When I heard that HGTV was taking over the Mall of America and offering a preview of their home collection at America's biggest shopping playground, I jumped at the chance to check it out. My conclusion? Fellow home decor nerds will go gaga for the chance to get decorating tips from their favorite celebrity designers and even those more concerned with just plowing through their shopping list can't help but stop in awe at the adorable life-size gingerbread house.
Walkin' in a winter wonderland
From now until New Year's Day, you can catch an extravagant holiday display in the middle of the mall's rotunda. Surrounded by an assortment of adorned holiday trees, including two 44-foot-tall stunners, sits a gigantic gingerbread Holiday House so sweet looking you'll have to pinch yourself to make sure you didn't just stumble into a tale of Hansel and Gretel.
Not only is the Holiday House a visual treat to look at, you actually get to walk inside and check it out up close. Don't miss the wreath made from colorful paintbrushes or the wall art installation made from paint chips — two looks that DIYers will totally want to recreate at home. There is even an artistic interpretation of a Christmas tree made from furniture.
Outside the house is a spread of lighted trees where a holiday light show takes place several times a day. It's also a fun spot to take a few holiday snapshots with decorated backdrops. Hint: This spot makes for great people watching and seeing lil' tots pose for pictures will melt even the biggest Grinch's heart.
Oh, and if you're on a busy schedule, drop your presents off at the gift wrapping station in front and, for a small donation to Rebuilding Together, you can get all of your goodies decked out while finishing up your shopping list or attending a free design demonstration.
"Who has the time to stay home like Martha [Stewart] and weave a garland? Buy the ordinary and make it extraordinary with homemade things. Semi-homemade."
Make a design resolution
Don't miss a chance to meet your favorite celebrity designer. I scored some great decorating tips from Genevieve Gorder (Design Star), Sabrina Soto (The High Low Project) and Nicole Curtis (Rehab Addict). Other celebrity designers including David Bromstad (Design Star), Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri (Kitchen Cousins) and Chris Lambton (Going Yard), will be visiting throughout the month, sharing their design tips during demonstrations where you can ask them for decorating help and pick their brains about your biggest design dilemma.
After listening to designers share their decorating secrets, you might be inspired to start your own little post-holiday project. When hearing DIY diva Nicole Curtis from Rehab Addict chat about home renovation projects, I decided that I'm tackling more remodeling projects next year — one more item to add to the New Year's resolution list.
Deck the halls
I chatted with Genevieve Gorder who recently got a peak at this year's White House Christmas decorations and picked up some new inspiration during her visit. One of the favorite looks she spotted was "reworking the traditional."
"We are so used to evergreen and poinsettia red," Gorder explained and this year was about rethinking those colors so it "still says Christmas," but is also fresh and inspired. She said it's about incorporating unexpected materials like feathers into garland, but keeping it appropriate so it doesn't look like it should be in Las Vegas.
When it comes to buying Christmas decor versus making your own homemade decor, Gorder suggests picking your battles. "Who has the time to stay home like Martha [Stewart] and weave a garland?" she asks. "Buy the ordinary and make it extraordinary with homemade things. Semi-homemade."
Designer Sabrina Soto also likes to create an updated traditional look for Christmas that has a modern flair. "I love the look of an all-metallic tree. And I only use white lights — never colored lights — no matter what the tree," Soto explains. She likes using copper, bronze and gold hues in her decor. Soto also has a soft spot for jewel tones and bright colors with white lights for a modern look. "I would do that in a younger home. Someone who is having a New Year's Eve party."
See what else Sabrina Soto and Genevieve Gorder have to say about Christmas decorations.
See what's hot for 2013
Shoppers will want to swing by the HGTV HOME pop-up showroom to see a display of the new line that was introduced this past year.
I snagged a sneak peak at some of the HGTV HOME collection while visiting the ELK Lighting showroom in High Point Market last spring, but the pop-up showroom in the Mall of America was the first time I've seen the full collection all together and was able to see how well everything coordinates. It's also the first time the products have been together on display for the public.
"I love the look of an all-metallic tree. And I only use white lights — never colored lights — no matter what the tree."
Ron Feinbaum, senior vice president and general manager of consumer products, was on hand to show the latest looks in furniture, paint, flooring, lighting, accessories and even plants. He pointed out how they were able to team up with Sherwin-Williams to create custom paint palette selections so that all you have to do is select a curated color collection with coordinating paint colors, and you'll instantly have room-to-room color harmony. Decorating doesn't get much easier than that.
The best part about the 2,000 sq. ft. showroom? It's big enough to absorb the look and feel of the collection so you get inspired without getting shopper's fatigue that happens in bigger stores (ahem… IKEA showroom anyone?). Hint: All that mall walking can make your dogs bark so take a load off by test-driving one of the plush couches. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.
The HGTV Holiday House and pop-up showroom are open to the public daily until Jan. 1, 2013. For more information and to see when your favorite designer will be stopping by, visit www.mallofamerica.com.
More holiday inspiration
25 Ways to decorate your Christmas tree
Poinsettias: How to keep them thriving year-round
5 Best blogs for holiday decor inspiration