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HGTV ‘Designer Star’ Danielle Colding Saves You From Bad Holiday Decor

Ms. Colding, her work in a Harlem loft. Don’t you want her talents in your house?

As anyone with a new home or apartment can agree, making a space seem beautiful, comfortable and personable is a challenge. But not for Danielle Colding. The HGTV Design Star winner, who began her own self-titled interior firm in 2006, has even gone on to host her own show, Shop This Room, for the decor channel.

The Queens, New York native began as a ballet dancer for a company in San Francisco before realizing that working fifteen jobs to fund her toe shoes wasn’t fulfilling. And after a moment of reflection, Colding decided that making living spaces cozy and fabulous was her calling and headed straight to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (F.I.D.M.) in Los Angeles. Now, Colding is using her talents on HGTV’s Celebrity Holiday Homes, airing Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, where she’ll be redecorating gospel star Bebe Winans’s home. But don’t look for a plastic Santa Claus, that’s a no-no.

Describe your design style?
I love having the mix of say an Italian sofa and mixing that with a textural piece, like a kuba cloth from central Africa, or a Moroccan tile mosaic. It’s about layering and telling a story.

You recently hosted an HGTV show called Shop This Room, what was your favorite part?
Interacting with people on camera was so fun, I have a great design team and we laughed all the time. Also, being able to bring the store owners that I’ve worked with for a long time to the show was thrilling.

Now you’ve redecorated Bebe Winans’ house for Celebrity Holiday Homes, what surprised you most?
What surprised me was probably how much I enjoyed it and how much holiday designing was about using my regular good design practices. And as much as I wanted to fall back on my go-to technicolor Jesus design scheme, I managed to hold back. I did, however, infuse the process with some cultural elements through a vintage, Harlem Renaissance inspired theme. The house already featured green and red decor so my job in transforming the space was to lighten it up using pale yellows, whites, and metallics. Vintage accessories and traditional soul food including Coconut cake- a favorite from my childhood- brought it all home. Also, Bebe’s an amazing person with a really quiet, soulful presence.

What’s the best way to decorate for the holidays on a budget? A plastic Santa?
No plastic Santa! Keep it simple. In NYC, we don’t have a ton of storage space so a complete re-do of my home is out of the question. Where would I keep the plastic Santas the other eleven months of the year? For the holiday, it’s all about making things feel special and you can use every day items in interesting combinations to achieve that. I love to break out the china- or in my case my mom’s antique dishes and glassware. It not only creates a feeling of something special but it also brings some history and nostalgia to the celebration.

For a holiday party, what are your must-have items?
To create a mood, almost nothing is better than candle light. One of my favorite tricks is to use assorted candle holders, stick to metallics like brass or mercury glass in a variety of shapes and sizes, with all white candles. There is almost nothing more elegant.

Check out Danielle Colding’s work at DCDNY and catch her musings on Twitter at DanielleColding.

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