Christmas festivities, Holiday season…. We all get carried away in the name of cheerfulness, jolly good times and family reunions. I have been asked to give a few tips when it comes to decorating our homes for Christmas. There are thousands of ideas and recommendations out there but at the end of the day, Christmas decorating is all about the mood you want to achieve: happiness, cosiness or perhaps elegance, sophistication or even calmness and serenity…. Once you know where you want to take this, you can make some judicious choices when it comes to decorating: wood textures for warmth or shinier silver for some extra glitz for instance. This should be all about you doing as you please to truly feel at home, in an environment that makes you happy and content – even if it means minimal Christmas decoration!
Colour choice is entirely up to you: no, I am not going to tell you which colour you should go for and what to wear on the day! Make yourself happy by choosing what you love and go with it. After all, it is the time of year to pause, take stock of where we are and truly enjoy the here and now with our loved ones, as we like it. So jump in, choose pink, green, blue, orange, red…. You name it. I have been decorating my Christmas tree in orange and red for the last couple of years and I love how it stands out against the dark green of the tree. And my hot pink wreath (handcrafted with tons of fabric cuts) makes me smile each time I look at it.
Textures play a huge role in bolstering up the decoration scheme in a space. Now, you are probably not going to re-decorate the whole room just because it is Christmas. So, this is a case of adding carefully chosen items that will instantly peg all the Christmas connotations in people’s mind. Layering key textures of the same ‘family’ to achieve that coherent festive feel in the room. If you want warmth and cosiness, I’d suggest to follow the tried and tested Scandinavian approach: warm up the space by layering tons of natural textures. We are talking Christmas decorations in natural wood, sheepskins thrown on a couple of chairs, thick wool blankets (www.urbanara.ch), a couple of leather cushions, etc. If you are after something a bit more luxurious and elegant, the textures will be shinier or in deeper shades with a more limited colour palette. Gold or silver baubles, finely cut glasses on a tray, velvet cushions, small trinkets on a table etc. Check out www.frohsinn.ch in Zürich which is just a magical cave! At the opposite end, a barer look will be achieved by choosing simpler textures (cotton, wood, paper) in shades of white to immediately bring a sense of calm, simplicity, lightness and even purity to the space (www.thewhitecompany.com).
Another favourite of mine: festive scents. It starts with the real Christmas pine tree with its unique scent that instantaneously conjures up magic and joyful memories of past festive times. We can also use fresh branches and flowers to bring more scents in the house. How about a bunch of fresh eucalyptus branches? Or even some pomanders on a dish? As the orange dries, it will release an amazing fragrance enhanced by the spicy cloves. Here is the ‘recipe’: https://www.tuckerhouse.com/blog/2017/10/of-pomanders-and-pine-cones/. And let’s not forget the many scented candles on the market which at this time of the year offer an array of gorgeous seasonal fragrances. Try the Jo Malone Pine and Eucalyptus home candle (https://www.jomalone.eu/de/en/) or the Christmas candles from Cire Trudon (www.trudon.com). I love the Fir one of course!
Obvious perhaps but please avoid any direct harsh lighting. We want to create a warm and cosy atmosphere by layering the light sources (just as we layer the textures!). This means soft ambient lights that are not shining in our face and make us wonder if there is an op starting soon in the living room. I was once told that a well-designed room shouldn’t need a ceiling light. Try to combine a floor lamp and a table lamp for instance with some fairy lights wrapped around a few branches or gathered under a glass dome. But, what if I have a beautiful statement pendant light I hear you say? In that case, use it in all its magnificence but go for low wattage bulbs to keep it intimate. The traditional, flickering candle is the only other light source you need in the room. Other than diffusing wonderful scents for some of them (see above), candles bring an incredible festive touch to any space. Use tons of tea lights in dreamy tea light holders scattered around the house (www.sostrenegrene.com and www.depot-online.com have a good choice at very attractive prices), choose a couple of stunning candle holders of varying heights or style a simple glass candle propped on a few books. And when hosting Christmas parties at home, light them all for an enchanting festive atmosphere your guests will undoubtedly appreciate!
My last tip? Add a glass of mulled wine and enjoy!