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Longboat Key Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009 10 years ago

'Design Star' finalist dreams up a white Christmas

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

HGTV “Design Star” finalist Jason Champion has Halloween decorations out at his Siesta Key home: a 1960s orange tree with black ornaments.

“No pumpkin,” he said. “I wasn’t feeling pumpkin.”

But at the Johnson estate on Longboat Key, Champion spent Monday, Oct. 19 and Tuesday, Oct. 20 prepping the dining room of the home for the holidays. The room will be featured in Coldwell Banker’s “Previews Magazine.”

The Johnson estate, which went on the market today and is listed by Barbara Ackerman, of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, has more than 10,000 square feet of living space and 150 feet of private, Gulf-front beach access.

Champion says the look he created for the Johnson dining room using more than 190 flowers and 50 candles can be replicated on a smaller, less expensive scale. He used various shades of white and gold to create a modern Christmas look.

“Christmas is becoming more modern,” Champion said. “It’s not that the red-and-green stuff is not popular, but the overall scenes are more monochromatic.”

Champion said his own Christmas decorations will be mostly white with some chocolate — and, of course, a touch of the shiny stuff.

“I like the shiny,” he said.


Here are a few of Champion’s do’s and don’ts for Christmas decorating.


•    Save money by mixing glass ornaments with plastic ornaments. They often look the same.
•    Use various shades of a few colors instead of lots of different colors.
•    Set your alarm early on Christmas to hit the sales Dec. 26. Champion plans to be in line at 5 a.m. at Target that morning to score Christmas ornaments at 75% to 80% off.
•    Use small pops of bright colors and shiny material.

•    Use too many colors.
•    Buy fake flowers.
•    Be afraid to get rid of old decorations.

Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected].

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