

A small budget shouldn't prevent you from creating the holiday look you want.

"We have a lot of out of town family that comes in and just ready for a change and something new and wanted it to look nice," Sailing said.

Sailing decided she needed help, asking Southport interior designer Karen Mercer to make her older holiday décor look new.

"I do think people can utilize a lot of different places, consignment stores, thrift shops, low cost decorating, you just have to think outside the box sometimes," said Mercer.

Bringing in an interior designer, if only for a consultation, is a great way to get ideas and swapping ornaments and decorations with your friends is a free way to change up your holiday scene.

"What is old to you is new to someone else, so you could swap and give your houses a completely different look," said Angie Hicks, Angie's List.

If you can't safely hang lights outside yourself, hire a company, but remember a few things. Be sure the company is insured and pay them in two steps - once when they install the lights and again when they come back to get them. Paying all of it up front might mean they never come back.

Also, never forget to bring the outside in. Branches, pine cones and berries can make beautiful arrangements and not cost you a penny.

If you do work with a designer, make sure you specifically outline your budget beforehand.