PHOTOS by Hillary Ehlen
Each year, SCHEELS Home & Hardware decks out a home for the Homes for the Holidays event, which is sponsored by NDSU’s Alpha Gamma Delta chapter. This year, we met with design consultants Julie Alin and Steve Johnson, who divulged holiday decorating tips that you’ll definitely want to steal for your own home. See them in action inside of this colorful, Christmas Cottage.
Meet the Design Consultants
Though they are both originally from Fargo, Julie Alin and Steve Johnson didn’t cross paths until a couple of years ago when Johnson began working as a Design Consultant at SCHEELS Home & Hardware. Between the two of them, they have more than 30 years of decorating experience.
This home by Carlson Construction belongs to Cindy and Rick Jacobs. Most of the furniture in the Jacobs’ home is from SCHEELS Home & Hardware. Cindy is actually Alin’s sister, so the design consultants were familiar with the homeowners’ taste. This year, Alin and Johnson used lots of color in their whimsical holiday décor because it fit in with the style that was already in the home. “Our inspiration was her [Cindy’s] paisley rug. We found that rug and decorated around it,” Alin said.
In the living room Alin and Johnson set up a tall and thin pencil tree. To make it appear more full, they used large ornaments and protruding decorations.
Tip 1: “Christmas has changed a lot. You can use almost any colors you want, from traditional red and green to black and white.” – Julie Alin
In the dining room, Alin and Johnson added cascading pine trimmings and faux icicles to the preexisting light fixture. The tabletop had already featured a galvanized metal centerpiece, which Alin and Johnson used to spell out the word ‘joy.’ Alin explained, “We like to use a little of the homeowners’ things so they can leave it up after the holidays are over, but most of the decor is from our store.”
Tip 2 “Buy a big package of pipe cleaners and a big package of floral wire. This whole house is held together by pipe cleaners and florist’s wire.” – Julie Alin
“We use green and brown pipe cleaners, so they’re hidden.” – Steve Johnson
In the kitchen, Alin and Johnson kept with their cozy, cottage theme. One of Johnsons’ favorite pieces in this room is the deer vase from SCHEELS Home & Hardware that allows you to create antlers out of almost anything.
Tip 3: “Pull pieces of loose garland and loose sprays. You can use them anywhere you want.” – Julie Alin
Alin and Johnson started preparing on Monday, October 30. Before they began decorating the Jacobs’ home, they had to scan and package all of the products. Though it is usually just the two of them decorating the SCHEELS Home & Hardware Homes for the Holidays house, Alin and Johnson had a little help this year. “We hired a student from Carl Ben Eielson, so she spent the day with us,” Alin explained.
The Monday after the tour, Alin and Johnson packed up and returned their inventory to the store. However, the homeowners often choose to purchase some or all of the pieces. “A lot of times, the homeowner loves what we’ve done and will want to buy it,” Alin said.
Thousands of people walked through the Jacobs’ home on the first weekend in November. A portion of the proceeds from this event was donated to the Great Plains Food Bank BackPack Program. “Alpha Gamma Delta International has a philanthropic focus on hunger. We chose the BackPack Program because the work that they are doing is just so needed. Knowing our event can play a small role in improving the lives of children right here in the FM community makes it all worth doing,” Homes for the Holidays Chair Brenna Naseer explained.
For more information, contact:
SCHEELS Home & Hardware
3202 13th Ave. S, Fargo
To learn more about the BackPack Program, you can visit greatplainsfoodbank.org