LIFESTYLE: Decorating for a Welcoming Christmas with Julia Kendell

TV interior designer Julia Kendell gives us some tips on how to best decorate your home for a welcoming Christmas…

There are two big themes in decorating your house for Christmas this year depending on how you have reacted to the past eighteen months and last year’s quieter, more restrained Christmas.

The first theme reflects the bigger connection many of us feel to the natural world. Nature lovers will want to decorate with loads of greenery and foliage, berries and pine cones. Many people are carrying on with skills learned in lockdown so there will be handcrafted decorations in paper, linen and felt. Hand cut paper stars and hanging honeycomb paper balls will be big this year.

Olive and terracotta colours suit this more natural theme so expect to see these colours in tree decorations and on mantlepieces and tables. I’m going for dark green and mustard as my Christmas colours this year so it may be time to experiment with some of these less traditional and more natural Christmas colours.

Make Christmas more sustainable by using fabric to wrap presents in the Japanese furoshiki style. Decorate your fabric wrapped parcels with foliage or feathers and you will avoid using non-recyclable glittery paper. Consider small fabric wrapped parcels on the Christmas table instead of traditional crackers.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is the ‘more is more’ brigade who want to make up for last year’s damp squib of a Christmas with an injection of shine, colour and sparkle.  Magenta and jewel colours will suit these maximalist decorators and animal print is also on the table – and the Christmas tree – in the form of decorated baubles and even jungle creature decorations and octopus bottle holders. Try quirky decorations which will put a smile on your face.

Maximalists may want to mix gold and silver colours together which is a trend for Christmas 2021 and they will definitely want to double up on the usual number of fairy lights. Tinsel is also back on the decoration menu for maximalists who will enjoy the instant fun and shine it brings.

Bringing a tree and all the decorations into the house means something may have to go if you are welcoming guests over Christmas. Be sure to de-clutter well before the big day and move any temporarily unwanted items into the loft or garage. Make sure there is room in the entrance hall for visitors to leave coats and boots.

Anticipate the needs of overnight guests and make sure chargers and extension cables are available. Leave out a tray of tea, coffee, mugs and sugar and consider setting up a wrapping station with paper, scissors and sellotape for those last-minute presents.

Make staying in your home over Christmas a total sensory experience by dimming or turning off lights and enjoying the magic of candlelight.  And keep a pot of cheap mulled wine on the go so that the house fills with the spicy smells of Christmas.

Room Design Discount

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Julia is the design expert at the South East Homebuilding & Renovating Show and is best known as the interior designer on BBC1’s hugely popular DIY SOS, and as a regular on ITV1’s 60 Minute Makeover series, and ITV’s Rebuild Our Home. She has regularly contributed to GMTV, This Morning, Live with Gabby, BBC Breakfast and the Alan Titchmarsh Show. Julia has just launched a new Virtual Room Design Service to provide her interior expertise online to those needing help to create well-functioning and fabulous rooms.

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Minerva Studio
Author: Minerva Studio