We’re hosting Christmas this year, and – as it’s our first with Munchkin, and our first in the country – I’ve had renewed inspiration for decorations. It can be hard each year, without buying completely new decor every time, to ring the changes and do something that feels fresh and different. Equally, with a little one as part of our lives now, I’m conscious of wanting to create festive traditions that she can start to recognise each year. We had certain things that, as a child, always made me feel like Christmas had arrived when I saw them, and I want to make sure it’s the same for Munchkin. For me it was the coloured foil stars my mother would enlist our help with to stick to the walls, a sweet set of angel chimes, and the silver doily-covered angel I had made at school. Once she was atop the tree, I knew it was really time for Christmas.
I tend to have a few core pieces that I always look forward to seeing, that I know will make me feel like it’s really Christmas, which I then accent with a few new pieces that might tap into the theme or vibe I’m going for that particular year.
To make sure you don’t end up with a complete mish mash of things, it can make sense to hit on a theme you like, and then reject anything from your collection of Christmas decorations that don’t fit into that. It can seem odd getting everything out, only to return some of it to the box unused, but it’s actually a good way to start with a relatively clean slate which you can then build into.
In terms of themes, think about what will work with your house, and the life that you live. I don’t really do minimal chic, so a one-colour, simple approach wasn’t really going to cut it for me. Coupled with the fact that our cottage is a quirky, stone-walled, odd-coloured affair, it needed to be something that worked within those parameters.
So, this year we went for a Nordic theme. My sister has recently moved to Oslo, so not only did it feel very appropriate, but it was quite on trend for the year and lends itself well to a rustic cottage setting.
Colour-wise I focused on red and white, with gold accents. I picked up a few unique pieces in some of our more local shops, and then used Ikea (naturally) for our Nordic vibe. Buying your decorations from the same shop is another way to keep a theme feeling coherent throughout the house – shops and brands design their Christmas offering as part of a range that will have common elements throughout, so this can really help to tie things together. That said, keep your eyes open too as you’re shopping, it’s important to have a few pieces that stand out and add a more individual feel. Unless you’re actually going for that store catalogue look…
Tricks to create something instantly festive are handy to have up your sleeve too. A basket of baubles is such an easy way to make something feel Christmassy, while poinsettias – red or white – in smart pots with a festive ribbon will also give you that instant seasonal feel.
Don’t forget to think about outside the house too – these reindeer were left over from our wedding, and created a fun feature in the front garden, while outside the front door this little collection of festive plants and the fruit and fir wreath welcomed guests in.