Christmas Home Decor: Tips and Ideas for 2015
Inside Your Home
It's that time again – the most anticipated time of year for many, whether that anticipation is rooted in dread or delight. One thing that remains true for everybody is that December is a month that shines brightly with holiday festivities, impromptu get-togethers and family gatherings, and decorating your home and table is a beautiful way to put the magic of the season into every day.
Indulging all the senses with vibrant colours, delicious aromas and generosity of spirit, the newest Christmas decorating trends are often driven by the fashion industry. If what we’re seeing on the runways this year is any indication, the new holiday decorating looks for 2015 will include a judicious splash of metallics. Expect to see plenty of warm golds, softly frosted silvers, bronze and copper in addition to richly gleaming jewel tones. Ruby and garnet reds pop against shimmering shades of emerald green, and deep amethyst purples are sure to add drama and regal sophistication to your tree, mantle or tabletop displays.
For a striking centerpiece, choose a number of ornaments of all shapes, sizes and textures, and integrate them with natural materials such as pine boughs and birch branches. A table runner in earthy tones is a good basis for your bower. Cut pine or cedar branches in lengths as long as you can manage, and tie them together at the middle with dark colored wire (this will allow you to pick up and move the piece if you need to relocate it). Choose a wide, natural fiber ribbon to thread through the branches, tying into an oversized bow in the center. Attach your ornaments to the ribbon and to the branches, focusing a dense cluster close to the center of the piece to give the illusion of depth. Use primarily red and jewel tones, accented with light coloured gold and green metallic. You can use artificial foliage, but using natural boughs will infuse the air in your home with a fresh scent that practically sings noel. For an added aromatic layer of Christmassy goodness, tie cinnamon sticks together in a bunch, and attach them to the very center of the arrangement.
The perfectly decorated Christmas tree should elevate the natural beauty of the tree to royal proportions. After all, it is the celebration of celebrations, and opulence is the order of the day. While your tree should be lush and dense on its own, the right combination of color, shine and texture will be the backdrop for all the memories you’re going to make. One of the trends we’re seeing in holiday design is in the use of mixed media and layers of natural textures to create a rustic, handmade look. Loosely woven fibers like burlap or jute can be purchased or dyed in shades of the deepest red. Cut eight-inch wide ribbons to create dramatic garlands with which to adorn a tree, or to tie oversized bows onto branches. Trends in tree ornaments this year are leaning towards the rustic also, with plenty of eco-friendly, recycled, upcycled and environmentally conscious materials from which to choose. Paper mache, distressed wood, natural bristle and twigs are just some of the items you may see, lending an organic, natural and earthy feel. Layer these more rustic finds with metallics, wood and fabric for a splash of authentic farmhouse chic.
Your fireplace mantle is the perfect place to show off your most exquisite holiday ornaments. Again, live evergreen boughs serve the dual purpose of bringing the outdoors inside, while infusing the air with a fresh natural pine scent. Think of your mantelpiece as a horizontal tree, and mimic the same decorating scheme. Add height and perspective to your mantle display with some vertical interest: the placement of miniature Christmas trees of varying sizes creates the look of a woodland forest. Vintage sculptures depicting Father Christmas do well to preside over your festivities, as do metal cutout silhouettes of wintery scenes, or oversized candles in contrasting colors. For safety’s sake, always choose non-drip candles, and make sure they are secured into their holders. For those who prefer not to fuss with wax candles, there are many new battery-operated electronic candles that look as lovely and as convincing as the real thing, and come in many fashionable colours to suit your décor.
Besides the tree itself, your holiday table should be the epicenter of yuletide activity. There is nothing that says Christmas quite like a dinner table surrounded by family, and your elegant place settings will be a special touch nobody will forget. In keeping with the woodsy farmhouse theme, choose rustic, patterned linen napkins in dark, contrasting colors, and wrap them in a wired sisal ribbon. Line your place settings with oversized metallic charger plates beneath your serveware, and place the rolled and wrapped napkins on top. Choose matching wine and water goblets. Cut crystal will reflect the romantic shimmer of your candlelight and add to the festive sparkle in the eyes of your guests. Set the table with cutlery for every course: since we use our utensils from the outside in, place salad forks and soup spoons on the outside, the setting for mains on the inside, and those for dessert and coffee along the top. Glassware is always placed above the knife and to the right of the setting, with the water goblet closest to the right hand. To complement the naturally inspired theme, think about choosing a flatware set with a branch motif to tie it all together.
Here’s to a happy, festive and delicious holiday season, with all the trimmings!
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