Holidays Lights

Dated: 12/02/2019

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Slide 1Slide 1The idea to design holiday lights professionally came to Kelly Fitzsimmons like, well, a light bulb switching on. The Chicago-area pro launched Light Up Your Holidays nearly 20 years ago, and she and her team have been spreading festive cheer by way of exterior string lights, wreaths and garlands ever since. 
Light Up Your Holidays “I was out there doing something that not many women were doing, zero women were doing honestly, and there was no industry yet,” Fitzsimmons recalls of her first years on the job. “So I really felt like a pioneer in that I was creating something magical for people. It was difficult because there are so many different components to it, yet it was also very fulfilling.”

Vernon Wentz


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Those years of experience have given Fitzsimmons a unique perspective on holiday decor. Here are a few things she’s learned.

Light Up Your Holidays Wreaths and Garlands Add Polish
Fitzsimmons says her approach early in her holiday lighting career was a little less refined than it would eventually become, but after a few years she’d honed a classic, elegant lighting style. Part of that evolution involved leaning into accessories like wreaths and garlands, which can give a house a more finished look.
One of the biggest faux pas Fitzsimmons sees in holiday decor? Wreaths that are too small to highlight the windows and peaks the way they could.
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Neave Group Outdoor Solutions Natural Looks Better Than Netting
Net lights designed for outdoor bushes and trees can make the task of holiday lighting go faster, but Fitzsimmons warns that the result can sometimes fall flat. Often nets don’t cover entire bushes or trees. Instead, following the natural lines of yard and house elements makes for more organic and complete-looking light displays.
Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Puget Sound It’s Safer to Leave It to the Pros
Homeowners who are looking to deck out their homes for the holidays but are low on time (or energy) during the hectic holiday season might consider hiring a professional designer and installer for convenience and safety. Elaborate light displays like the kind Fitzsimmons creates can include as many as 300 strings of lights (or 15,000 bulbs) along with ribbons, wreaths and other accents. “Essentially, lifestyle does not allow people to have the time to really do the type of decor that they want to do or have a display that they want to have,” she says.
More important, though, Fitzsimmons says homeowners often underestimate the danger of attempting to set up rooftop lights and other outdoor decorations themselves. Her team, for instance, routinely scales 40-foot ladders, wields 30-foot poles and hangs wreaths that can weigh 60 pounds or more. “Do not get on more than a stepladder,” she says. “Don’t risk it. Because it’s not what you do everyday.”
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It’s All a Matter of Personal Taste
In talking with clients about what effect they want to achieve with their holiday lights, Fitzsimmons is careful to offer her expert eye but also to embrace the homeowners’ unique style and personality. 
“Do what makes you happy. I design it based on what my clients want,” she says. “Do I have a different preference? Probably. But I say if it makes people smile, that’s the goal. If it makes you happy, that’s what this is all about.” 
Mostly, Fitzsimmons encourages homeowners and fellow lighting pros to have fun with their designs and the designs all around them this time of year.
“That’s what so thrilling about what I do,” she says. “It’s not like it’s on the interior of the house and only your family gets to see it. It is there for the community to enjoy and to celebrate.”

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Patricia Belaire

As a real estate broker and real estate investor, Patricia Belaire understands the importance of really listening to the wants and needs of home sellers and home buyers and providing exceptional perso....

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