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Guest Stylist Becky Clarke - Christmas Part 1
July 1st, 2020

Embrace the festive season and decorate your home ready for Christmas. By adding lovely touches to each room, it will look cheerful, welcoming, and eye-catching. You don't have to go crazy (though no one will blame you if you do), and if you choose decorations that blend with, and enhance the style of, your décor the results will be wonderful. I've collected images on several popular decor styles to inspire you to do as much, or as little as you like, just in time for Santa. This time, I will explore three common themes across Christmas: Woodland Wonder, Embrace Opulence, and Contemporary Chic.

To kick things off, there are a few tricks that will apply to all schemes that will add immediate cosiness and cheer:

Strings of fairy lights: wind round the stair bannisters, drape through plants, over pictures and mirrors or across the mantelpiece and round light fittings, or simply bundle up and put in an old-fashioned glass jar. Battery powered versions mean you can put these anywhere and the only choice to make is whether to have cool (a bluish bright white) or warm (a softer more golden glow) lights. In my opinion, it's hard to have too many fairy lights so grab a few boxes of these, I'm sure you'll find spaces for them!

Candles: Replace electric lights with flickering candles for immediate cosiness. These can be encased in lovely jars or be a collection on a pretty tray. Scented ones can add to the Christmassy feel too; Yankee Candle have fragrances such as Christmas Cookie and Spiced Orange for warming aromas.

Christmas trees: Be they giant or petite, try to have at least one tree in your home. Decorating them is great fun and such a personal expression - style can be neat and ordered or gorgeously chaotic. Even if you don't have space for a full-size version, buy one or two compact table-top ones and put them up with loads of decorations to get the same feel.

Woodland Wonder

This trend continues to be strong with lovely prints and tactile textures leading the way. The colour palette for this scheme is simple white, cream, and grey to which you add natural wood and greenery - simply take inspiration from the woods outside for this one. Touches of red and fir-tree green add festive spirit and metals should be rustic looking or mercury glass.

Think rustic, chic simplicity and you won't go far wrong.

What you can do:

  • Throw sheepskins over chairs and sofas or put on the floor for cosy toes.
  • Seating areas should look warm and inviting with knitted throws, and soft or textured cushions. Lots of layers are needed here and you can mix and match safely.
  • Gather fine branches and stand them in a vase to display cards for a real woodland detail, complementary of your UK Flooring Direct wood floor!
  • Weathered wood ornaments like barn stars look lovely and add a Scandi twist that can be left in place all year round.
  • Animal-inspired accents are a good choice be it a fox-print cushion, antler candlesticks or furry hot water bottle cover!

Embrace Opulence

Christmas is the perfect time to give in to the desire for all things sparkly and opulent. Go for rich colours and textures like velvet and fur and incorporate on-trend colours of grey and navy too.

What you can do:

  • Sumptuous cushions to make your sofa look inviting should be in tactile fabrics crushed velvet is ideal. Tassel or two is fine too!
  • Go old (not too shiny) gold (or copper); these metals are bang on trend at the moment so hang small decorations from ribbon (buy whole spools on eBay) and hang in 3s or 5s. Put these anywhere there's a space that would be better with some sparkle - door handles, over the corner of mirror, or even at your kitchen window!
  • Offset rich berry and jewel tones against dark grey for dramatic contrast and add snow white for a crisp finish.
  • This theme shouldn't be too busy. Decorations should be considered and well placed. Less is more here for a very grown-up, decadent room.

Contemporary Chic

If you have a sleek, modern home, chances are you'll want Christmas decorations to be the same. Keep things simple and pared back with a few splashes of colour or detail. Don't over-accessorise so the look is neat and ordered, yet cheery.

What you can do:

  • Unfussy decorations like those made from felt are all about the shape rather than any fiddly detail. You can make these yourself easily as felt doesn't fray and pieces can be glued if you can't sew. Make stockings or a wreath for a modern take on a traditional piece.
  • Have a stand-alone tree-shaped decoration that needs no baubles. Lengths of twigs, washi tape or greenery on the wall create this look.
  • Pick one decoration and hang as a statement decor on chimneybreasts, centrally on a wall or above the sofa.
  • One large piece as a central statement looks fantastic and festive without being overpowering (this could be a tree, or oversized wall decoration) then leave it at that as a clean and neat finish.

Read part 2 of my 'Create Your Perfect Christmas Home' series!

About Becky Clarke: Becky's unique styles regularly appear in leading magazines including "House Beautiful", "Your Home" and "Style at Home". Also appearing on TV and radio, as well as offering DIY hints and tips, watch out for more of Becky in the Inspiration Centre.