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Pro Offers Tips to Make Holiday Decorating Easier

Sunday's warm weather sent many homeowners climbing ladders to install their holiday lights and decorations. Making your home glow for the season can be a taxing, all-day task. But it doesn't have to be.

Skip Wyatt, owner of Christmas Decor by LB and O LLC in Fairfield, makes a living by relieving this stress from home and business owners. Wyatt knows firsthand some of the stresses that accompany a beautifully decorated home. From tangled lights to design flaws, Wyatt offers the following five tips for decorating your home for the holidays.

1. Use quality products . Save yourself some headaches by spending a little bit more money on your lights, greenery and bows. Odds are, if you buy cheap, the products won't last long and will have to be replaced after a short period of time, Wyatt says. Some products will last six to eight years before needing replacement if they are of good quality and are cared for properly, he said. The short-term benefits of buying a cheaper product are small compared with the eventual cost savings of buying good products.

2. Keep your design simple . It is easy to get caught up in the season and "go for broke" on your design, Wyatt said. But many of the designs that begin that way fizzle when it comes to installation. "Installing your display is hard work," Wyatt says. "There is a big difference in having an idea and executing it." All good designs start with a vision but are buffered by reality. "It's hard work, and there is a real material and labor cost associated with a big display. Many do-it-yourselfers simply run out of steam before they can achieve their initial vision." Wyatt adds that most displays use basic techniques to achieve a clean, classy and festive look.

3. Go with LED . The quality and look of LED products has improved greatly. Wyatt says that most of the issues have to do with power, and many of these issues can be minimized or avoided with LED products. "First, LED products operate on about 15 percent of the electricity of traditional incandescent products, but the load on your power source is where they have the most impact on installation. Simply put, you can string more LEDs together than incandescents." And, Wyatt says, they last much longer than incandescent lights. "You can expect to pay three to five times more for LED products, but the difference is worth it."

4. Plan the entire season . Wyatt maps each display installed and keeps that plan on file from season to season. "It makes things much more efficient to know what products you have on hand, and where you need to start," he said. Once the display is installed, you will maintain it throughout the season. When you take it down, do it with the intent of reinstalling the next year. "You likely won't think much about the display until the following year, so you can't label your supplies or your map with enough information," Wyatt adds. "It is not a good practice to try and commit it to memory."

5. Have fun. Installing your display should be a fun, creative process. "If you don't enjoy it, then you are less likely to enjoy the result," he said. Even though his team installs dozens of displays, they always try to inject fun into it. "I can think of a lot worse thing that we could be doing," Wyatt said.

For additional information on beautiful holiday displays, contact Wyatt at Christmas Decor by LB and O LLC in Fairfield at 203-373-7717 or wyatt@optonline.net . The company offers complete holiday display design, installation, maintenance and removal services.

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