[Marisa Wilson is the owner and designer of Artful Interiors, a residential interior design firm that offers a range of affordable design and styling packages]
It’s time to venture outside of just Target to get your home holiday ready.
If you missed the Southern Christmas Show and can’t bear the thought of driving all the way to the mysterious Peppermint Forest in Pineville – let’s be real, who has time for that? – then this is the list for you.
Best place for customized holiday cards: Buttercup
They’ve recently rebranded and are looking seriously sharp. Lots of options for customized gifts (they now offer in-house monogramming) but they are experts in the stationery arena. 343 Providence Road
Best place for real Christmas trees and live greenery: Darrel Simpson Family Christmas Trees
Love this festive Christmas tree lot; it’s always full of hustle and bustle and holiday cheer. Family-owned for 75 years, can’t beat it. 938 S. Kings Drive (at the Kings Farmers Market)
Best place for ornaments: Blackhawk Hardware
As soon as you walk in, it’s a holiday wonderland of trees and ornaments. Panthers fans and dog lovers can go nuts on the selection of themed ornaments with which to adorn their tree. 4225 Park Road
Best place for wreaths and bows: Blossom Shop
If you’re like me, and DIY bows and wreaths don’t sound fun, then this is your spot. They are ready to go and they have a gorgeous assortment of box wood shapes and sizes. 617 Providence Road
Best place for holiday china: John Dabbs Ltd.
This china is the real deal, like the kind you’ll keep forever. My client already has china so I left with stunning faux magnolia and berry stems. 759 Providence Road
Best place for holiday pillows: HomeGoods
There are beautiful holiday pillows all over town, but you can’t beat the assortment and price point at HomeGoods. 4720 Sharon Road
Best place for nutcrackers: Tuesday Morning
Again, lots of stores are selling nutcrackers, but at Tuesday Morning they have authentic made-in-Germany nutcrackers, so if you’re building a collection, you want to check them out. 2442 Park Road
Best place for ugly Christmas sweaters (and other vintage holiday décor): Sleepy Poet
Wow. I was blown away by the selection of seriously ugly Christmas sweaters AND, get this, turtlenecks. If you have an ugly sweater-themed party to attend, this is your one stop shop.
Sleepy Poet also has an awesome assortment of vintage holiday barware etc. if you want to incorporate unique items and a little history into your home this season. Someone needs these cool reindeer glasses for their bar right?! 4450 South Boulevard
Best place for chunky cable knit: Crate and Barrel
I didn’t anticipate this being a category, but I also didn’t anticipate the variety of chunky knit items at Crate and Barrel. Pillows, throws, stockings, wine bags, table runners, tree skirts, and my fave, garland. In ivory and red (online). 4320 Sharon Road
Best place for gift wrapping: The Container Store
“Gift Wrap Wonderland” indeed. They have everything from beer six-pack containers to fabric gift bags, beautiful paper, and boxes in lots of sizes.
You can go basic or really elegant, the glitter level is up to you. 4345 Barclay Downs Drive
Best overall: The brand new Ballard Designs
Yeah, I can’t pick a favorite here. The whole store is incredible; you’re going to want everything.
If you love blue and white décor, they have a whole tree decorated with blue and white ornaments. You can also just browse for inspiration; it’s styled to perfection. 4400 Sharon Road, inside SouthPark Mall