Deck the halls this Christmas
As an aspiring interior designer, Christmas is an exciting time for me.
I actually think I get more excited about decorating my house than Christmas Day itself.
This year I enlisted the help of some local experts and have compiled a list of things to think about when decorating your home for the festive season.
Pick a theme
There is traditional, modern, rustic, colourful, vintage, minimal — the list goes on.
Karratha-based interior designer Donna van Loenen advises steering away from snowflakes, reindeer, snowmen and anything associated with a Northern Hemisphere white Christmas.
“Avoid the Northern Hemisphere because it really doesn’t apply to our culture — it doesn’t apply to our seasons, so it’s just really out of place,” she said.
“We don’t live in a climate where snowflakes and big cosy Santa suits are appropriate.”
Ms van Loenen said a rustic theme was appropriate for a Pilbara Christmas, so that is what I’m going for this year.
Kmart team leader designer Siri Thanissorn recommended using existing home styling as a starting point when choosing a theme. “Whatever your personal flair is, keep the style cohesive and consistent,” she said.
“If your home has a natural and neutral palette, choose a tree complemented with decorations that have natural looking materials and finish.”
Select a colour scheme
“If you’ve got a theme, pick a colour,” Ms van Loenen said.
I’m ashamed to admit it but I’m a sucker for a trend and copper is my favourite “in” thing at the moment, so copper, dark grey and white it is for me.
However, House Proud Karratha manager Sharon Nicholson said more traditional colours were popular this year.
“(It’s) very traditional this year, so a lot of reds and golds and greens,” she said.
Ms Thanissorn said beautiful bright pastel hues went perfectly with our warm Australia summers and metallics such as gold, silver, rose gold and brass were very on-trend at the moment.
Points of focus
“The areas that I used to focus on was the front door and the entrance, a table piece and then the tree, and then you have little other ornaments and things around,” Ms van Loenen said. “As long as you put some effort into those three areas I think you’ve got fairly in the spirit of Christmas feel.” Flowers add a bit of life to the home and also make a great table centre piece. Red Earth Flowers Karratha owner Melissa Thompson said Christmas lilies were popular over the festive season. “They’re beautiful, white (and) they’ve got a really beautiful perfume, so they’re really big for Christmas,” she said.
Choose your tree
First of all, cover yourself in red dust by going out to the shed and unearthing your Christmas tree from a pile of camping chairs and fishing rods.
If you don’t already have one — unfortunately a fake tree is your only option in the Pilbara — but as Ms van Loenen said there were plenty of great fake ones on offer.
There are all sorts of styles available, such as black, white, wooden and minimal trees, but I went for a classic fake fir for its timeless quality.
Ms van Loenen suggests decorating your tree by using layering techniques.
“The internal layer is the colour you’ve chosen, so say you went and bought 20 purple baubles — put those on the inside and then the next layer should be vintage pieces or pieces that you really value, such as ones you’ve had since you were a kid and they’re the second layer and then the outside layer should be new pieces,” she said.
“They should be evenly spaced always.”
I am embarrassingly picky when it comes to bauble placement and this tip really helped me. Adding decorations to the inside of the tree — near the “trunk” — helped it look fuller.
Ms Thanissorn said there was a lot of fun to be had with DIY.
“Reinvent Christmas with your own personal touches — baubles do not only have to stay on trees, they can be positioned within the home to add a subtle yet stylist finish,” she said.
I found an old vase and some twinkle lights and used some leftover baubles to make a cute centrepiece for my table setting.
Both Ms Nicholson and Ms Thanissorn said it was important to have fun with decorating. “Christmas is the time you can truly express your inner creativity. Everything goes. Have fun,” Ms Thanissorn said. You can stress about which colours go with which and whether or not your decor is modern enough but, as Ms van Loenen says, design is subjective. “It depends on what your design aesthetic is. I could tell you to paint your wall orange but if you don’t like orange then it’s not going to work is it?” she said. “Colours come and go and cycles come and go but once you find your own style it doesn’t matter what happens in the outside world.”
Metallics are very on trend this Christmas.