The Classy Christmas Decorating Guide

Do you dream of the perfect winter wonderland? The kind of Christmas display that hits the nail on the head by warming the heart without being too over the top? Welcome to my classy Christmas decorating guide that will have your home feeling seasonal this December.

As a young millennial it can seem daunting to compete with your childhood memories to create a sense of  homely Christmas cheer.

1. Choose a theme and colour scheme.

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Just like with your home decorating plan the key is in the preparation. If you are unsure what style you want then check out Pinterest or your favourite store and see what catches your eye.

The most traditional Christmas colour scheme is red, white and green, though you can go with any colour scheme that takes your fancy. I advise using green as part of it, for example, one of the pictures above follows a green and gold theme. This theme could be carried through your home with a green and gold wreath, brown paper and gold ribbon present wrapping with green tags, white fairy lights, gold napkins and napkin rings and a green and gold table centre piece.

Once you have a colour scheme think about the kind of style that you want to portray. If you home is full of vintage finds then how about a kitsch Christmas? Or a Victorian look? Or a contemporary one? I once saw a fabulous Christmas home where the owners had opted for only natural items: fir branches and cones, dried orange slices, cinnamon bundles, poinsettia plants, ivy, mandarins stuck with cloves, and mistletoe created a stunning display and smelled divine.

2. The tree

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The Christmas tree is perhaps the most iconic of all Christmas symbols. It will form the centre point of which ever room it is placed in and the backdrop to Christmas morning present opening. There is much debate over choosing between real trees and plastic ones. I love the smell and texture of the real ones, but currently have a fake one as my cat has a tendency to gnaw on everything and many firs are poisonous. If like me you opt for the plastic version it is worth investing in one that is a good height, has full branches and realistic colours and textures. If you look after them these trees can last for years.

If your tree is looking a little sparse wrap your lights and tinsel close to the trunk and leave the branches for ornaments.

When you are putting the baubles on, separate them into different colours or styles. Then put each style on one after another evenly distributing it over the tree. This will help create a balanced look and avoid bare areas. Alternatively you could try layering the different colours to form stripes along the length of the tree. The possibilities are endless.

As a general rule of thumb, start with your lights, then your tinsel and then your baubles and ornaments.

3. The wreath

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While you can buy them ready made, I much prefer the homemade wreath. You can buy the bases in a craft shop or online and then decorate them to suite your theme and colour scheme. Hand it on your front door to warm your heart as you arrive home on those cold, dark Winter evenings.

4. The table

The table sets the scene for family dinners, another perfect Christmas memory. The main elements you have to play with are the centre piece, napkins and napkin rings, place settings and candles or other lighting. Remember to keep the colour scheme in line with the rest of your home for that cohesive look.

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Make a simple centre piece from a plate or bowl decorated with left over ornaments, fruit, nuts, LED candles and left over branches trimmed from your Christmas tree (if your have a real one). Whatever you have handy will do just arrange it carefully to ensure that it looks classy. You can also sprinkle confetti or tiny stars along the centre of the table to complete the look. Team with either candles or fairy lights to complete the sense of Hygge.

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When it comes to your place settings it really depends on how formal you want it to be. I like to go the full hog, especially since Christmas dinner is usually a multi-course affair. You’re going to need multiple forks, glasses and plates per person. Check out the pictures above for a little inspiration.

5. The presents

Christmas Wrapping Collage.pngAh presents! Gift wrapping turns yet another pair of socks into something a bit more special. This year make sure that your wrapping is as wonderful as your home decorating. Nestled under the tree presents complete the Christmas look. Keep in line with your colour scheme but don’t feel like you have to be traditional. Brown paper spiced up with some pretty ribbon, or even the comic pages from the newspaper can make fabulous wrapping. For a non-traditional touch why not buy a newspaper in another language and wrap presents in that?

6. The finishing touches

christmas-210289_960_720You are nearly there! Now for the finishing touches:

Play your favourite Christmas playlist and add a little mistletoe to your hall or living room to incite Christmas kisses. I like to keep a stash of chocolate Santas and small gifts for the inevitable moment when you forget to buy someone a present or have children visiting. They don’t need to be expensive – five or six cute items for less than a fiver beautifully wrapped will do. Hold onto them after Christmas day for those last minute Boxing Day guests. Add small decorations throughout your home to bring Christmas cheer to every room.

Let me know in the comments below how you get on decorating your home this Christmas, and don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss another post.

Merry Christmas and have a very Happy Hogmanay! xx

 

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10 Easy And Affordable Weekend DIY Projects

Love gorgeous home accessories but not the price tag? I’ve been trawling the web (and Pinterest) to find the most stylish home DIYs that are easy to follow, cost less than £50 and can be done in a weekend. I’ve added my own comments on how long they take, how difficult they are and how much they cost, plus a few ideas for variations to match them to your own taste and decor.

So without further ado, here are my top ten fast and affordable DIYs from across the web!


1. Paper Mache Lampshade

Time: Weekend to make + up to 2 weeks to dry
Difficulty: Intermediate
Cost: Less than £10 if you already have the pendant lamp fitting

This Paper Mache Lampshade is from a tutorial by PrettyPrudent. What about mixing some paint or food dye into the mixture to create coloured lampshades? Or you could paint the inside a vibrant blue or yellow while leaving the outside plain for an unexpected burst of colour.

modern paper mache pendant lamp


2. Aerial Perspective Mural

Time: One day – weekend depending on how many layers you do + drying time
Difficulty: Intermediate
Cost: Free if you use leftover paint from other projects or paint from a recycle centre

This Mountain Mural video is by Pam Lostracco. Pam is of course a wonderful artist, though there is no reason that you can’t create something beautiful with an image from the internet, careful planning and a steady hand. The trick is the layered silhouettes in neutral colours using aerial perspective to get that far away look. What about doing a forest or cityscape?


3. Terrarium

Time: 1-2 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Cost: Aim for less than £5 for the thrifted container and £9.50 for 8 Sempervivium Plants on Amazon.

You can make a terrarium like this using this tutorial on Dezignable. Why not use something unusual or thrifted as your terrarium such as a glass teapot, coffeepot, fish tank, jam jar, lantern, votive candle holder, drinking glass, bottle or even an oil lamp. So long as the container is glass to allow light in (and you to admire the plants) it should work.

succulent terrarium


4. Framed Thrift Finds

Time: Less than 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy
Cost: Less than £5 if you buy the hanky and frame from a thrift shop

Make wall art by framing thrift finds. These are some vintage hankies but you could equally frame vintage board games, fabric, scarves, sewing/ knitting patterns, book illustrations, crochet pieces or record covers.

коллекция в интерьере


5. Two Tone Walls

Time: Weekend depending on room size
Difficulty: Intermediate
Cost: £12.49 for a pot of Dulux Feature Wall on Amazon, you will also need a spirit level, masking tape and a paint brush.

Pinterest is buzzing with two-tone painted walls. This tutorial from ColourHousePaint is the best I’ve found to show you how to get the crisp line that is so essential to this look. Her images are also just stunning!

Colorhouse PETAL .04 hot pink DIY half wall technique, styled by Vicki Simon


6. Tassel Garland

Time: 1-2 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Cost: Free if you use left over wool, or £15 for this multi-pack of 24 colours on Amazon.

Make a tassel garland by LaLaLovelyThings. This one is a great way to use up the ends of wool left over from other projects. You could make themed ones: red and green for a kitch Christmas, or what about red,white and blue for 4th July?


7. Wallpaper Origami Lampshade

Time: 2-3 hours (depending on your paperfolding prowess)
Difficulty: Intermediate
Cost: Free if you have the pendant light fitting and use left over wallpaper

Origami lampshades range from simple to fantastically complicated. This one by Erin Francois for Homedit is somewhere in between. It is made of wallpaper, string and an IKEA light fitting. If you made this for a light fitting you already hand, using leftover wallpaper you could make it for free!


8. Decoupage Chair

Time: 1-2 days depending on your glue/ varnish/ paint drying times
Difficulty: Intermediate
Cost: Cost of thrifted furniture + images + glue/ paint/ varnish

 

The chair below is a DIY hack by Mark Montano inspired by artist Pierro Fornasetti. Its simple colour scheme and high quality finish make this piece look more like something from a high end furniture store than a weekend DIY project. Montano’s chair is inspired by Fornasetti, but why not try floral patterns, comic book pages, vintage wallpaper, maps or photocopies from library art books?


 

9. Stencil Coffee Table

Time: 3-4 hours + drying time
Difficulty: Intermediate
Cost: Free if you use left over paint and make your stencil, otherwise you can buy stencils for less than £16 on Amazon.

Stencils have been used for tens of thousands of years – some early cave paintings use stencils. If you’re feeling like revisiting some prehistoric technology to breathe new life into your home the try stencilling a table like this example from prettyhandygirl.

You can make your own stencils with stencil paper or buy them at you local craft store or Amazon. The styles here are endless. You could try Moroccan patterns, clouds, geometric patterns, flowers, birds, chevrons, Art Nouveau patterns or even Japanese paper patterns.


10. Classic Jute Place-Mats

Time: 1-2 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Cost: £5.99 for 64ft of Jute on Amazon + gluegun

This last one is a classic DIY to make on a rainy afternoon. There are variations where you stitch the rope together for a no-glue approach, but this glue gun tutorial from City Farmhouse is super quick and easy. You could try the same idea with plaited fabric strips for a rag-rug style effect.

Pottery Barn Inspired Jute Placemats & Napkin Rings From Loop Pulls

Try one of these tutorials and let me know how you get on in the comments below. What do you think of my variations? What would you do to put your own slant on these tutorials?

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[All of the images included are from the posts linked to. This post is intended as a review of tutorials available online. I did not write any of the posts mentioned.]