Transform your home this December with our speedy Christmas decoration hacks…
The Christmas tunes have already started playing and the festive lights are sparkling, which means it's only a matter of time until we need to start decking the halls with tinsel, holly, ivy and all your other Christmas decorations!
We all long for a home that looks as festive as the Home Alone house – right? That stylish staircase, the idyllic door wreath… it's the perfect winter wonderland! But we don't all have the time, or the money, to commit to an extravagant Christmas display.
The good news is, you don't have to!
With just a few small tweaks to your decor, you can transform your home into a Christmas wonderland without having to splash the cash.
To help you on your way to achieving a fast festive interior, we teamed up with Oak Furnitureland and Joanna Thornhill to bring you some speedy decorating hacks that will take your home from drab to fab in no time at all!
Take a look and see which ones could help transform your home this December…
1. No tree? No problem
Any holiday films we watch will include trees that are tall enough to put Trafalgar Square's to shame - however, the reality is many of us will be tight on space, and that's before we fit in a big tree.
If you simply don't have the square footage or are looking for alternative options, there are ideas to try that can be done to achieve a festive look, even without a tree.
Joanna recommends making the most of the interesting architectural features such as beams or banisters. For instance, why not try weaving some cut ivy from the garden around these? You can then include some micro-lights, hiding the battery pack somewhere inconspicuous.
Alternatively, you can turn an existing tall houseplant into a stand-in tree, giving it some lightweight miniature baubles to provide decoration. If you prefer a more minimalist Scandi look, you may prefer a sculptural foraged tree branch, finished with simple ceramic stars or felt garlands.
2. Christmas made cosy
Charging out to buy a new three-piece suite that fits in with your festive décor is, frankly, not a realistic option. However, you could try giving your existing soft furniture pieces a Christmas transformation. If you already have an armchair or accent chair that has red or green fabric - or even upholstered tartan - you get a perfect foil for the traditional or woodland alpine look.
Even if you do not, you can always add the colours and patterns by using some cosy wool cushions and throws. The chunky knits and herringbone complement these beautifully and looking out for accent pieces which have antler or star designs will provide you with a gentle festive nod.
The same rules apply to bedlinen too.
Lighting candles, sparking a fire and turning the Christmas tunes will be the finishing touches to ensure you're all set.
3. Treat your table
The Christmas dinner will inevitably mean you're squeezing extra guests in around the dining table.
All you need to do is think creatively - for instance, add a bench along one side if you're looking to squeeze in extra people. It has the bonus of providing a more relaxed and less formal air too.
If you do have the extra chairs but are concerned about the appearance being too random, you could try and keep a common thread by opting for the similar upholstery or a wood finish. Alternatively, place the mismatched ones at either end.
If you manage to get the heights right, you could get a sturdy lamp table topped up with a cushion to do the job if that's all that you have left. For the inexpensive quick fixes, you can jazz up your table top itself, by turning to nature. Decorating a runner with chunky pine cones, conifer cuttings and some classic clove-studded clementines before mixing in the odd sparkly bauble is an effortless look.
4. Get guest ready
Help your overnight guests feel welcome by incorporating some thoughtful touches.
For instance, if you're putting them up in a spare room, you can always use the bedframe to add some décor such as fairy lights or a pretty garland. Alternatively, if they're sleeping on a sofa bed, try to fixing some paper stars to the wall to achieve more of a whimsical look, before securing them in place with a couple of small nails (these could be held in place with some Washi tape if you don't want to damage the walls).
5. Utilise the display space
Cabinets don't just need to be for crockery - you can use a display cabinet, shelving unit or even a spare ledge if you're looking to create a yuletide display that's worthy of an Insta-post.
Simply gather a selection of your favourite festive ornaments (reindeers or nutcrackers, for instance), and work these in with some festive candlesticks and seasonal flowering plants (how about sweet scented blooms like hyacinths, paper whites and pretty viola?). You can also maximise your usage of your tableware too, by using statement crackers on a platter, or cranking up the glamour of a bowl of fruit by dusting it with icing sugar to achieve a snow-tinged look. Beaded garlands that are woven amongst your props are guaranteed to beautifully twinkle against the warm candlelight too, letting you finish things off to perfection.
6. Get stuck in
If you're hosting a more informal get together or its drinks and nibbles as opposed to a dinner party feast, having a drinks and nibbles station in the corner can be a novel and time-saving addition. For instance, a sideboard or console table can do just as good a job as a bar cart, so why not fill yours with bottles of drink, glasses, an ice bucket and anything else a guest is likely to need? You can then point them in the right direction. Writing out a menu of suggested drinks 'recipes' on a chalkboard will be a thoughtful addition, letting any would-be mixologists show off their skills. Alternatively, a more family-friendly affair, think about a Hot Chocolate Station, including mini marshmallows, sprinkles and whipped cream.
Image: Decadant Living Room by Joanna Thornhill / Woodland Tabletop Styling by Joanna Thornhill