Mother-daughter duo brings Christmas cheer to the Grand Strand

Mother-daughter duo brings Christmas cheer to the Grand Strand
Tree decorated by Spaces by Valerie. (Source: Valerie Cotrofeld)
Tree decorated by Spaces by Valerie. (Source: Valerie Cotrofeld)
Another tree design by the team. (Tree decorated by Spaces by Valerie. (Source: Valerie Cotrofeld)
Another tree design by the team. (Tree decorated by Spaces by Valerie. (Source: Valerie Cotrofeld)
Dining room design by the team.
Dining room design by the team.
Foyer design. Tree decorated by Spaces by Valerie. (Source: Valerie Cotrofeld)
Foyer design. Tree decorated by Spaces by Valerie. (Source: Valerie Cotrofeld)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - On average, it takes 32 hours to deck out a home for the holidays, according to the professionals.

Multiple Christmas trees, garland, decor and everything in between is what the Grand Strand's 'Spaces by Valerie' team specializes in. Once they're done, you could say their clients' homes resemble the magazine page showing classic or modern Christmas decor.

This year, Spaces by Valerie has decorated a record 28 homes and they range in all styles. Founder and owner Valerie Cotrofeld said she shops for her clients year-round, and nothing is greater than Christmas for her company.

Spaces by Valerie started five years ago in the Grand Strand. Cotrofeld got her start in the northern states doing event planning.

After years of decorating ballrooms and spaces, she said she realized people weren't 'house proud' anymore. Decorating ballrooms for Christmas parties made Cotrofeld want to do something to make people bring those parties back into their homes, thereby inspiring her South Carolina-based company.

"It was shocking how much money we were spending in ballrooms and I felt like we weren't house proud anymore. So if we reorganized closet space and redid the areas in which we live in - and then we could bring parties back home - we could have Christmas parties back at home. Christmas Eve too, and just deck out everything because everything would always have a place," Cotrofeld said.

Outside of Christmas, she organizes homes and designs spaces for her clients. However, when November comes around, the busiest time of the year is here for her and her few helpers.

Spaces by Valerie shops, hauls the decorations, decorates and takes down the Christmas decor. Cotrofeld said if it's a new client or a new tree is asked for, the client will send her inspirational pictures so she can get a feel for his or her style.

If it's a previous client, she'll go deep into the storage closets to haul out the decor.

This year, though, is special. Cotrofeld's mother has been her decorating helper.

"This is our first year having her here for the holidays, so I am ecstatic, personally," she said, adding her mother inspired her decorating and she learned everything from her.

When it comes to decorating your home, Cotrofeld said you can find decorations anywhere. However, she prefers Little River Flowers, Hobby Lobby, Waccamaw Pottery, TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Target and even the Dollar Store.

Here are some handy tips for decorating:

  • Measure twice, cut once
  • Don't cut off your pre-lit tree's lights. She suggests to just put on new ones.
  • If you're lucky, the lights on your pre-lit tree will last three holiday seasons
  • When it comes to stringing the lights, "Just start in the back, work your way up this side, and twist all in between. You’ll get the perfect placement," she said.
  • Fluff the branches well
  • Buy matching ornaments in odd-numbered sets for decorating purposes
  • Start decorating your tree with mesh, ribbon and the big ornaments
  • Decorating can be affordable
  • Shop the after-Christmas sales!

If you want to line up Cotrofeld and her team for your next Christmas event or home organization need, you can find her contact information here. 

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