Households around the UK are getting their trees up and ready for Christmas, but many are still looking for inspiration when it comes to dressing their homes for the big day.
Former contestant of the Great Interior Design Challenge, interior stylist and social influencer, Luke Arthur Wells, has revealed his tips on how to style your home this Christmas including where to start with foliage, how to hang heavier ornaments, and hacks for making your stockings look their best before Santa makes his stops!
Luke has partnered with luxury artificial Christmas tree brand Balsam Hill to dress his home this year. Find out more about Balsam Hill’s collection here.
Decorate in size order
“Playing with scale is a great way to add interest to your decorations. Start with the largest baubles first to make sure these feature decorations are given prime real estate on your tree. Continue down in size order, after all, it’s a lot easier to squeeze in a tiny bauble at the end than the other way around. However, you may want to cluster larger baubles near the base of the tree, slowly making a gradient as you go up the tree to avoid making your tree top heavy, which can make your scheme look unbalanced.”
Start with sprays
“Inserting sprays of foliage, whether real or faux, is a great way to add texture and give a Christmas tree a fuller look. When decorating, start with these so you can map out an even spread across your tree. I like to push them in quite far, so that they’re protruding less than the tree branches so that you can preserve the natural shape of the tree.”
How to hang heavy baubles
“Some of the larger baubles, especially made from glass or ceramics, can weigh down branches on even the best quality trees. Here’s where I’ll look for sprays with thick wire inserts, as these are a lot stronger than tree branches, to hang these baubles on. If you’re not using wire sprays, you can make your own version with a wire coat hanger wrapped in green (or whatever colour your tree is) florist’s tape.”
Fill stockings pre-Christmas
“Obviously your Christmas stockings will only be stuffed with presents on Christmas Day itself, but floppy stockings are not the best look for your Christmas decorating scheme. Stuffing them with tissue paper is a great way to get them to hold their shape while they’re waiting to be filled with gifts.”
Don’t forget about the table!
“One thing that is easy to forget about is a table setting, and once you’re wrestling with a turkey, you might not be so inclined to want to create a beautiful table at the last minute on Christmas day. In previous years, I’ve been known to go and dismantle the wreath off the front door in order to get my hands on some bits to dress the Christmas table, but I’ve learned my lesson to plan it in advance now.
“While I usually love serve-yourself style dinners at the table, Christmas day isn’t the ideal time for this, so try to limit the amount of food that’s not pre-served on a plate. For what you do serve on the table, adding in slightly raised platforms to your tablescape – think legged trays and cake stands – is a great way to not only add drama and height, allowing for decorations to run around the base, but it also makes it easier for people to reach without knocking over the rest of your table decor.
“I think Christmas is all about making those little moments magical, so something as simple as making a DIY bar area with everything you need in one place – whether that’s for festive tipples or just hot chocolates – and some decorations sprinkled around is such a nice little Christmas vignette that all of a sudden making yourself a drink becomes an event for the day.”
Make the most out of a small space
“If you’re decorating a small house, I’d generally go for an artificial tree such as the Balsam Hill Baby Nordmann or the Kensington Flatback. This means you can choose a narrower style of tree to fit your room without eating up valuable floor space unnecessarily. The most common and popular types of Christmas tree tend to be more bottom heavy, with a wide spread even for short trees, while the full-height room sized trees can really take up a lot of space.
“Also consider the vertical space your home has and how that can be used to make an impact. Creating a hanging display over a dining table, for example, won’t get in the way of using the room properly, but it will give you a real focal point in your space.”