By Kym Gable


PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s that time of year again: Time to deck your halls.

But if you don’t want to deck them yourself, there are a growing number of professional holiday decorators in Pittsburgh who will do the “decking” for you.

KDKA’s Kym Gable followed along on a job with “That’s So Claudie.”

Claudine O’Connell is a local designer who specializes in unique holiday designs that fit each family’s personality and budget. One of her clients is Logan Hofbauer, a young mom who owns a hair salon in McMurray. Claudie decorated her home and her business.

“Our client, Logan, she’s a business owner, and she’s a young mom of three, so she’s very busy,” said O’Connell.

She started with the centerpiece of her vision for a fantasy Christmas forest, the tree. Her design team started at Iannetti’s Garden Center in Burgettstown, which specializes in live, flocked trees.

“We’ve been flocking trees since 1974,” said Scott Weaver. “We’re going to do this one white, but we have about a dozen different colors available.”

O’Connell used “free” items like branches, twigs and flowers from her backyard, and inexpensive items like bulbs from a dollar store. She mixed them with some higher-end pieces to complete the look.

“Well, this trend has been starting to catch on in this area for the past few years, because we have families that both people are working and they’re busy with their lives and their kids. They just don’t have time for decorating,” she said.

“It’s beautiful,” Hofbauer said. “I couldn’t have done anything like this.”

O’Connell decorated the family room, kitchen, the two bedrooms of the older girls, Nina and Aria.

Nina said, “I feel like I’m in a winter wonderland, but it’s cozier, and it’s really beautiful in here.”

O’Connell was delighted with the results.

“Oh, I just love it! It is really warm and cozy and inviting. And I wanted it to be very family friendly and attainable, because they have such an adorable family,” she said.

Claudine O’Connell can be reached on her business email, thatssoclaudie@verizon.net.