If you’re spending Christmas at home, alone with Santa or entertaining others, there’s no doubt that your living room and dining room will take centre stage. Decorating the two for the big day can be a big job but with some clever finishing touches, you don’t necessarily need to invest lots of time or money into it. Instead, you can incorporate decorating into a festive fun day or evening and really enjoy it. 

A family celebrating Christmas together in their open plan kitchen

Here are our top tips for getting your living room and diner in the festive spirit this season… we ho ho hope they inspire you!

Introduce luxury textures

Perhaps not an outwardly obvious specific decoration but certainly something seasonal, including accents in to your soft furnishings of rich velvets and plush tweed in warm clarets, forest greens and metallics can give a cosy and hygge feeling even through the cold winter months. Add in a soft rug and hang big fluffy socks in easy reach for guests to grab whenever they need them!

Consider all white

If you love Christmas but feel traditional décor a little garish, an elegant take on interior design can be to introduce a white-on-white colour palette. Monotone combined with either ivy greens (ideal if you have cuttings from the garden to include) or silver provides a dazzling seasonal aesthetic without appearing ‘too much’ and works with almost every possible existing colour scheme.

A temporary hot chocolate station

Set up a temporary bar

Not many of us still benefit from a 1970s-esque bar in the living room, but why not bring it back for the time of year that we all drink the most? Setting up a temporary bar in your living or dining room can be done easily and without much investment; just clear off a sideboard or table corner and place scenic drinking paraphernalia on. Novelty glasses and straws can be purchased cheaply or you can buy more premium matching options to use year-round.

Embrace the homemade touch

There are few occasions to bring out paper crafts for décor, but Christmas is definitely one of them! Getting crafty and making tree toppers, paper chains and stars gives a lovely humble finish to your decorations without looking too amateur or childish. Mix and match on different colours and finishes of the paper and card used and don’t be afraid to use hues that aren’t necessarily traditionally ‘Christmassy’ – it will be obvious it’s for festive purposes even if it’s not in red, green or gold.

Hang a statement wreath

Wreaths are often just considered a front door decoration but they make for a fantastic focal point indoors too. Hanging a statement wreath – homemade or store-bought – above a fireplace or using it as a centrepiece to the dinner table creates an eye-catching look and delivers a festive feeling even if it is not a traditional one. Add in dried orange slices, split berries and eucalyptus leaves to make the room smell great, too!

Curate a sideboard landscape

If you’ve not taken up too much of your sideboard or shelves with a temporary bar, curate a landscape or curated Christmas display across it. This could include a nativity scene, candles or just ornaments and decorations in a design. 

Foliage used as a table centre piece

Get foraging!

If you have a forest or woods nearby, get out and make an occasion of foraging for festive foliage. Bundles of cinnamon sticks in bowls with pine cones and cloves makes for fantastic fragrant seasonal pot-pourri. Classic Christmas plants such as holly leaves, mistletoe and fir can be hung around the home and tied up with ribbon to give a cosy and warm aesthetic throughout. Be wary of pines falling through – as with a real Christmas tree, if you have shedding plants, you may need to hoover up debris every or every other day.

Get ambient with lighting

Cosy winter evenings can be made to feel quaint and warm through the use of ambient lighting; so turn that big light off and get on with accent lamps and candles! Scented candles dotted around a room give a festive glow throughout. Advent candles are popular features in homes throughout Scandinavia and Eastern Europe and can now be purchased in the UK, so incorporate one of these for a continental feel. 

Hang your Christmas cards

Christmas cards are usually written and sent with warm and loving intention – yet frequently opened, read, and promptly chucked in the recycling bin. Take advantage of all the well wishes adorned in festive imagery by pinning cards to ribbon (either in your theme colour, metallic or patterned) and hanging strands of cards across walls or doors. This can be done vertically and horizontally and will help jog your memory for any names you’ve forgotten to pop in the post just yet!

Make your feast the focus

There are few dinners better than the Christmas carvery; and it’s no mean feat to cook, so why not highlight it as special? Table settings can be as simple or showy as you like, but don’t overly decorate your dining room or you’ll draw the eye away from the beautiful meal being laid out upon it. Simple glass vases with minimal foliage create a luxe table setting without diverting attention and decorating chairs with ribbons or festive cushions keeps things comfy – but covered, once everyone has sat down. Keep your table centrepiece not too extravagant… and don’t forget to take some photos of your brilliant cooking to showcase on social media.

A wreath on a door

Decorating your home for Christmas can be brilliantly fun and festive with the whole family involved, so don’t shy away from getting to it. Setting aside a day or evening at the beginning of December is a great way to kick off advent and to get everyone in the festive mood for the month ahead. Keep your home merry and bright… and your mood will follow. 

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