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Top ideas for a warm and cosy festive home

Bring festive cheer to your home this year

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1. The Christmas tree is often the main feature of decorating your home for the festive season, so place it in the room you will use the most. Putting the tree by the window gives a vision of warmth and comfort to you and your visitors before you have even come inside, or putting it next to the fireplace gives a fantastically traditional setting for Christmas morning.

2. Alternatively you could have trees in a number of rooms, which can be decorated to suit their environment – for example an edible selection of treats for the kitchen tree, and a tiny tree or just a decorated branch for the children’s rooms with wooden trains, soldiers, drums and fairies.

3. If you are using a traditional Christmas colour scheme of red and green, make one colour more dominant than the other such as lots of red with a splash of green as this will be more pleasing on the eye.

4. Alternatively, a theme focusing on metallics could incorporate browns, oranges and golds, as well as amber and bronze to bring warmth to your decor. Find branches of mottled oak leaves and create a display or a wreath using small bronze beads or gold acrylic drops.

5. Glass can bring a stunning ice effect to your decorations. Choose a glass sculpture for the entranceway, or place baubles in decorative glass bowls for the table.

6. A Jack Frost theme of white, silver and aqua will bring about a wintery charm. Choose a white berry garland that will add sparkle, or icicle lights for the tree. Crystals and clear baubles in floral decorations will glisten nicely – try them with a combination of white ranunculus, tulips and hyacinths for a stunning scent.

7. A more decadent look can be achieved using heavier materials such as velvet. Mix rich red, purple and blues together for a sumptuous style. A purple feather wreath would welcome the theme warmly and velvet Christmas sacks and velvet skirts for under the tree will look gorgeously effective.

8. Bringing the outside in is a fundamental part of Christmas decorating, and alongside the tree, holly and ivy look fabulous with traditional amaryllis and roses. Try creating a spray of lush green over a painting or on a mantle piece, or use a berry-covered branch to display your Christmas cards.

star anise wreath

9. Christmas wreaths also come in all shapes, textures and colours now, as well as the traditional green. Rings of bells will make a musical front door, or a feather version in unexpected hues such as aubergine, or even lime, will make an original statement. Twig wreaths for the minimalist can be enhanced with sticks of cinnamon, and a ring of eucalyptus or tiny fresh flowers would make a wonderfully scented arrangement.

10. Lighting is key at this time of year, and a beautifully lit house is a welcoming sight at the end of the working day. Fibre optic displays will bounce light around in windows and rope lights look glorious under the tree. For high ceilings, a chandelier will bring the ultimate decadence to your home.

11. Candles come into their own at Christmas and a show of differing types and sizes look wonderful when combined with interesting vases. Candles also glow beautifully through cutwork metal and ceramic.

12. Outdoor lighting can also have a transformative effect on your home. A well-chosen lantern for the porch will provide a festively warm welcome, or contemporary wall lights that pick out feature stone or house numbers add to the outdoor décor. If you are have them then pick out niches, columns or other architectural features to celebrate the façade of your home, or decorate a choice shrub or tree instead to highlight your good taste.

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