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Design guru with affordable design ideas for the holidays

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Betsy Helmuth is an expert interior design guru with a unique ability to transform modest spaces into luxury environments on a budget. She believes “you don’t need to spend a lot to live in luxury.”

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"...you don’t need to spend a lot to live in luxury.”

Betsy has redesigned thousands of homes, from studio apartments to palatial homes, with highly designed looks but without the big price tags.

To help ring in the new season, Betsy brings us her timely tips to help transform spaces for the holidays on a budget.

Affordable Decorating Tips for the Holiday Season:

Deck with Decals. Instead of putting festive window clings on your panes, adhere them to framed pictures hanging in your home. Stick a sprig of holly on an image of grandpa at the family reunion, place a present in the surf of a vacation snapshot. Any image can become seasonal and fun!

Let it Snow! Snow is lovely outdoors but it can also be beautiful inside. Buy a tub of Insta-Snow ($9 on Amazon). Scoop it on window ledges or fireplace mantels. It doesn’t melt and last for weeks so you can have a white Christmas no matter where you are celebrating.

Too many cooks in your holiday kitchen? Keep guests away by setting up a beverage station in another room. Go a la "Mad Men" and set up a bar cart, put bottles and glassware on a bookcase, or simply repurpose a breakfast bar.

Summer Seating Comes Inside. No need to buy more dining chairs for your holiday guests. Bring in the benches from the picnic table and place them at the table to free up a few chairs. After the party, use the bench as a sofa table for displaying family photos.

Blow Out the Candles. I love scented candles as much as the next gal. However, the aroma from them can overpower authentic holiday smells like the tree, the turkey, and my favorite mulled wine. Use LED votives from World Market ($7 for 4) instead.

Feast for the Eyes. Could anything be more eco- and wallet friendly than decorating with food? Punch holes in sugar cookies and hang them on your tree. Fill a bowl with clementines or pomegranates. Head to the grocery store for your decor!

A Place for a Plate—or a Cocktail! TV trays are so passe. If you need additional surfaces on which party-goers can eat, invest in nesting tables. These stackables can accommodate a plate. Then, once the guests have gone, re-nest them to make an adorable side table.

About Betsy Helmuth:

Betsy Helmuth is a nationally celebrated interior design guru with a unique ability to transform modest spaces into luxury environments on a budget. She believes“you don’t need to spend a lot to live in luxury.”

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