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Sin Number Two: Unrestrained Greens and Garlands

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Never is wretched excess celebrated with such mindless abandon as during the waning days of the calendar year, otherwise known as the holiday season. Which is why we've asked James Swan, Beverly Hills decorator, past contributor, and author of the "101 Things I Hate About Your House" Facebook page—and, soon, book—to produce a limited Curbed National series entitled The Sins of Holiday Decorating.

An oft-told parable, attributed to a one miss Coco Chanel, imparts to anyone who will listen a lesson on editing: dress to the nines, then remove one item before leaving the house. This is the embodiment of restraint. That notion has implications in the home arena, too, yet it seems to slide by the wayside at the feet of holiday frivolity. Which brings us to the second of The Sins of Holiday Decorating: Unrestrained Greens and Garlands. Think: overly festooned entry halls, stairway decorations that know no boundaries, and all other startlingly garish greens. Ms. Chanel's voice is drowned amid tidal waves of twinkle lights, silk-wrapped boughs, oversize holly, and of course, enough glitter and tinsel to shame the pasties off a Vegas showgirl.

· James Swan [official site]
· 101 Things I Hate About Your House [Facebook]
· James Swan's previous column: The Seven Deadly Sins of Decorating [Curbed National]