Christmas Stylist Notebook

Christmas is the biggest event in the interiors calendar, it’s a time where we decorate our homes with festive flourish woven into our interior choices. There is no right or wrong with Christmas decorating as it’s all down to individual taste but Xmas has become big business and the choices are endless. It can also be fairly competitive (certainly this is true for exterior decorations!) between friends and neighbours!

If you’re worried about integrating your Christmas decorations into your stylish home, then hold fire on the multi-coloured flashing lights and maybe go for a more minimalist white sparkle…‘less is more’ kind of look, just like we did in our latest shoot!  

If you appreciate style and taste, or you’re an interiors enthusiast, then you’ll want to create something that enhances your home and blends well with your home décor. So here’s how we came up with our cosy Christmas room, with a few pointers to bear in mind…

Christmas was traditionally all about reds and greens? How have things evolved over the years to get to the Christmas style you’ve chosen?

Originally, yes, Christmas decorations were all about green holly, red berries, ivy, mistletoe and evergreen Christmas trees with real candles (health and safety wasn’t an issue back in the Victorian era!). By the 50’s decorations had become gaudier. The more glitter, tinsel and shiny baubles you could throw at your tree, the better, and ideally topped off with a smattering of techni-colour lights (flashing if possible!).

Over the last twenty years, apart from the emergence of the upside down trees (yes, you read that right!) there’s been a general trend towards a more Nordic influence and a revival of a more simple, Shaker style, which is frankly a breath of fresh air and has  broken up the more flashy Christmas look which is still in abundance. Thankfully, we have come full circle – using natural foliage, clear glass, raffia, string, with simple, white Christmas lights is probably the most popular look – and you don’t have to search far to find a splash of clash reviving the Christmas spirit!

But I’m worried that if I decorated my home in that style that it would look a bit pale and have no impact – how do you make sure that white decorations aren’t lost in a room?

This sitting room style is very understated with its gentle tones. The beautiful, pale carpet (appropriately called Snowdrift from Cormar) blends harmoniously with the taupe and pale primrose yellow colour scheme. You may be thinking, a pale carpet is a complete no-no but this carpet is from Cormar’s Easy Clean collection, meaning it is stain resistant and bleach cleanable- perfect for withstanding traffic from the whole family, providing an ideal surface for unwrapping those presents!

The sitting room in this room set is a soft, neutrally coloured room - which means it can accommodate a strong, impactful tree or the calming, simple option we opted for. By using a green tree the white and silver decorations stand out well and if you are keeping your look simple, be sure to use lots of white fairy lights – this is very important as it will give the tree an outstanding sparkle making it the focal point of the room. Be warned though - one string of lights won’t do! TIP: Be sure to use old white or warm white lights and steer clear of the bright (almost blue) LED lights as they will make the room look cold and the tree will look out of place.  

Why haven’t you used real foliage on the mantelpiece?

Real foliage is beautiful but does need spritzing and looking after, dry heat from fires or central heating means it will gradually wilt and dry quickly…and there’s nothing festive about dying foliage! So we opted for some really good quality fake garlands with integrated lights that can be twisted and tweaked to fit around candlesticks and candles. TIP: Be candle aware! When using real or fake foliage on a mantelpiece, replace real flames near the garland with battery operated candles – there are very realistic options available.

Where else can you introduce a Christmas flourish without being too obvious?

Once you’ve established it’s Christmas in your home and you’ve put up your tree and dressed the mantelpiece, you can make a few subtle additions to ramp up the winter, cosy feel. It doesn’t need to be anything drastic though, simply invest in a few cushions that have a winter theme. We used stag head cushions which work really well. Dress your sofa or armchair with a new fleece or wool throw to cuddle up in. Finally, don’t forget to dot lots of tea lights in glass or Christmas themed candle holders and hey presto – you are Christmas ready!

Obviously this is not the only way to decorate at Christmas, every family put their own stamp on their Christmas home – so however you decorate yours – have fun and most importantly - have a holly jolly Christmas this year!