The Christmas styling commandments
I'm hoping this post is not too late and that there are still some people who haven't been up in the loft to get that box of decorations down yet. Between prepping for school fairs, school plays, eye infections, Christmas shopping demands etc etc etc I still haven't had chance to finish my Christmas decorating. I think that's the fall out of bringing Christmas into your home in October (see my Amara shoot here) and it's taken this long for me to be ready to do it all again.
Because I can't do these things by halves. When it comes to Christmas styling, I am definitely in the go hard or go home camp. No surprise there then. But going big at Christmas does not mean abandoning all sense of taste and decency. It is totally possible to have a stylish home at Christmas, if you want to that is. Here are my top tips on how to stay classy...San Diego (Sorry but I cannot resist adding that, said in a Ron Burgundy voice. And if you don't know what I'm talking about, you definitely need to put Anchorman on your Christmas list)
1) Stick to a colour palette or theme
Even if that theme is 'Llamas wearing sunglasses and a bobble hat', if you're doing colourful kitsch, then stick to it across the board and it will look glorious! Just look at this Kitschmas scene below. What did I tell you? GLORIOUS. But if you go half-hearted on a mish-mash of different themes, the chances are it will look a bit of a mess. Which is a bit of a life lesson too if you think about it...just do you. Anything else and it all gets a bit confusing. So there you go, it appears I'm moving into motivational speaking too ;-)
2) Shine bright like a diamond
If in doubt, make like Rihanna. Candles, tealights and fairylights are an absolutely essential element of creating any festive scene. Think about adding hurricane lamps in different sizes to a hearth, or place them on your stairs if you have a wide staircase and there is space for them. Don’t just put fairylights in your Christmas tree. Wrap them along a staircase swag or nestle them in amongst some logs for extra twinkle if you don't have a working fire. Add candlesticks or candelabras at different heights to create interest and drama on mantelpieces, sideboards and dining tables. Check out Lucy St. George, of Rockett St George's, Christmas fireplace. Foliage - tick. Candles - tick Fabulous - tick. In fact if you look closely this pic embodies every single one of my Christmas styling tips. Go Lucy!
3) Get your greens
Whether real or faux, dressing your house in festive foliage such as holly, ivy, eucalyptus and myrtle, is a fabulous way to create drama, while also keeping it classy. Give any room a real wow factor by dressing the fireplace with lots of foliage. Layer your chosen foliage up across the mantelpiece and then nestle baubles and candlesticks in between for extra sparkle. Another way to make a big statement and grab your guests attention is to wrap or swag ivy around your staircase and pop some seasonal blooms in there too for an extra bit of wow factor. You can weave in Christmassy garlands as well for added glamour and hang some of your favourite baubles along the length of the foliage too.
4) Think outside the box
Always (That's another one that applies to actual real life too). Think about where you can add an extra element of festive fun by thinking outside the box when you are decorating. Try placing garlands around doorways or hanging wreaths on walls, (see below) or internal doors, or around mirrors. Prob not all of the above, but then again, why not? It's Christmassssss!
5) Make it cosy
Christmas is all about combating the cold by wrapping up arm and getting snug as a bug in a rug in faux fur coats and pom pom hats. It's the same idea at home. Make it as cosy and cosseting as possible by swapping your cushions out for plush velvets in jewel tones, or chunky knit wools if that's more your thing. If you don't know about Cowboy Kate, the high priestess of all all things sheepy, then you need to get to know. Her sheepskins can be layered on top of your other rugs, draped across your sofa or if you're feeling extra fancy, you can also put a sheepskin over each of your dining room chairs, to make your guests feel extra snuggly over their Christmas dinner.
6) Get the drinks in
My final tip is all about the booze. I suppose if you can't be bothered to do any of the other things you could just skip to this one and get your guests so drunk they don't even notice if you've decorated or not. But seriously, if you want to create an instant Gatsby-style party atmosphere, don't forget to spruce up up your cocktail trolley for the festive season and make sure it is well-stocked and ready for entertaining. Sainsbury's Home has an amazing selection of reasonably priced barware (which I recently styled up here). Or if you are looking for something a bit spesh, head to Jonathan Adler for the cool af rocket cocktail shaker. And don't worry, if you don’t have a cocktail trolley, you can create your own by styling up a side table with a decorative tray, your best glassware, some fancy bottles and a cocktail shaker. It’s also handy to master a few cocktail recipes in advance so you can wow with your bartending skills. If you're feeling particularly generous you could even give your guests a choice of drinks spelt out on on a letterboard, like this one from Talking Tables. Failing that, champagne never goes out of fashion. Cheers!