Six Ways to Dress Up Your Home for the Festive Season
As someone who is an obsessive decorator and furniture mover, I’ve always loved restyling my home. Transforming a space from drab to delicious is so exciting – even simple changes can make a huge difference to the way that we view our rooms. My mantra is that our homes should make us happy and cause our hearts to sing.
The changing of the seasons brings ample opportunity for redecoration – spring is for new ideas, and autumn is the time for cosying up our rooms with throws and candles. Give me an excuse to up my décor a notch and I’m on it quicker than you can say ‘where’s the paintbrush’. And there’s nothing more exciting than making your home feel party-ready.
Bring in the texture – swap your cushions for tactile loveliness in fur, wool or even leather fabrics. Layer up the throws for maximum cosiness, add an extra rug. You want to feel cocooned – those winter months can be mighty chilly. Use candles in fir-scented fragrances and make sure that the log burner is well stocked. Lighting is an important part of making a room feel welcoming - use lower wattage bulbs to create the right ambiance for that festive feel.
Lighting up your space with twinkly lights is a surefire way to get you in the mood for the party season. You don’t need to stop inside your home – take the festivity outside and festoon your patio or decking area with several lengths connected together. String them from the walls and trees to light up the darker nights and use candles and lanterns to add atmosphere. Firepits are cheap to run and warm as toast, meaning you can still socialise outside even if it’s chilly.
We may not want to put up the tree until closer to the day, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t bring a hint of festive décor into our homes a little earlier. Paper honeycomb balls and pom poms are a seasonal winner. A great place to start is the hallway – festooning the bannister is an easy way to add the fun. There’s no rule that says decorations need to be traditional; use tonal shades for a subtle effect or go with primary colours to make an impact.
There's one particularly important aspect of preparing for festivity and that’s the humble bar cart. It’s an essential item and not just because I’m partial to an Aperol Spritz. Having all the drinks in one place makes life easier (no more arguments about who’s forgotten to buy the tonic) and creates a focal point around which people can gather and chat. If you don’t have one, check out eBay or your local charity shops – there’s nothing cooler than vintage. And let’s not forget, the opportunities for styling are endless – retro glassware, a light up BAR sign and you’re party ready.
Party time means party food and the canape is a festive essential. I have an easy set of six that I plan in advance, then wheel out for each social occasion. The presentation of your mini mouthfuls is just as important as how they taste. It’s all about the styling, darling. To serve, use wooden boards or platters from natural materials such as slate or marble. Check out your local tile shop who will have a huge selection of products for this purpose. Add felt backing and you’re good to go. Stand back, Nigella.
There’s nothing better than a twinkly fairy light to make you feel as though Christmas is coming. But they don't just have to be for the tree. Think outside the fairy light box – string them across your mantlepiece, surround a doorframe or use them to light up your shelfies. String them around the bannister for a sparkly stairway. Or if you can’t wait for the real thing, create a fairy light tree. Fix the lights in a zig zag pattern on the wall to emulate a tree shape and bring Christmas to your home without the threat of needle injury.