Decorating your home for Christmas is an exercise of tree going up, decorations being hung, festive candles coming out and fairy lights being strung. But if you step back to focus on the feeling that you get when the decorations box comes down, whether you’re wee or all grown up – the sense of magic, the infectious merriment, the memories of the sentimental and the nostalgic – is it not those stirrings that you want to capture wherever you turn? Here, we share some of our key considerations for Christmas updates to your home so that their presence can be appreciated from the moment you approach a room to the time spent inside it.
Something that struck us during a design trip to Scandinavia a few years ago was just how beautifully their window scenes were from the outside-in. Walking through the snow-covered streets of Stockholm, hoods up and heads up, taking in candelabra-filled window after window, highlighted how even the simplest of touches can create quite the festive spectacle. It’s almost impossible to not then picture what charming canvas lies within – homemade gingerbread Christmas biscuits, a present-laden sheepskin rug under the tree and mulled wine simmering on the stove surely?
It reminds us every year to think about interior decoration from a different perspective. Imagine how your house looks as you return home and walk up to the front door. Is a wreath hung to greet you? Is there a smaller, outdoor tree potted in the garden or a lantern or two nestled by the garden step? Are there candlesticks on the window ledges visible from the pavements below? Are there hanging decorations dangling down in the windowpanes – ones that will catch the light thrown from streetlamps outside – or are the spindles of a Christmas tree overlapping with the window so you can peer through and see bauble-bobbing branches? These are all questions worthy of asking. You don’t necessarily need to do them all – just a soupçon of the Scandinavian mindset will do the trick.
Once inside, when deciding where to position certain decorations, be mindful of the different angles and viewpoints from which they’ll be appreciated. The doorway deserves a huge amount of thought. It’s through here that you catch your first glimpse, so walk out and then walk back in slowly from the different directions that you might take and take note of which elements of the room you see first. Then, plan out how you can decorate the room so that those viewpoints are maximised. It might only be the tiniest of aspects that your eye picks up, but no detail will go unnoticed. Even the smallest of side tables can be positioned completely filled with different tea light holders – Christmas is a time for extravagance after all.
The same applies for when you leave the room too. Do you exit the dining room with the sitting room in view and so could place the tree in that line of sight? Or do you walk from kitchen to dining room and can spy the end of the table as you get closer? If so, why not spread your centrepiece down the full length of the table so that candlesticks are there to be seen before you’re even in the room? What about the staircase? By decorating its steps and spindles, there’s a promise that the Christmas spirit continues as you move further up the house.
Your home deserves at least one extra-special Christmas statement. It doesn’t have to be the tree, it can be something other than the oversized wreath, but it should be one area that makes you feel the most festive and the most merry of all. Not only will you enjoy it all December long, but it will be the feature that you look forward to seeing as soon as you get through the front door. It’ll make you feel warm and fuzzy when you think of it. It’s the decoration that’s the definition of being out-of-sight but in no way out-of-mind.
Perhaps it’s a traditional hand-carved, wooden advent calendar that takes pride of place on the sitting room window ledge with tall, tapered candles slotted inside waiting for their moment to shine. Or maybe it’s the bushy pine garland draped over your mantel with jewel-coloured velvet stockings hanging above the fire that tell the Christmas tale of indulgence. It’s touches like these that remind you to make the most of this short spell of breaking away from the rest of the year’s rituals. It’s touches like these that remind you of the magic whether you’re home or away…
Explore our Christmas collection here.