We all want our homes to feel magical at Christmas. That special time of year when we welcome friends and family to celebrate with us, when we gather around the tree to exchange gifts or snuggle down under blankets on the sofa. It’s a period when we can spend precious free time at home with our loved ones. Read on to find out how you can give your home a magical Christmas feel for the festive season.TEST
Have yourself a cosy little Christmas
The word Hygge has been used a lot in recent years, but this Danish word, pronounced “hoo gah”, is literally the essence of Christmas. When translated, it means a feeling of intimacy, charm or cosiness created in our homes with friends and loved ones. Christmas is, for many of us, the only time of year that we spend at home relaxing. It’s a time for nesting and keeping warm and cosy away from the winter elements; layering up our homes and creating atmosphere by lighting open fires and candles as the sun dips in the late afternoon. Instead of trying to make our rooms artificially light as the days become shorter, at this time of year we should embrace the fading light.
Christmas is also the time to create drama, theatre and magic in our homes. Whether you prefer a more natural style, using foraged finds like pine cones and fresh berries, or a more glamorous decadent style, like the one created here using the plush red velvet Belgrade sofa as the backdrop, it’s the time of year to really experiment with styling your home.
It can sometimes feel a little daunting updating your interior to reflect the seasons, but by updating textiles and accessories and changing the mood of the lighting and adding some foliage, it doesn’t have to be.
Make your tree the focus of the space
Choosing the type of tree you buy for Christmas is no longer a simple choice of fresh or faux. The dust-gathering plastic trees of the past have been replaced by faux trees that look almost better than the real thing, with no danger of finding a mound of pine needles as you try to remove it after the festivities have ended. Whatever your choice, create a theme which harmonises with the room the tree is placed in.
Our tree was decorated using the warm spice colours of the red sofa and the warm terracotta wall colour, accessorised with accents of metallic gold and copper and toned with the beautiful chain chandelier. Small, warm white strings of light bring the tree to life in the evening light.
Bring in the fragrances of the outdoors by creating a lush garland for the mantelpiece, using eucalyptus, bay and pine branches, held together with floristry wire. Entwine jewel-like glass, metallic flowers and berries into the foliage and wrap strands of wire lights around the finished piece to create added sparkle and glamour. There’s nothing string lights can’t do to turn an ordinary winter scene into a dazzling display.
Complete the look with Christmas accessories
Use your styling skills to create little vignettes around your home. It can be as simple as adding layers to a mirror by hanging a wreath over the top. The association of wreaths with Christmas dates back to the 16th Century; they were traditionally made from evergreens to symbolise their ability to withstand winter, but today wreaths come in many different and decorative styles. Using a metallic wreath as we have here reflects the sparkle back into the room and, when underlit with candles, beautifully enhances the atmosphere of the space. Add vases of foliage and pillar candles wrapped with pine scented branches to fragrance your room.
Display a tray of mixed height candles on a tabletop, using a variety of votive and tealight holders on varying reflective surfaces to create a cosy and inviting atmosphere that also adds a further layer of Christmas scent.
Enjoy the festive season in cosy comfort
A selection of cushions and throws instantly creates a cosy comfortable look and entices you and your visitors to sink into the sofa and feel instantly welcome. Layers of different colours, fabrics and patterns also add further interest to the room and create a different dimension to the space. Be aware that when using different patterns, it is wise to use the same colours or tones to create a cohesive collection. Use one or more throws in a contrasting or tonal colour to add a further layer, but play with textures such as wool, fur or tweed to add a different element of Winter cosiness.
Bring furniture or rugs close in around you to create a cocooning scene. Layer rugs under the sofa if they are large enough, and pile a coffee table with books and candles, or place a side table next to the sofa for an extra surface for placing a drink or a table lamp for further ambient lighting. Don’t be too precious about everything looking too formal or pristine. A slightly draped throw on a chair or sofa and a selection of reading literature on a coffee table tells the story of a room that is used and loved; a home that is a sanctuary from the elements.
Take some time out for Christmas wrapping
When it comes to gift wrapping, it’s always nice to have a theme that matches your Christmas décor. While the presents are waiting under the tree to be given out to friends and family, they will look in perfect harmony with the rest of your room. Decorating your parcels doesn’t have to be limited to shop bought gift tags and ribbon. You can get creative using anything from miniature Christmas tree baubles, to retro woven pom poms or branches of scented foliage tied with brown parcel string, for a more natural look.
Give yourself time away from the demands of preparing for Christmas day and the hustle and bustle of the Christmas shoppers and make an occasion of wrapping your gifts. Put on your favourite Christmas playlist or festive film, light the fire and some candles, and treat yourself to an indulgent mug of hot chocolate, topped off with cream and marshmallows. Christmas is more about seasonal food and treats than any other time of the year. So spoil yourself!
Time for family and friends
Obviously Christmas isn’t just about the big day, it’s a sociable time of the year that begins weeks before the main event. If you know you have a lot of social time planned, a bar cart is a great investment. It’s a piece of old school glamour and fun that combines aesthetics with functionality to ensure you have all the essentials to hand. From glassware, to decanters and bottles, from coasters and drinking straws to canapes and nibbles, it can store it all.
The excitement of Christmas Eve
“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.” Christmas eve has finally come around! It’s probably the most exciting day of the year, especially if you have small children or are a big kid yourself. The excitement is palpable. Every parent up and down the land is waiting for the moment their little ones are fast asleep, so they can hang the stocking over the fireplace, take a bite out of a carrot and place it with a glass of the strong stuff on the hearth for Santa to refuel for his long night ahead!
Christmas stockings are of course for the children’s benefit, but there’s nothing wrong with making sure they perfectly match your Christmas theme and look in perfect harmony with the rest of your room. If you’ve gone to all this trouble so far to create the perfect Christmas, you might as well be consistent.
And so everything has finally gone to plan, the shopping is done, the gifts are bought and wrapped, and the have been cards delivered and posted. It’s time to relax and unwind, and sink into your sofa after all your hard work and raise a glass to having managed it all!
Merry Christmas to you & yours!