The time has come to start putting up Christmas decorations. But, before you rush off to your local store to buy this year's collection of baubles, wreaths and garlands, think carefully about your decorating theme. Christmas themes can vary from traditional to modern; elegant to fun; natural to high-tech etc. Browse through a few magazines and websites for inspiration - then decide on an overall scheme. Whatever you choose, it should complement your interior and your lifestyle.
Having chosen your Christmas theme, get out your previous years’ decorating bits & pieces. Select those that would go with your current theme or could be adapted easily. Baubles, garlands, candles and holders can be transformed simply with a bit of imagination. Baubles can be painted, stencilled, sprayed, wrapped or decorated with fabric, ribbons, glitter, pearls and beads. Garlands & wreath can be sprayed with metallic or frosted paint and decorated with berries, acorns, dried leaves, feathers and pearls - depending on your theme.
You can also decorate some of your glassware and tableware - spray or stencil them with removable paint and glitter or decorate them with removable stickers and film. Use your glass bowls, jars, vases and containers to display baubles, fairylights, dried fruits, nuts, chocolate pieces, glass beads and candles. Place these around your home - or use them as a central piece on your Christmas dining table.
When you've customized your existing pieces and household items, look around a couple of shops to find a few bits and pieces to complete the look. It's best to buy simple pieces that can be decorated further and adjusted in following years to suit different themes.
The two most important elements of Christmas decorating are the tree and the lighting. Nothing really beats the smell of a real pine tree, but if you want to create a trendy look, a pre-lit twig or feather tree might be the right choice to suit your décor theme. The secret of a successful tree is to use a maximum of three colors, shapes and materials when dressing it. To create an interesting tree, make some of your baubles edible - out of chocolate, candy, dried fruits & nuts.
When it comes to lighting, use a variety of illumination systems. Wrap fairy & string lights around door frames & banisters, hang them in the windows, pile them up in glass vases, run them across the dining table, or make them into a garland. Use rope lights outside your home - around your windows, doors, pathway and trees. Pile church candles together on the mantel, in large containers, across the dining table or in unused fireplaces. Put scented tea lights in your windows, on shelves and coffee tables.
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E Geller is an interior designer specialising in residential spaces. She is a writer and advisor at diytogether.com on home improvement, decorating & design.