Most of us won’t break out the wreaths and lights until after Thanksgiving. But a few folks started early to get their homes ready for holiday events next weekend.

Steph Liberko (@stephliberko) has been prepping her historic house since the first week of September for its appearance on the Christmas Tour of Homes in Hudson, Wis. She’s been scouring thrift stores and junk shops for vintage finds and bringing bits of nature indoors to create a handcrafted, collected look.

It’s an easy and inexpensive way to freshen up tired holiday decor and “step up what you already have,” she said. A former product designer for Target, now self-employed, Liberko shared the holiday trends she tapped into to create themed rooms for the tour:

High spirits

The craft cocktail and microbrew craze inspired Liberko to create a “Bourbon and Cigars” theme room in her parlor. “I decided it was time to take the man cave out of the garage, and bring it to the front of the house,” she said.


• A well-stocked, festive bar.

• Rich color palette inspired by bourbon and tobacco (russet, bronze and brown, with hints of copper).

• Spirited accents (trees trimmed with wine corks and airline-sized liquor bottles).

• Chunky knit tree skirt.

• Rustic elements (antlers, fur, feathers, cornhusk wreath).

Updated Victorian

As an ode to her 1896 house, Liberko created a fresh take on a traditional Victorian Christmas. Dickens-era decor can appear dark and fussy in many of today’s light, streamlined interiors, so Liberko softened and simplified the look.


• Vintage-look Santas and tree ornaments.

• Contemporary color palette of white, silver and gold.

• Mirror wall, featuring a collage of new and vintage mirrors.

• Vintage silver cutlery hung as “icicles.”

Nordic folk

Hygge, a Danish word for “cozy,” is the look du jour. Create a homey, comfy holiday vibe with Scandinavian-inspired elements and homemade decor. Liberko has been hosting craft parties to make homespun tree garlands using felt balls and chunky wooden beads, and ornaments made of painted tree slices. “Handcrafting makes it your own,” she said.


• A holiday star made of branches wrapped with fabric, trimmed with a handmade yarn tassel.

• Gifts wrapped in plain white or brown craft paper, then dressed up with festive ribbon.

• Thrift-shop finds repurposed as ornaments.

• A cheery red-and-white color palette.

• Cozy hand-knit accents (mittens, wintry socks).

Rustic bling

To set the scene for a festive New Year’s celebration, Liberko turned her dining room into party central, using mixed metallics for sparkle and shine:


• Gold chargers to create a focal point on buffet shelves.

• Vintage silver serving pieces hung as wall art.

• A tree made of branches from the yard hung with glittery ornaments.

• Noir accents for evening drama. “Hints of black give a different feeling, a night feeling,” said Liberko.