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…And the dining room, the kitchen and the guests’ rooms
Christmas is a time for giving and so as we get into the festive mood, we thought we would generously share our some of our favourite Christmas decorating ideas and tips.
The sights, smells and tastes of a great Christmas become part of shared family memories for years to come. We hope that some of the suggestions below will help you create the perfect mood, backdrop or tradition that will be remembered long after the last needles from the tree have been swept away.
In the middle of winter, offer the warmest of welcomes
We look forward to Christmas party invitations dropping onto the door mat. But we enjoy hosting festive get-togethers of our own here at The Glebe House equally as much.
Guests arriving at AUTHOR HQ throughout the Christmas season are greeted with a warming drink or shot, served with a little slice of something on the side. This is a tradition that we have only recently introduced but one that we expect will live on.
To make sure we are ready for arrivals, both expected and unexpected, we keep a decanter of damson gin and a jar of biscotti at the ready. It is a way to help visitors shake off the cold and for us to impart a warm, welcoming glow of Christmas.
Use natural materials for festive decorations
A freshly felled pine Christmas tree need not be the only natural decoration in your home this winter. Your nearest woodland will provide pine cones, nuts and seeds, all of which make handsome festive decorations.
Hunting for pinecones is a fun activity for children or grand-children. Cones also make excellent firelighters when added to kindling in your wood-burning stove or fire place. They look incredibly eye-catching in an firepit too, if you feel game enough for an al fresco blaze.
We love to spray paint pinecones or holly leaves in shiny metallic tones at Christmas. The younger members of the family are always impressed by this activity when they are permitted to help.
If you prefer a cool-toned, scandi-style winter look, then try bleaching your pinecones. Wearing gloves, bleach the cones, leaving them for less time if you prefer ashy grey or longer for white.
Natural Christmassy fragrances
As well as achieving a festive makeover, natural decorations bring evocative forest fragrances into the home. Pine cones, nuts, seasonal fruit, branches such as holly, fir, pine and spruce are wonderfully scented. Fill a tall, clear vase with pinecones, berries and sprigs of fir, pine or spruce to make a woodland themed arrangement. Don’t be afraid of going big and tall to add a touch of dramatic flair to your space. Finish with a string of soft twinkly lights.
Walnuts and chestnuts feature in almost everyone’s memories of traditional Christmas fare. Create a natural (and edible) centrepiece by filling a clear bowl with dried fruit and berries. Position the bowl on a side table or shelf where they can be easily sampled – and don’t forget to place a nut cracker close by. Again, we love to go big with this type of arrangement.
Another effective and edible decoration is a large glass bowl filled with zesty clementines. Channel ‘Victorian banquet’ and stack them up high.
Creative ideas for wrapping and cards
Foliage is a brilliant way to decorate and scent your home, but it can also add style and flair to your Christmas wrapping. Posies of holly, pine or fir look stunning tied to presents. Using ribbon or twine, you could even incorporate a couple of cinnamon sticks which look amazing and also emit a subtle, warming scent. Dried fruits like grapefruit or orange look beautiful attached to a bow of ribbon.
Off cuts or leftover wallpaper make unusual and luxurious gift wrap. Tie with ribbon before adding dried fruit, cinnamon sticks, pinecones or foliage.
Festive staircase decorations
Centrally positioned or feature staircases are traditionally decorated dressed for Christmas. Faux foliage can be used as a base to which you attach real foliage. Pop in some cinnamon sticks for extra interest and scent.
We love to use the stairway to display Christmas cards too, by simply attaching them with ribbon along the rail.
There are so many imaginative and artistic ways to decorate and style your interior at Christmas. Why not experiment and shake up old traditions? Perhaps in doing so, you will create some new ones.
Do you have your own Christmas traditions or decorating advice? Let us know on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.