GET CREATIVE AT CHRISTMAS
BRANCH OUT FROM THE TRADITIONAL COLOURS TO MAKE YOUR FESTIVE DISPLAY SPARKLE
Christmas! This is no dress rehearsal. This is the big stage, the most significant and wondrous day in the calendar year. It’s time to battle the shopping centre crowds, wrap until your fingers are numb, and prepare the home for the influx of delightful visitors and the in-laws. Personally, I absolutely love showcasing our festively decorated home. For me, it’s about creating a space that’s whimsical, beautiful and stylish for the enjoyment of kids and adults alike. A visual playground if you will.
Let’s talk style
I’m going to assume you like and/or appreciate my decorating style considering you’re currently reading this. Or you’re my mum… Hi Mum! Some prefer super modern, bang-on-trend styling, and whilst I appreciate the “latest and greatest”, I’m certainly more of a traditionalist, with added spunk (you won’t see red and green here, my friend). This year my Christmas display was inspired by colour, or lack thereof really! Silvers, greys, with touches of white and dark timber for contrast. In one of our rooms a chrome, slightly nautical pendant suspends from the middle of the ceiling, framed perfectly against soft muted grey wallpaper. With these two statement pieces in mind, the room would effortlessly and elegantly set the tone for my Christmas display. It also seconds as my dining room. Note the word ‘seconds’, Christmas will always come first.
Building the foundations
Like all my projects, I needed to make a plan. Creating a mood board would help me identify my creative direction and ensure all elements of my future Christmas display would harmonise. To put it simply, a mood board is a sure-fire way to guarantee my styling doesn’t look like someone vomited silver glitter and baubles everywhere. It’s curating before creating.
Watch out for that tree!
Selecting a Christmas tree is an extremely personal decision. Everyone’s different, I chose the Frosted Fraser from Balsam Hill due to its incredibly realistic foliage. The tips of the branches are covered in snow and it comes with built-in LED lights which are perfect for the lazy ones out there – this includes me!
Here are my top 5 tips on decorating your Christmas tree.
After spending the time to properly fluff the foliage to ensure as few gaps as possible, I like to start with the lights (if they’re not included in your tree of course). Starting at the base, wrap the lights around the tree keeping consistent gaps between the rows. Next up is your garland. Depending on the type, this can be displayed horizontally from branch to branch or angled vertically on your tree. This year, I’ve done something a little different and weaved grey velvet ribbon on a 45-degree angle in three sections of my tree. Feature décor first. Pull out your hero decorations which generally tend to be the larger decorations and style on your tree allowing enough breathing room between pieces. Personally, I love large statement bows, picks and pretty birds. Then comes the smaller decorations. Make sure you place some deep within the tree; this creates depth and your tree will appear fuller. Decorations should hang vertically, not on an angle and make sure they are placed near lights for a beautiful ambient reflection. Add a skirt! Nothing says “I’m a stylish and super-polished Christmas tree” like a big, beautiful skirt. They also seem to disguise dog hair quite well. Added bonus.
The gift that keeps giving…
I 100 per cent admit that organising custom-made gift paper to match my Christmas setting may be a little over the top, but it makes me happy. When I contacted Maree from Little Branch and presented my mood board, excitement got the better of us. Maree created the beautiful grey and white paper you see in all of my images. Add the custom monogrammed “M” gift tags, and my display was beginning to rival that of the
Adding a sense of ‘extra’
“IT’S TIME TO BATTLE THE SHOPPING CENTRE CROWDS, WRAP UNTIL YOUR FINGERS ARE NUMB AND PREPARE THE HOME FOR THE INFLUX OF DELIGHTFUL VISITORS AND THE IN-LAWS.”
Myer Centre window in Melbourne CBD. (OK maybe not.) Using my two beautiful types of gift wrap and plain white and silver boxes, I stacked the gifts in sets of three finishing the presents with a lovely big bow and monogrammed tags. When it comes to selecting gift wrap and colours, my rule is to co-ordinate in threes. I find objects displayed this way really resonates for me, settling and appeasing the eye. This could be a combination of colour and patterns, but I tend to include at least one plain block colour to separate the patterns. We’ve now decorated the tree and wrapped the gifts, all the while pumping Pentatonix Christmas album 2014 and 2016 until our ears bleed. What’s next you say? It’s the extra details of festive styling and cheer that will ensure your Christmas display is better than that of Gary and Brenda’s this year. Let’s face it, the competition is real and you’ve always wanted to outdo the neighbours. To admit there was an overkill of grey would be an understatement and unfortunately the addition of white wouldn’t cut the mustard for contrast. On top of this, my display was also lacking different heights which felt boring, unoriginal and sad. The introduction of the dark timber antique table and Queen Ann dining chair not only looks lovely and creates interest, but they have purpose. Two gold stars for me! The table would home gifts and other Christmas décor and the chair would give the old bearded man a much-needed rest during his annual visit. In this scenario I’ve used two pieces of furniture, but introducing just one statement piece of furniture into your display can really ground your display and add serious wow factor. Ensuring it’s consistent with the style of your Christmas of course. Last but not least, it’s the arrangement of décor that really finishes and gives a space a sense of completion. Lanterns with tiered candles, glass candelabras, reindeer, white trees strategically placed in negative spaces brings together the style you’ve chosen. As you can see, my selection was simply everything silver and white with a hint of gold. Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed the read and I truly hope there’s a couple of tips and tricks in there that inspires your Christmas styling this year. If at the end your display looks like a hurricane blew in, I find blaming the kids (or pets) the best solution.