We’ve rounded up our interior design team’s five top hacks to get your home ready for the festivities, with decorating tips, Christmas crafting ideas and gift inspiration to bring a little Christmas magic to your home this year.
1. Indulge in Christmas craft with the whole family
Hand crafting your own Christmas decorations is fun, sustainable and satisfying – not to mention right on trend! Our interior designers love creating handmade, rustic items for our show homes. This year they’re taking their inspiration from rural homesteads and the “cottagecore” trend, which is all about creating comforting designs with their roots in nature and self-sufficiency.
Redrow’s interior design manager Alysha Alli explains: “Handcrafting is all about slowing the pace of life down and expressing your inner creativity. You can bring the outdoors inside your home by using natural materials such as woven hessian to make table settings, clay to make gift labels and even brown paper to create your own personalised printed wrapping paper. Woodland influences are everywhere, as are earthy tones of brown and sage green with a hint of burnished gold leaf.”
2. Decorate your Christmas tree like a pro
Have you ever wondered how the interior experts decorate their own Christmas trees? Alysha says: “There are a couple of golden rules to follow, but how you decorate your Christmas tree is very personal to you and your family. Start with the lights, as you don’t want to see wires showing in front of your decorations. Then hang any garlands or strings of decorations starting at the tops and working your way down. Next position your key pieces where they’ll be most visible and then finish by adding the smaller baubles.
“Don’t try too hard to make it look perfect – celebrating natural imperfection is still a huge interior trend. If you’re in need of style inspiration, think carved wooden stars and disks, hand folded paper baubles, and natural elements like pine cones and tied bundles of cinnamon sticks.”
3. Fill your home with festive scents
From scented candles and wax melts to natural sprigs of woodland greenery – filling your home with the best Christmas aromas is sure to give you all the festive feels. Alysha suggests: “You can change up your home fragrances to suit your mood or the time of day. Fresh scents of the outdoors such as pine from a real Christmas tree can be complemented by other fragrances from nature like eucalyptus, sandalwood, cinnamon and red berries. Baking homemade gingerbread can also provide the most wonderful smell throughout your home and is really easy to make!
“You may also like to introduce some more indulgent fragrances to create a relaxing evening ambience or for a well-deserved pamper session. We love scented bath oils such as Jo Malone’s Pomegranate Noir bath oil and aromatherapy diffusers and scented candles such as John Lewis’s Winter Spice set.”
4. Set the mood with ambient lighting
Christmas creates the perfect opportunity to create an array of effects with lighting in your home. Alysha says: “Fewer hours of daylight can really influence our mood so it’s very important to get the lighting right in your home at this time of year. Spotlights create a fantastic effect in large open plan spaces and are the closest thing natural light, while lower level lighting such as table lamps provide the perfect ambience in which to relax in family rooms and formal lounges. Combinations of mixed metallic, painted ceramics and eglomised glass look wonderful for lamp bases while we also love natural textures of concrete and plaster.
“You can also introduce lighting in your Christmas decorations, which is where we like to indulge in the trend for “Yuletide glam”. Festoon lighting is a particular favourite of ours indoors and out, and you can also light up your home with glass lanterns or go all out with a brushed dull gold candelabra.”
5. Rethink the gift of nothing
Christmas does not have to be a time for excess. Many of us are counting the pennies a little more this year, so it could be time to overhaul how we approach gift buying. Gifts with thought and meaning can be worth so much more to a loved one than those with the highest price tag.
Alysha says: “I love giving hand-decorated gratitude boxes or jars to loved ones with trinkets and reminders of why they mean so much to me. The recipient can then add tokens, mementos and notes to the box or jar for everything they are grateful for, and it can have a really positive effect on how we think about our lives.
“Likewise, you could gift friends and family with a journal and either decorate it yourself or handwrite a note on the first page. There are lots of ways you can give the gift of love and positivity without spending a fortune and those are often the gifts that people will cherish long after that expensive handbag has gone out of fashion or they’ve sprayed the last of the pricey perfume.”