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Hope, Joy, Peace & Creative Christmas License

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LED trees by Twilight Trees

Christmas is a fantastic excuse to go bonkers in your home. (Yes, that’s a technical design term, now coined by George Clarke, but one I’ve always used so…)

The rest of the year, you might be the doyenne of sophistication, taupe and silver your ‘go-to’ colour palette, however, at Christmas, we have the license to explore. To explore lights, colour, texture and, of course, accessories.


I defy the biggest bah-humbug of us all, not to enjoy the twinkle of Christmas lights and the sensation of ‘home’ that one gets when seeing a beautifully lit porch and a window full of sparkle.

Admittedly there are some who go to town when it comes to lights, reindeers galore, Santa’s grotto ablaze on the lawn. And while it’s not for me to judge, I do feel there are more aesthetically pleasing ways to light the house (and save on excessive electricity bills).


  • Up light trees in the front garden with blue or white lights. Or try Twilight trees for a permanent LED tree that will look stunning all year round.
  • Hang a lantern in the porch. ‘Edison’ bulbs are all the rage at the moment and can add a new look to a traditional lantern shape.
  • Back-light holly trees at either side of the front door.
  • Rope lights look incredibly effective strewn ‘casually’ around the main Christmas tree, or up the banisters or bundled up into large hurricane vases.
  • A cluster of paper lanterns. As single items they look nice, but as a group they have real WOW factor.
  • I still love my LED twig tree. It looks pretty, bare in daylight hours but by night, sitting in a bay window, the lights bounce around, moving in and out and changing colours in as relaxing a way as any real fire. It’s almost meditative.


For the most part we live in a neutral world with the occasional pop of colour. I’m inclined to steer clients towards more harmonious schemes from time to time but the neutral base is an old faithful, be it white, cream, ivory or the more contemporary grey.

However, Christmas lets us celebrate colour with a passion. If you’re desperate to see turquoise, gold, orange, red, purple, teal, silver and greens galore then this is the time of year to experiment.

Screen shot 2015-12-14 at 15.05.33Top tips

  • Use complimentary colours (blue & orange, red & green) in combination.
  • Don’t split 50:50, try 70% gold and 30% purple instead. It feels more ‘natural’.
  • Change cushions to match the decorations. Add a throw too. It feels wonderful to transform the whole house (and equally good in the New Year to change it all back to normal again).
  • White and silver is an amazing choice for those who aren’t wild about colour.
  • Black trees or decorative items can also be effective though feel more ‘party’ or New Year to me, than Christmas.


Texture is the trick to conquer any neutral interior scheme. If you love white (or ivory or taupe) always layer it with a variety of textures – paint, wool, linen, fur, suede, metal, embroidery. These contrasting versions of the same colour will add interest and give a scheme more depth.

At Christmas, there are opportunities galore to add texture, whether you’re sticking with a single colour or mixing and matching.

Add the following:

  • Tinsel (oh I know some of you hate it, but it really is a great combination of colour, light and texture, so I’m for it!). I like to create curtains of colour in the downstairs loo by using an abundance of tinsel. It’s a treat for guests.
  • Change the doormat, texture under foot can be a signal to our minds that there has been change. A nice Christmas message is always well received. Rugs elsewhere would also work but they can be more pricey.
  • Stick baubles to the wall in a tree shape and create another visual focal point (without taking up the area required by a real tree).


Screen shot 2015-12-14 at 15.21.46You can never have enough candles around the fireplace at Christmas time (and some would argue, all year round). Hurricane lamps, lanterns, tea light holders, cathedral candles and candelabras work en masse or individually. Grouping tends to be more effective but a journey of light guiding the eye to a stunning destination is also worth trying.

The use of mirror within the candles and lights adds to the reflective result, polished chrome, or shiny metals will also work. Try using a mirror as a tray for the candles and lights.


Cushions, throws and blankets all add to a cosy environment and contribute to the feeling of ‘let’s stay indoors’ that epitomises wintery Christmas afternoons. And if you’re a knitter, you can make some of these yourself. In fact, take the crafting trend to another level and knit your own baubles! As I said, it’s about creative license. As well as hope, joy, and peace.

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