R.A. Shaw Designs Talks Holiday Decor and Design Trends

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In the winter months, it’s even more important to create a homey, warm space for family and guests. What is your top advice for designing a cozy, inviting living space?

We are fortunate to be located in the Caribbean. The climate in the Turks & Caicos Islands is so moderate, people are not looking for the warmth of a crackling fire, but rather the calming sound of a lapping sea on the beach. Our homes focus on outdoor living night and day.  The beach on Provo at Christmas can make for an unforgettable experience.

Holiday décor can easily enter the realm of ‘hokey’ or contrived. What are some important tips to keep in mind when decorating a sophisticated interior for the holidays?

Our homes live outdoors. Xmas lights on the exterior radiate the spirit of the holiday season and in my opinion entering the realm of hokey or contrived makes it even better.  Under all other circumstances, we do not miss snow, but overindulgence in Xmas lights helps fill the void of the northern climates.  Find the tallest Xmas tree you can find and load it up with lights on your beach deck.  Magical after dark!

If you could change one element of a room to improve people’s first impression of the space, what would it be? Why? 

In all my designs, I strive to present an element of surprise on entering a new space; something that immediately catches your attention and cannot be overlooked. In the majority of cases, I use the exterior beyond the space.  In the tropics it is easy to create unusual exterior features. The difficulty is effectively connecting it seamlessly to the interior.

Are there any design trends you’d like to see disappear as quickly as they came?

Home Theaters / Media Rooms. Technology is allowing us to transform ordinary living space into awesome A/V experiences without the need to dedicate it to a special purpose room.  We are having a lot of fun with “outdoor home theaters.”

Learn more about R.A. Shaw Designs by visiting their website and Haute Residence profile.

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