Our Favourite Christmas Decorating Ideas

Lantern on window sill in winter mood. Blur christmas tree inside

This Christmas, why not try something a little different for once? Instead of stringing up glitzy tinsel everywhere and hanging shiny baubles off of every available surface, how about trying something unusual?

Here in this article we’ve rounded up some of the best decorating schemes out there that are a bit removed from your typical Christmassy ones. Take some inspiration and make your Christmas perfect and uniquely.

Go Rustic

Ditch the chintzy rubbish and go old school this Christmas. We love a good rustic theme, due to their longevity and timeless appeal. Maybe you can’t afford to be updating your decorations to something completely new each and every year – if that’s the case, rustic is perfect for you.

Make your fireplace the centrepiece: decorate the mantelpiece with some festive foliage – holly leaves and the like – and top it all off with a couple of hessian stockings. You can even hang a chalkboard above the fireplace, where the whole family can write festive greetings.

And of course, your tree has to be a real one. Substitutes simply won’t cut it. Capitalise on the theme with some extra rustic decorations; we’re thinking wreaths and pinecones.

A Touch of Gold

Gold is one of the most Christmassy colours there is, perhaps behind only red and green, and it adds a touch of class to boot. What better way of going gold than by basing your whole colour scheme around it? Pair it with cream to add some understated elegance to your dining room.

Your focal point is the dining room. Dress it up with your gilt-edged chinaware and glasses, with luxury golden crackers at each place and a few old baubles dotted around. Dress your tree sparingly, with all gold baubles, and finish off the look with a string of fairy lights along the mantel.

Glitz and Glamour

Make your dining room really glamorous by adding crystal baubles to your place settings. Stick to two coordinated colours to really set things off – gold and white work well with the crystal.

Start the table off with a fabric runner, then pop a charger plate underneath each setting. Then you’ll want to ensure everything is coordinated: matching napkins and candle votives, plus some elegant glassware. The baubles are the finishing touch. Attach a nametag to each and everyone has a lovely memento to remind them of such a special Christmas.

All White

If your living room is already in a neutral colour palette, then you are halfway there already with this idea. Make things a little bit more glam by adding some beautiful metallic accents. Chuck a couple of embellished or sequinned cushions on the sofa, as well as on any chairs, and wrap the gifts in golden paper and top them with silver ribbons.

Your tree should be similarly coordinated, with white decorations making up the bulk. Add a touch of colour with some gold and silver accents, with some nice beads to finish it all off. Think about a frosted tree instead of a regular pine to really tie it all together.

Your Guide to Preparing for Christmas Guests

If you don’t usually have guests, Christmas can be a real nightmare – particularly if you have to put up family members that you only see once every few years, and you’re not used to cooking. It can be very much like being thrown in at the deep end of a very cold, very glittery, very noisy swimming pool. Fear not – with preparation, love, care and a good dose of tidying up (and hopefully, help from friends/family/anyone you can rope in), you can transform your home into a winter wonderland without having to worry about catering to everyone’s whims and needs. Make sure that you have enough seats for bums and beds for bodies and you’ll be pretty much on the right path.

christmaslist

In part one of our series, we share all of the tips, tricks and techniques you’ll need to employ to get your home ship-shape for guests this Christmas.

  • First, you’ll need to get organised. What do you need? How many guests have you got? How many people are staying over? How many people are eating? How many people are vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free/paleo etc etc etc? Know what you’re dealing with and you’ll be much more able to cope with it! Plan out where you’re going to put everyone, where grandma can sleep – for example, she’s going to need a much more sturdy bed than your little cousins – how many people can fit round the dinner table and how many/which dishes you’re going to cook.
  • If you need extra beds, chairs, tables or any other furniture – and you’re only going to use it once a year on Christmas day, don’t buy brand new stuff! Just hire it instead. There’s really no need to use that much of your budget, especially if you’re not going to use the furniture again. Use what you would have spent on food (and booze) instead – eat, drink and be merry!
  • When you’re sorting out your Christmas dinner, make a list of all of the dishes you’re going to cook, who is going to eat what, when you’re going to serve what, and how you need to cook each dish. For example, if you’re serving up food to people with allergies, you do need to be really careful about cooking food in certain pots to make sure that there’s no cross-contamination. If you think it’ll help, write yourself up a timetable – prep time, cooking time, when stuff goes in the oven/on the hob, when to take it out, when to serve it, when to put the next dish in the oven etc. It’ll keep you on track, which should help to take some of the stress out of the day. Or, pre-approve a dish with each guest and ask them to bring it with them to give you less work to do – then, all you need to do is warm everything through. Oh, and the most useful tip of all – always, always use foil baking tins and roasting trays. You will not regret it, particularly when you don’t have to stand at a sink scrubbing a tin with 4 hours’ worth of baked-on turkey skin stuck to it.

Come back next week for part two.