The countdown to Christmas needn’t be stressful – if you’re playing host this year, these handy hacks will have your home looking effortlessly festive in next to no time.
Eye for Detail
Images: Cox & Cox; John Lewis
Bear in mind the mantra ‘simple with a twist’ when it comes to decorating for the festive season. Spotlight various focal points in your home, such as hallways and living-dining areas, and devise a scheme that utilises the same palette or theme for continuity. The twist comes in the form of the unexpected – think along the lines of a homemade woodland wreath for the front door or a pair of elegant pre-lit Christmas trees for the porch or the hallway – Cox & Cox’s Magical Light Up Silver Birch Trees (£150) are an elegant way to add extra sparkle inside or out.
The dining table is an obvious focus for chic decorations. Interior designer and creative director at Neptune, Emma Sims-Hilditch, suggests going big and bold. “I like a dining table to be crafted from solid timber. It feels more wholesome and gives your Christmas setting a forest-like feel,” she says. “Try adorning the entire space with the same motifs. If I’m using leafy garlands and lots of candlelight as my table centrepiece, I’ll repeat that on window ledges, across surrounding furniture, and even by placing candlesticks in a cluster in the corner of the room. Don’t ignore chairs and benches either. By simply draping a chunky throw or sheepskin rug on seats and chair backs, your scheme will be instantly elevated.”
Try complementing rustic notes, such as John Lewis’ Wood & Bark round placemats (£18) with touches of glamour like Curious Eggs’ Long Handled Gold Servers (£16) or Summerill & Bishop’s elegant Gold Rimmed Glasses (£10.95 each) for an instant festive uplift. No time to buy or care for a real Christmas tree? Neptune’s realistic Albert tree (from £95) has perennial appeal.
Back to Basics
Images: Perch & Parrow; Nordic House
Let your festive scheme sing by clearing away any clutter before you decorate, so that embellishments take centre stage. Mix faux foliage with fresh to make your arrangements last longer and don’t neglect mantelpieces, shelving and cupboard tops, all of which can be transformed by garlands studded with fairy lights. “A super quick, brilliant table decoration when you have no time is to line the centre of your table with a mass of pillar candles, ideally in differing heights and widths and then simply lay spruce branches in between,” shares florist Philippa Craddock. “If you don’t have any spare, simply snip out a couple from the back of your tree to create an instant, minimalist, elegant table setting.” Check out her superior quality faux and real designs at philippacraddock.com.
Don’t neglect guest bedrooms either – try hanging wreaths on the front or back of doors for a welcoming effect and invest in some woollen, cashmere or faux fur throws for additional cosiness. If you’re thinking of replacing big ticket items, then forest greens, sages and putty notes will all contribute to a natural but sumptuous theme – we love Perch & Parrow’s Roman Three-Seater Sofa in rich Hunter Green (£1,350) – the perfect anchor for a wintery scheme, which will look just as good come spring.
Finally, for chic gifting ideas and one-off vintage tableware, check out the elegant options at India Whalley’s Edition94, while a flickering pillar candle or two in Nordic House’s Extra Large Antique Brass Lantern (£140) will add instant chic appeal.
Article written by Emma J Page