Holiday decor tips from the Goodman’s Christmas Carol set
Set decorator Alice Maguire for the Goodman Theatre’s A Christmas Carol offers up Cratchit-style holiday decor tips.
One of the lessons in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol is that you don’t need a lot of money to appreciate the holidays. As Goodman Theatre props supervisor Alice Maguire points out, the Cratchit family is very poor but still keeps a warm and festive home. Want to mimic their Victorian shabby-chic look for your holiday party? Follow these tips.
“People in the Victorian era decorated with a lot of greenery,” Maguire says. She cites Gethsemane Garden Center (5739 N Clark St, 773-878-5915) and City Escape (3022 W Lake St, 773-638-2000) as a couple of her favorite plant shops. “But Costco also has these great baskets filled with Christmas plants like cyclamen, ivy and azalea,” she adds. “I just take them home and replant them.”
“We go to Cost Plus [World Market] every year and buy some wooden ornaments,” Maguire says. “They have a great selection of those, as well as little upholstered, handmade felt ornaments that look like they’re from that era.” She also says Foursided (2959 N Clark St, 773-244-6431) has a lot of Christmas decorations to choose from.
Who has time to string a bunch of cranberries? No one. Maguire and her colleagues turn to Barnard Ltd. (375 W Erie St, 312-475-0210), which sells decor, displays and props. We found berry garland for $19 per 72".
“We do a lot of shopping at antique stores that are mostly outside the city,” she says. But when she does antique in the city, she’ll go to Vintage Pine (904 W Blackhawk St, 312-943-9303) and Praha (3849 N Lincoln Ave, 773-549-1227), which both have a lot for Christmas.
A Christmas Carol runs through December 29 at the Goodman Theatre (170 N Dearborn St, 312-443-3811).