Deck the halls this Christ­mas

Pilbara News - - News - Louise Alling­ham

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.

Be cre­ative

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.

Have fun

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.”

Pic­tures: Louise Alling­ham

Metallics are very on trend this Christ­mas.

Be cre­ative and DIY your Christ­mas ta­ble cen­tre­piece.

Flow­ers make a great cen­tre­piece for the Christ­mas ta­ble.

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