CALA Homes has brought together a panel of its interior design experts (Eileen Kesson, Envision Showhomes, Pat Nightingale, Blocc Interiors, Jon Piling, Abode; Felicity Stevens, Haus Interiors) to share some of their top festive design tips and help us all incorporate the very best of their showhome style within our own homes.
What are the top trends when it comes to Christmas décor this year?
Pat: This year at Blocc Interiors, and in fact as a society, we are focussing on the environment and the health of our planet. Christmas decorations reflect this by the choice of materials used. Therefore, we expect to see more painted wood, fabric, and natural materials incorporated within Christmas design, with more subdued colours and warm accents. Aromas such as cinnamon and vanilla are also just as important as visuals to create a homely atmosphere.
Eileen: A key trend we’ve been incorporating into showhomes this season is the ‘White Christmas’ theme. This uses the single colour to gives trees and tables that natural frosted or snow-dusted feel. While it may sound unimaginative to use just one colour, it is actually quite exciting; far from being restrictive, it allows you to be more experimental with the decorations, knowing that the unifying colour will ensure everything works together harmoniously.
Jon: I think Christmas trends this year are harking back to the traditional family Christmases we all know and love. To create the perfect Christmas look, stick to natural greenery, white and clear glass and an accent colour of your choice. There will be a big focus on natural materials too. Recyclable brown paper with red and green ribbon will offer a beautiful organic scene for under your tree. Add a natural holly wreath to your front door to set the scene and then follow the look throughout the house.
Felicity: There are a few trends for Christmas 2020, and depending on your style you can opt for an opulent look – deep navy tones and metallic; an eclectic style featuring novelty baubles and home-made buntings; or even a Nordic style – simplistic, bringing together rustic woods and ceramics with clean lines.
What’s the best way to go about styling your home for Christmas?
Eileen: The first step to styling your home for Christmas is to commit to a theme or colour palette, as this gives the decorating an easier kick-start and helps you to hone in on your design and away from a dizzying display of decorations. Like any form of interior decoration, the best results spring from a commitment to a harmonising, unifying thread running through your design – and this is no different at Christmas.
Pat: It is important to add an element of surprise in certain areas of your home to create focal points and adding an accent hue can achieve this easily. Traditional Christmas colours are always a winner however you can complement these with other, more modern colours such ochre, green, teal or tan.
Jon: Start with a big real Christmas tree with a delicate mix of glass and white baubles, which are timeless and can be used year after year. Also why not try homemade this year? Reminiscent of childhood days spent Christmas crafting, get the whole family involved and make your own paper chains and hand-cut stars to dot throughout your home.
Felicity: Christmas is all about spending time with the ones you love, and enjoying each experience together. Well dressed and balanced interiors are not always symmetrical and structured, so let everyone get involved and don’t worry too much about the end result. Stand back and tweak it as you go along, this way it will develop organically and look far more effortlessly beautiful.
Do you think the pandemic has changed how people view Christmas?
Jon: The aim for Christmas 2020 is to make your house feel like a home. After the year we’ve all had, we need a beautiful retreat where we can spend time with our families and relax. Adding fur throws to your chairs and benches to create a cosy Skandi feel and twinkly ceiling decorations will make the space feel extra magical and inviting for your Christmas guests.
Eileen: Lockdown has certainly focussed us all inward and being homebound for most of the year has made people go all-out! There is a real desire to ‘celebrate’ and the comfort, joy and familiarity of the festive season is doubly important this year. The opportunity to dress up our homes into their ‘Christmas clothes’ is not only fun, but makes our homes feel a little different and exciting to the homes we’ve become all too familiar with.
Pat: Making your surroundings beautiful has always been key at this time of year. Christmas is the season where everyone unifies in decorating their homes – inside and out. Considering the fact that we will spend the holidays mainly within our own homes with limited social interaction, there will be an increased interest in decorating our interiors with extra care and thought.
Felicity: Covid has certainly changed many aspects in our lives, and the majority of Christmas this year will more than likely be spent at home, rather than on holidays, or out socialising. Not only have we seen an increase of people’s interest in their own interiors, we have also seen decorations being put up in people’s homes far sooner than the traditional date of 1st December. The biggest shift I am anticipating is the “home-made” Christmas trend. Keeping ourselves entertained by making our own decorations at home, and flicking through social media to get inspiration will have increased people’s desire to make the most of Christmas this year.
What are no-no’s for interior designers when thinking about Christmas décor?
Felicity: I think that it is important to be expressive when it comes to Christmas decor. Holding yourself back on the decorations is certainly not in the spirit of this Christmas. One way you can ensure that you keep your decorations looking classy and sophisticated is by carefully balancing your polished metallics and not overdoing them. Sticking to an even mix of matte, brushed and polished accessories is an effective and easy way of ensuring you end up with something that looks balanced and elegant. Trends change and adapt each year, and it is important to not only go with the flow, but also look forward and bring new ideas to the table each year.
Eileen: Trees should be heavy with decorations. To avoid overkill, focus on certain areas of the home to decorate, and leave others in their natural state, accentuating key focal points like your tree, fireplace, stairs and table centrepiece. The rooms where you’ll celebrate Christmas are where you’ll get maximum visibility, so it’s more effective to focus on these pockets when it comes to styling.
Pat: It is better to select well-made products than to dress the rooms with lots of cheap glittery items. A corner dressed with candles, big baubles over some greenery and lights will do the trick. You can go for a walk and find interesting branches to put in vases and display a few hanging objects. My only real personal no-no is tinsel. Instead opt for twinkly lights or a string of beads to decorate your tree.
Jon: Our no-no for Christmas is anything fake, with a big emphasis on natural and organic materials. While perhaps it’s an easy option, plastic trees just won’t give the same festive feel and aroma that a real tree will. Also opt against shiny plastic wrapping paper and go for natural jute paper with cute wooden tags.
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