SIOUX CITY | For Lisa Kalaher, it began feeling a lot like Christmas ... right around the Fourth of July.
"We're always ordering merchandise six months ahead," the Mod House Interiors owner said. "So in the middle of summer, our thoughts are usually on winter."
Wait, did we say Kalaher's mind is set six months in the future? Well, make that one year and six months.
"Some of our furnishings are cutting edge and they're just hitting it big on the east and west coasts," she said inside Mod House Interior's 255 Fifth St. gallery. "Since it takes a longer time for things to become popular in the Midwest, the stuff you see here today is possibly the stuff you'll want a year from now."
OK, we're totally confused by Kalaher's concept of time. But one thing that doesn't confuse us is the fact that she has exceptionally good taste.
As a mom and an architect, Kalaher knows comfortable living can also look good. In a store that mixes mid-century aesthetics with modern design, Kalaher and her crew of designers have the ability to select a few handpicked items that can turn a room into a showplace, which will be lovely and comfortable, as well as refreshing and timeless.
Just don't tell Kalaher to create a room strictly for Christmas.
"I prefer doing a winter room," she said. "There's nothing sadder than working on a room that will be torn apart on Dec. 26. I want to enjoy a room longer than that."
This is why Kalaher stays away from a multitude of Santa Clauses. Instead, she favors decorating with seasonal snowmen, greens and non-Rudolph types of reindeer.
"Your home will feel as appropriate in January and February as it did in December," she reasoned.
Well, we're certainly in favor of extending the season. What other tricks does Kalaher have up her sleeves?
BECOME A MIX MASTER
"I love pairing up something retro with something more modern," Kalaher said, contrasting a pair of vintage-looking plates with a kitschy Christmas camper cookie jar. "There's no rule that says you have to stick to one or the other."
A VISION IN VIGNETTES
What's a vignette? It's simply a way that designers arrange objects into a grouping that feels pulled together.
A designer can do this on a table top or a shelf. Kalaher personally loves using elegant trays as the stage for her vignettes.
"You can put holiday candle holders, festive boxes and glamorous vases on a beautiful tray for an easy designer look," she said. "Even better, you can change the objects on the tray every season. It doesn't have to go away after winter."
A JEWEL OF A COLOR
What's the new black?
According to Kalaher, it might be jewel tone colors like deep reds, blues and plums. Or perhaps, pastels might be making a comeback with rich pinks and a majestic mauve.
"Jewel tones and pastels are both 'in' right now," she said. "Both tones will look nice in any winter display."
Everybody likes a leather sofa but it does have a very masculine look. You can give it a bit of femininity by adding a fluffy blanket or some shiny pillows.
"It's totally fine to mix and match elements," Kalaher said. "In fact, it adds a lot of interest to a space."
Ultimately, there's no wrong or right way to decorate one's home for the holidays.
"As a designer, I tend to be a bit of a minimalist," Kalaher said. "But that changes around the holidays. The holidays are the perfect time to show off the things that mean something to you.
"Whether it's a family heirloom or something new that reminds you of your childhood, display it with confidence," she added.