Mason House wins Daily Express Holiday Home Decorating Contest
News from Kirksville Daily Express and Daily News:

With 529 points, the Mason House won the 2014 Daily Express Holiday Home Decorating Contest. The Masons won a one-year subscription to the Daily Express, a $ 100 Hy-Vee gift card and a $ 25 Starbucks gift card.

The Seavey House finished second and the McClain House finished third, winning six-month and three-month subscriptions, respectively.

Thank you to all our nominees for lighting up our nights and thank you to all who voted in this year’s contest.

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Decorating with Christmas trees
News from The Seattle Times:

For generations, the choice was simple.

You could strap a live Christmas tree to the roof of your car, wrestle it into a tree stand at home and hope it wouldn’t fall over. Or put up an artificial tree that was unmistakably fake.

Fortunately, the options have expanded dramatically, from realistic fake trees pre-lit with softly glowing LED lights, to environmentally friendly, abstract “trees” made from reclaimed shipping pallets.

Options for a real, live tree include “white glove” services with delivery and professional setup.

Three interior designers help us sort out the options and share advice on stylishly decorating with holiday trees and branches, including in households where Christmas isn’t celebrated.

Exquisitely artificial

Designer Brian Patrick Flynn, founder of Flynnside Out Productions, loves the look and scent of real trees. But he says he is “hands down, 100 percent on Team Artificial,” thanks to the convenience and range of today’s fake trees.

White trees are “excellent for more elegant, sophisticated spaces,” Flynn says. He layers on ornaments in shades of white and metallics “for a less-is-more, tone-on-tone look.”

Designer Lee Kleinhelter, founder of the Pieces home décor store in Atlanta, agrees. She uses a high-quality, fake white tree in her home because “it feels a lit…………… continues on The Seattle Times

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