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Guest Stylist Becky Clarke - Christmas Part 2
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 décor styles to inspire you to do as much, or as little as you like, just in time for Santa. This time, we’ll explore tradition, keeping it simple, colours and pales at Christmas.

Following Tradition

Decorating with the time honoured pairing of green and red guarantees immediate Christmas style. Touches of gold look great too as do garlands of greenery, pine cones, and red ribbon bows on wreaths. Embrace this theme and bring it up to date with modern elements and remember a big tree full of beautiful decorations is central to this fail-safe scheme.

What you can do:

• Add a few fun scatter cushions with contemporary or Scandi-style designs in red, tartan or grey – always check in supermarkets such as Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys (online too) for affordable soft furnishings that are a real touch of quirky contemporary fun.

• Tie lots of crackers together to make a huge garland and hang round a window so you and all passers by can enjoy the decoration, alternatively hang round a door or tie to bannisters.

• Hang traditional stockings on the mantelpiece if you have one, or tied up the handrail of the stairs. Add felt hanging hearts or stars for country charm.

• Add visual and toe-snuggling warmth to floors with a UK Flooring Direct rug and top with a coffee table so you’re ready to sit with a warm mulled wine.

• Wreaths aren’t just for the front door – incorporate them to living areas by removing a well-placed picture and hanging the wreath from a ribbon on the fixing.

Keep it simple

If you’d rather just do a few nods to the festive season rather than go the whole hog, why not just add one or two quirky elements that make you smile.

What you can do:

• If you don’t want a tree, how about hanging a canvas with a tree print on it – or get creative and make your own with a dustsheet and some paint!

• Hang a group of branches with decorations attached above the dining table – tie confectionary like Quality Street onto thread as decorations to hang then they’re ready as an after-dinner treat.

• Instead of a full size tree, just have the top or a few branches in a vase with decorations. This is a nod to the traditional without giving up a large space in your home – ask at places selling real trees if they have any damaged ones they can’t sell as they’re ideal for this.

• Use lights or washi tape to write a festive word or slogan on the wall.

• Make a “tree” from a discarded pallet, or draw a stylised tree shape on a sheet of wood and paint using any leftovers, tester pots or kids paints you have.

All About Colour

For an all-encompassing thwack of colour, and a home full of cheerful style – be bold. If you want, you can keep a rein on things by picking a few bright colours that work together, or ignore any “rules” and have a bit of everything for a wonderfully eclectic look. This works particularly well when you have small children because they will want all sorts of decorations that you might not naturally choose as well as making assorted things themselves to display, so rather than have a tight scheme that is “spoiled” by the odd pink sequinned snowman made by your 5 year old, let loose and be as overly quirky as you can.

What you can do:

• Let the kids do the tree: children aren’t constrained by colour schemes or décor trend so if they are in charge of the tree, you’ll get a wonderful, potentially slightly wonky but nonetheless fabulously decorated centrepiece. Let them choose one new thing to hang every year and put the date on the back for future reference.

• A handmade feel works well here and has folk-style charm so get creative and make some decorations.

• Have decorations in every room so you’re surrounded by festive cheer. Even a cluster of baubles in the bathroom will be a fun touch.

Pale And Interesting

White is always right in interior décor and this is also true when it comes to Christmas decorations. If you keep your decorations white with a touch of silver for understated sparkle, your home will look festive but chic with a touch of glamour. As there’s no bold colour to punctuate, be generous with white decorations so the room looks lavish.

What you can do:

• If you want a cool winter white scheme, clear away any bold coloured accessories such as bright cushions so they don’t detract. Try to have everything in the room in similar shades in the decor to make the look sophisticated. Whites work with any colour room to give a snow-kissed finish.

• To warm it up a little, add some pale pastels like lavender, antique rose, duck egg blue that will give some gentle colour without being too overpowering.

• Have bowls of baubles as quirky centrepieces.

• String baubles on beading thread (almost invisible fine plastic string) and hang for a lovely cluster to create an almost chandelier-like feel.

• So the whites don’t look chilly, incorporate some textures like fur, knit or velvet as these add visual warmth.

About Becky Clarke: Becky's unique styles regularly appear in leading consumer 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..