Tis the season… to give your home a stylish and festive makeover.

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image courtesy of House of Fraser

The idea of decorating your home for Christmas can produce a mixed reaction. For those who are quite content with the traditional red and gold tinsel and glitter that they have had for the past twenty years, it is merely a case of routine and dragging the decorations box down from the loft once again. However, like many homes in the region, living room colour schemes simply will not allow for the traditional red and gold so choosing decorations can be more like choosing wallpaper – stressful.

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The number one rule to remember is to coordinate. Simply going out and grabbing piles of tinsel, ornaments and bold decorations because ‘you thought they were nice’ could result in an over-decorated room that looks more like a funfair than a home. For homes that have a specific colour scheme with creams, browns and reds then the more traditional approach will look perfect on the tree. For those with feature colours such as purple or blue, then a silver or white scheme will complement the room brilliantly. Yellow and orange tones work well with gold and white, and for a more contemporary look a dark tree looks good in a room of neutral colour but remember to dress the room with subtlety and coordination. Most shops stock trees and decorations grouped in themes to make it much easier to choose the right sort of decorations.

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Decorating the room is another important factor to consider. It’s pointless dressing a tree in beautiful coordinating colours and then ruining the effect with giant Santa statues and tinsel garlands over the fireplace. The room should be an extension of the tree and the safest option is to take inspiration from what is on the tree. If, for example, the baubles on the tree feature stars or angels, then this could be a running theme throughout the room, alternatively if there is a hint of a certain colour within the tree then emphasise this in further decorations around the rest of the room, adding a very stylish contrast.

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One area that can have a dramatic effect on any room is festive lighting. Subtlety can be easily achieved with fresh and clean white lights as these work well with all colours. However, don’t be scared to use coloured lights as long as they work with the colour scheme. For example, avoid using multicoloured lights with a white and silver scheme as these will create a very mismatched effect. Coloured lights work better with traditional schemes and bright colours.

Finally, for Christmas dinner the rule of coordination still applies. Matching placemats, plates and table cloths will look fantastic but don’t be afraid to use a different colour scheme if the dinner table is in a separate room. Add a bit of festive glitz and glam with quirky and colourful table runners, napkins and napkin rings. Remember, Christmas dinner is meant to be fun so don’t forget the crackers and party poppers!