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For a less stressful, more joyful holiday season, local designers say there’s no time like the present to start planning your seasonal design projects.

“We’re already starting to discuss projects that we’re doing for holiday parties,” says Teddy Karl, principal designer at The Great Cover-Up in Ladue.

The full-service interior design boutique can help clients with small holiday projects, from decorating the Christmas tree and mantel in your great room, to designing table settings and centerpieces in your dining area, to full-scale holiday design projects throughout your home.

By late summer to early fall, Karl says it’s a good idea to contact your designer to begin planning holiday projects. “The earlier, the better,” he says, adding that timing is a particularly important factor if clients opt for fresh greenery when it comes to trees, wreaths and garland. “The trees will last in water, but the garland begins browning soon after it’s cut.”

Give your designer a list of your Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve gatherings to establish a time frame to plan around, Karl says. While some clients desire their Christmas tree to be in place for Thanksgiving, others choose to have different decorations for each holiday, he explains, adding that a fresh tree should be put up closer to Christmas if the client has a New Year’s Eve party.

And when it comes to holiday decorating this season, there are a number of trends clients can request from designers. “Don’t be afraid to pick a theme,” Karl says. The traditional red-and-green Christmas color scheme works in traditional to modern homes, he explains, noting that different shades of the classic pair – such as burgundy and forest green – can be used to accent existing décor. “The Southwest theme will be popular again this year, with beautiful red and green plaid and velvet decorations,” Karl says. “And if you don’t like red and green, that’s why they make gold and silver – metallics go with everything.”

The Great Cover-Up has a wide assortment of holiday décor to add to your collection or inspire new ideas. Among its special offerings are seven lines of Christmas china, including a monogrammed collection by Lenox with a holly leaf pattern. The shop also has a range of themed ornaments, such as the 12 Days of Christmas collection from Reed & Barton. The boutique will also continue to carry a customer favorite: holiday-themed foaming soap containers and guest towel sets, perfect for hostess gifts.

For special sales on holiday décor, The Great Cover-Up will be part of the annual Ladue Holiday Walk on Dec. 2. For more help planning and executing your holiday design projects and parties, the shop will host a series of holiday entertaining seminars this fall, beginning with Part 1, “Where to Start?,” at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 3 and 10 a.m. on Oct. 7. Next will come Part 2, “Getting Organized,” at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 10 and 10 a.m. on Oct. 14. The series will culminate with Part 3, “The Final Countdown,” at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 17 and 10 a.m. on Oct. 21. “We will gather and mingle with snacks 30 minutes before [each event],” Karl says, noting that the store also will hold its annual Holiday Tabletop event, featuring ways to decorate your holiday table, on Nov. 4.

“I love Christmas – every aspect of it,” Karl says. “We can help people purchase items at our store, give them design ideas or work on their design projects. We can help a little or a lot.”

The Great Cover-Up, 9708 Clayton Road, Ladue, 314-995-5701,

Chaddock Furniture:

Classic and Modern Elegance

The Great Cover-Up now offers furniture and lighting lines from Chaddock Furniture.

The elegant new lines feature traditional to transitional pieces by top original designer Guy Chaddock, as well as internationally acclaimed designers David Easton, Mary McDonald, Larry Laslo and Dave Hinckley. Among the high-quality collections are antique to modern pieces for every room of the home, from sofas and credenzas to dining sets and curio cabinets to beds and chests, as well as bars and bookcases.

The Great Cover-Up has multiple pieces on rotation in the shop, as well as access to the full catalog of Chaddock furniture and lighting. Clients can place custom orders, choosing from the style, color, wood, finish and distressing for each selection. “You can customize the furniture to your own style, or we can help you with recommendations,” Karl says. “I’m a firm believer that any furniture collection with the right fabric and style can be made to look more traditional or more transitional to fit any home.”

September Art Sale

The Great Cover-Up will host its biannual, two-day art sale on Sept. 18 and 19.

During the rare event, hundreds of pieces will be available from Paul Robinson Fine Art. Among the international art collection will be small- to large-scale, impressionist to abstract original oil paintings featuring people, animals, florals, landscapes and seascapes by artists including Jean-Pierre Dubord, Taylor Cox, W. Eddie, Joan Segrelles and Simonini.

Clients can request appointments to meet with Karl in the shop or in their home to determine the best scale, color scheme and style of a given piece to complement their abode.

“There will be traditional to transitional framed works by collectible artists,” Karl says, adding that the frames can be changed if desired. “Because it’s a two-day sale, clients can take home a piece the first day and try it. We want to make sure you are choosing something you’ll be happy with.”

Brittany Nay, a writer of 10 years, is an Indiana native who adores Australia, indie rock music, and reading and writing both fiction and non-fiction.

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