There is an art to decorating your home for the festive period. It is one of the world’s most democratic art forms, with endless themes, colours and tastes counting towards what is deemed a successful scheme. The criteria? Whatever makes you feel festively fuzzy on the inside. Whether you tenderly retrieve generations-old decorations from the attic or refresh your look annually, there is no wrong way to get your festive fervour flowing. This week, we hear from three interior designers on their personal preferences when it comes to decorating the family home for Christmas.
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“I believe Christmas should feel magical no matter what age you are. I love creating the magic for those around me to enjoy, old and young. Christmas styling is as fast moving as the fashion industry, I learnt early on not to try and follow these but to find what I like and evolve it year on year. That way every year I have a scheme that has been thoughtfully developed and remains truly magical.
As with everything at home, my priority is to make it work for my family. The boys love to help with selecting the decorations. They love animals so we are using a selection of bird decorations along with the more traditional Christmas Baubles. The best way to start is by looking at the current room scheme and seeing what would best translate it into a Christmas scheme. I never want my Christmas scheme to be alienated from the room or the house, I want to ensure it felt right. I make sure to layer the Christmas tree from the centre out to ensure it has a rich, full appearance.”
“I like recognising the seasonal transition within my interiors, so decorations go up early, but not too early! Sticking to tradition, as soon as the twelfth day is up, they come down. When decorating for Christmas, more is always more. Your home is a reflection of you and your personality, and this applies just as much if not more so to seasonal decorations as year-round interiors. For example, my treasured collection of old toys take centre stage at Christmas time. I’m a collector of items, and my home is full of pieces I have gathered from my travels over the years. Christmas decorations are no exception. I try to add one or two items to my seasonal box every year.”
“Decorating for Christmas is one of the most joyous activities of the year. I’ve always loved it and if I could, I’d start on 1st November. I start by laying out all of my decorations out so I can see what colours and baubles I want to use. This way, there is a system! The first area of the home I decorate is the hallway. To make a memorable entrance hall, I love to create a really lovely white, very soft feature using gorgeous olive branches and dried Luminara. Olive branches are really easy because they're very malleable and you can move them and the Luminara are dried so they can be used again and again.
Continuing the theme, white Christmas trees are definitely my favourite, and are always what I do these days. One of the things I've learned over the years is that even if you have a smaller tree you can build it out using foliage. My absolute favourite is Pussy Willow which you can place throughout the tree to give a much wider scale, and it works with any colour scheme. It also looks amazing in a vase, and will last for up to a year without water. I always put my lights up first so they are styled evenly on the tree, making sure they're all working. Bigger baubles will always go at the bottom so that you start with more at the bottom and start to get smaller as they go to the top.
A really good way to decorate if you've got a minimalist home and you don't want a tree, is to display wreaths on a wall. This creates almost paintings of wreaths, or you can put them between your photographs and paintings on a wall. Wreaths are not only for the outside of the door and work well inside and are nice on the table as well. If they're small you can put candles and walnuts in them and use all of the lovely Christmas oranges.”