Holiday home


By Heather Shoning

Photos Courtesy of Carla’s A Classic Design

Create a picture-perfect decorated home with tips from holiday decor pros at Carla’s A CLASSIC DESIGN

There are two types of people when it comes to holiday decor—the ones who are chomping at the bit to
start decorating the moment there’s a chill in the evening air and those who are not. The former group heads to Carla’s A Classic Design in early November to get started. “Starting in mid-October, it takes about two weeks for us to turn the store into a winter wonderland—setting up all the trees, different vignettes, hanging garlands, and unpacking and setting up all the unique Christmas decor and gifts,” says Michelle Moriarty, lead designer and daughter of Carla McElroy, who started the company out of her home in 1992. Then,ʼtis the season!

While the retail store brims with holiday decor and shoppers, the design and installation teams are hard at work filling Denver-area—and beyond—homes with holiday cheer. They take the hassle out of decorating by doing it all for you! Whether you want to supplement the holiday decorations you already have or start from scratch with all new—from one tree and some garland to multiple trees and rooms full of holiday decor—Carla’s has you covered. When you schedule an appointment, a lead designer will visit your home to learn what you want to do, decide where your tree—or trees—should go and determine how much material will be needed. You can visit the showroom to choose what styles and colors you want, and then the team makes the magic happen.

“Sometimes we have clients come to the store during our holiday open house, and they’ll say, ‘I love that tree and everything on it, and that’s the look I want,’” Moriarty says. “They can buy it right off the floor as is, and it’s theirs, and we deliver it and do the setup, or we come up with a whole design and special order for them from pictures.”

With literally hundreds of design styles and elements to choose from, you can create a truly personal look for your holiday home. Moriarty says she’s designed a home with feather boas, disco balls and platinum ornaments and another with a flocked tree and all black and white ornaments. “We’ve done a whole room and tree with nothing but elves that the client had collected, and we brought in new elf ornaments to mix in,” she says. “It was a whole vignette with Christmas elves. We ended up hanging some coming down ladders.” 

If you enjoy decorating yourself but want to achieve a more polished look, Moriarty has tips for that. She recommends putting collections together. For instance, you might do traditional golds and champagnes in the living room, keeping it more formal with the tree, garland and the decor being cohesive. In less formal spaces, such as family rooms, she suggests casual red, green and whimsical decor. 

To solve the problem of elegantly displaying the disparate homemade items the children brought home from school year after year, Moriarty suggests starting with a tree with different-sized, solid-color ornaments—even tucking them way into the tree—to build a consistent base design. Then, add the children’s ornaments. “It brings the homemade collection to life, and it makes it look more cohesive than just a bunch of random ornaments on a tree,” she says. Another tip for DIY-ing your holiday decor: “Put a Christmas tree or some garland around a fireplace in the primary bedroom. It becomes a fun, magical thing to have in your bedroom over the holiday season.” Moriarty says one of the most important
things is having well-lit trees and garlands. Carla’s has made it its business to seek out the best pre-lit trees on the market.

Not only does Carla’s install your new—and perennial—holiday decorations, but when the holidays are over, they come back and pack everything up for you to store until next year, or if you don’t have the space or want it in your home, they offer off-site storage for a monthly fee. Then, the following year, they’ll come back and do it all again. “I would say that ninety-nine percent of our clients—once they have our team come in and do the setup and the takedown—are addicted for life,” Moriarty says. “We have clients who have been on our calendar for fifteen years.” Clients love it so much, in fact, that they are generally booked a year out, but Moriarty says sometimes they have last-minute openings, so it’s always worth getting in touch. She adds, “It just takes away from all the stress and the chaos, and then you have more time to do all the other crazy things that have to be done during the holiday season.”

Carla’s A Classic Design
6851 S Gaylord St. #233