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Our top tips to make your home shine this Christmas!
Sitting down to a scrumptious dinner is the best part of Christmas Day, so the whole experience wants to pack a punch. With your food set to tantalise taste buds, don't forget to visually excite your dinner guests too.
To set your dinner table, think about layering. Like a mouthful of food that excites your palate, you can create intrigue and encourage your dinner guest's eyes to wander around the table.
Firstly, pick your colour scheme! Choose whatever appeals to you, but remember it is better to have a couple of colours alongside each other, to add contrast, and help the eye to wander.
Table runners are always a great and easy way to add a strong accent of colour to a dinner setting. Go foraging and bunch eucalyptus leaves and ferns into vases and mix with a few twigs, berries and lights in a vase. While Christmas wreaths are designed for your front door, they equally look amazing as a beautiful table centre piece sitting around a vase or candelabra with lights twirling around them.
Don't just limit your Christmas tree ornaments to the tree, scatter them on the table to reflect the theme you've created in your living room. Remember to always place your decorations in odd numbers (groups of three’s or five's). It may sound strange but odd numbers create interest as they force the eye to move around the group - and by extension the table.
Why not tie your left over gift tags around each napkin, creating an easy place setting name tag? Also, try to scatter your table with some Christmas confetti so it sparkles and glows too!
Most importantly, don't forget some table trivia. There are lots if options out there to suit, but they are great to add fun to the occasion and encourage conversation.
For many, there is no greater joy around Christmas than decorating the household Christmas tree. It’s a tradition that has become synonymous with the start to the official Christmas countdown.
December, usually sees crowds flocking to their local market or farm shop to select their tree. With social media’s influence, we now have a much more idealistic view of our trees - it has to be just right to compete with others on our feeds. It must have a full bottom gradually narrowing to a perfectly shaped crown, with thick branches throughout - a sparse and spindly tree simply won’t do.
Although, if the thought of hoovering up pine needles for 20 days or more gives you the shivers, a high-quality artificial tree can still hold its own. If it’s decorated beautifully, no one on Instagram will even know it’s fake, they’ll simply be commenting on how striking it looks. And if you burn a Nordic Fir candle in your home, you can fool many a house guest as to its true authenticity.
Once you’ve found a suitable location in your home (ideally not next to a radiator if it’s real), the first thing you need to do (after hitting play on the Christmas music of course) is trim any errand branches and ensure it is fluffed and shaped in all the right places.
Before embellishing your tree with jewels and ornaments and decorations, you need to adorn each branch with lights. A warm white light always looks more sophisticated and cosy. Start your lights with the plug at the base of the tree and wind your way up the tree, wrapping the lights around the trunk and the branches closest to it, to help give a brighter glow from inside the tree. When you reach the top, begin your way back down, this time weaving the lights over and under the branches and bringing the bright sparkle right out to the tips.
With your tree illuminated, you are ready to begin the decorating. If you want your tree to rival those found on Pinterest, you need to have a clear and cohesive look that ties all your decorations together. Your theme could simply be a colour (silver and gold, white and red, multi-coloured), or, you might want to create a more elaborate theme like an enchanted forest with woodland creatures and pine cones, or, a winter wonderland with snowflakes and icicles! Perhaps, you’d prefer to take it one step further and create more of a flamboyant and exotic look with peacocks and bright colours. Whatever your preference, once you have chosen your theme, you need to stick to it.
To create a visually appealing tree that helps the eye to wonder, use a variation of different sized and contrasting decorations. Start with your largest decorations first and spread them evenly across the tree from top to bottom, filling any gaps as you go. With each additional decoration, keep layering your tree in the same manner, spreading them evenly. Every so often, take a moment to stand back and look at the overall effect, this allows you to see that you’ve hung the decorations consistently and that they are not all clustered together in hot spots.
To give depth and additional interest to your tree, add decorative branches, artificial flower stems, twigs, berry garlands and berry or pinecone picks. While these are not your usual Christmas tree decorations, they are really useful to fill in gaps, bring extra sparkle, offer a contrast against the decorations and create a full and inviting tree design.
With your tree fully dressed, you can sit back and relax with a hot chocolate, or glass of something stronger, and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Oh... and don’t forget to share your tree and inspire the rest of the world with your theme!