When it comes to decorating your home’s bedrooms for Christmas, it’s very often only children’s spaces that get a look in. From twinkling fairy lights to the stocking hung on the end of their bed, to their own miniature Christmas tree. But how about your bedroom? And what about guests’? Read on for a few ways to bring the spirit of the festive season into these upstairs spaces, whether you want to go all-out or barely there.
If you only do one thing to ‘decorate’ your bedrooms this Christmas, make it all about the lighting. Nothing else has such an impact on how cosy, welcoming and cheering a space feels. It can be as simple as making sure each side of the bed has a reading lamp. Always choose warm-white bulbs – you’re looking for a 2700K rating. And, if you can, include both a targeted reading light (try our Rathbone or an adjustable wall light like Byron) with a brighter bulb – at least 450 lumens – and a dimmer table lamp that creates a generally soothing ambience.
The basics sorted, you can move on to more festive lighting. Fairy lights are undeniably Christmassy, but our advice is to keep them understated in bedrooms: you want a gentle glow to help you wind down. Again, opt for warm white rather than coloured or cool-toned bulbs, and still rather than twinkling. Wired fairy lights are a good choice too – the sort, like our Grosvenor, that come on a fine, silvery wire rather than a plastic flex – as the LEDs are generally so much smaller and subtler. They’re usually battery-powered too, avoiding the distracting sight of trailing cables.
Finally, turn to candlelight. Use it alongside fairy lights or instead of, but don’t miss it out – even one tealight on a bedside table can make all the difference to how special a space feels. If candles are a feature of your bedroom all year round, make the distinction between everyday and Christmassy by choosing mercurised, brass and silver-toned holders instead of plain glass. Or up the ante with tealights, pillar candles and tapers on every surface (a lovely way to welcome guests when they first arrive).
Texture, like lighting, is another aspect of your Christmas bedroom that’ll set the tone for a cosy wintery setting as much as a festive one. Think layers: drape a couple of blankets over your bed – one large one that can stay on overnight and a second for extra warmth when you first get in – and use both a large area rug on the floor as well as smaller, high pile rugs (like sheepskins) where you step out of bed in the morning. Then swap the cotton and linen textures of spring and summer for wool and velvet to give the impression of cosiness as soon as you walk in the room. Cushions and lampshades are both quick and relatively inexpensive ways to do that.
You might not have trees in your bedrooms, but you can still use greenery to its full advantage. Bring in that same sense of life and vitality with evergreens draped simply over mirrors or picture frames. Or place a small seasonal posy on the bedside table. You could even include a wreath and hang it from the window frame or above the bed. Whichever way, just opt for a restrained palette of silvery greens, white and gold for a look that’s wintery but restful – eucalyptus, mistletoe, twiggy branches, gold-dusted berries and dried foliage (try our handmade Norbury and Wisley wreaths) will all work.
There isn’t quite as much call for Christmas decorations in the bedroom as there is downstairs, but they can still make their way in here and there. Hint at what’s to come before you even walk in with a tiny decoration hung over the door’s handle, then do the same inside on wardrobes and chests of drawers – Aylmer, Floe and Mansell are all a suitably miniature size. You could also slip larger baubles in amongst candles and vases on dressing tables.
One of our favourite things to include in a December guest bedroom is a small wrapped gift or two. Present your visitors with little luxuries that they can use during their stay – delicately-scented toiletries and a relaxing pillow spray – and place on a bedside table or arrange a little pile at the end of the bed. That way, the excitement for the big day will start as soon as they arrive.
Another detail that’s lovely to come across in a guest room – as decorative as it is practical – is a glass carafe filled with water and a tumbler for when post-Christmas dinner thirst strikes. As an extra little touch at this time of year, we’ll sit by its side a jar of gingerbread biscuits too. Leave a tray on the end of the bed as well (you could use it pile your wrapped presents on or for a display of seasonal stems) and early risers will feel more than welcome to take cups of tea back to bed with them.