Choose your colours and style: For a truly stylish look, pick a colour and theme that you’ll enjoy year after year. Whether it’s a simple look or you decide to go with all glitter and gold, committing to one theme helps to avoid over following trends and buying things that you aren’t excited to unwrap each year. I chose green, white and gold when styling the scene pictured below for a Christmas home and garden tour. I wanted to reflect the lush green hills and paddocks that surrounded the house and the neutral home colour pallet led me to think the owners would like something subtle and elegant. The rural setting set the tone for the elegant, country style.
Mix fresh cleverly: Having fresh flowers, foliage, and produce is something nice at any time, but it can get a bit much keeping on top of all the watering and replenishing, especially over the busy season. To make the most of things, try mixing fresh flowers with long lasting foliage. The foliage will hold the flowers up for longer and you can pull the blooms out and still keep the design looking lovely. I used lots of Eucalyptus for this project because I know it dries to a beautiful dusky green and would last all through the celebrations. I used lots of the same bloom to decorate the mantelpiece, so that would be easy to replenish with minimal styling needed.
Festive lighting: Topping off your home’s ambiance with lighting is essential. My general rule is ‘you can’t have enough candles and fairy lights’ but not to the point where you need sunglasses indoors. There are so many lovely options from little sparkling LEDs to romantic candles and hand poured delights. My fairy light “must-do” is to make sure you pack them away properly for next year, as it’s never fun if you have to stop hanging your baubles to untangle miles of fairy lights. I like to push my lights into the tree branches, nearer the trunk. This way you can get a few more sets on and also you don’t see all the wires running over the tree. It softens the intensity of the flashing glow, too.
Make sure to save some of your candles for the Christmas table. If you do this, it’s a good idea to use really large or tall candles or candles inside a glass holder, that way as people relax and enjoy the merriment they won’t forget, lean over and catch a burn.
Of course, it’s always nice to add some fresh flowers to any look you choose and think about what scents you can add to your home whether with perfumed candles and/or flowers. We had fresh cranberry scented copper jars scattered around and I like to have little stashes of treats for people to enjoy when they feel like it – chocolate coins are always a seasonal favourite. I can highly recommend a gingerbread cake, they smell amazing.
Think creatively: I’m often asked for Christmas centerpiece ideas. The options are endless! It’s always worth having a look through the homewares you have on hand and curating a nice selection to match your chosen theme, getting your best glasses and china out is a great start to any look and you may find you don’t need to buy as much as you first thought. For the home and garden tour I wanted to add some extra interest for our visitors and so I created all the design to fit the fairytale story of Jack and the Beanstalk. Although it might not be something to repeat every year, Christmas decorating doesn’t have any rules (can you see all the elements of the story?).
When I lived in England, every year my mother and I would go to Waddesdon Manor at Christmas time. One of my all time favourite trees they had was decorated with all the vintage Christmas Ball Calling Cards from their archives – it was stunning! I used this inspiration and collected vintage postcards to use, but a collection of family photographs would work just as well and be something fun for everyone to enjoy guessing the year the photo was taken before nodding off after lunch.
Buy a few treasures each year: Mine and Mr. Edwards’ own collection of decorations started off with two boxed baubles from a fancy department store and then when we got our tree, fresh pine, of course, I decided, even if it took my whole life, we would only add carefully chosen Christmas decorations each year. It was then we chose our colour scheme (white and metallic) and style (a little bohemian with lots of glass and crystal) and my husband and I have carried that on for a good few years now and we still love it. What’s nice now is that each of our decorations has a story and we can remember where and when we brought them, we even have one from a romantic trip we took to Amsterdam for Christmas one year when we had just moved in together … unpacking that one always reminds me of that trip.
EXTRA TIP: Christmas Wishes
When it comes time to pack away all the Christmas cheer and say goodbye to the holidays, Mr. Edwards and I write a secret list of our wishes and goals for the coming year and we pack this list away with the decorations. Wishes range from winning the lottery to moving house to finding more time to read magazines, etc. The following Christmas when you open your boxes of treasures, it’s fun to tick off all of the dreams that came true.
Merry Christmas. X