One of the best things about decorating the house at Christmas time is bringing down the box of decorations from the loft and sorting through them with the family. For many it becomes a family tradition that starts the festive season before setting off to buy the Christmas tree.
It’s very tempting to use everything in the box, even ones that are past their best or decorations you’ve only kept because a child made them twenty years ago at nursery school and (secretly) you loathe them. Add the beautiful baubles that you bought this year and you can end up with an overpowering jumbled display instead of a stylish Christmas home.
It’s best to sort through the decorations and to throw away the ones that you hate or are damaged beyond repair. Use the ones that you love and that fit with your colour scheme this year and leave everything else in the box for another year. It’s easier said than done but simply being selective and putting a few things back in the box will make room for the pretty new baubles.
Once you’ve chosen your best Christmas decorations, show them off by mixing with natural vegetation. Use the colours of berries and twigs to enhance the colours of your baubles and use glossy evergreens as a fabulous backdrop; just think how great your decorations look on a natural Christmas tree. Let arrangments of natural objects take centre stage in some rooms, adding simplicity and elegance to your festive decorating.
Here are a few of our favourite ways to use natural decorations for Christmas.
Arrange seed heads, branches and berries
An arrangement of evergreen branches in a vase makes a great alternative to a full-sized Christmas tree if space is limited, especially if you hang a few small decorations.
Put seed heads and sprays of berries into old bottles, tins or jugs. If the seed heads and twiggy branches look a bit brown and dull, spray some of them silver, gold or white or thread fairy lights amongst them.
Put tiny bunches of dried flowers, seed heads, rosehips or herbs into small glasses to decorate the dining table or tie the bunches with wire and ribbon to decorate napkins.
Stand candles and tea lights in glass holders or tins and surround with green foliage, pine cones and berries.
Mix natural and faux foliage with baubles on a chandelier
In the photo above, bunches of faux flowers and mistletoe have been attached to the twiggy chandelier along with trailing ivy and fir tree foliage. Green and white baubles were then hung at different levels. The easiest way to attach everything is to use simple wire decoration hangers.
Suspend a hula hoop from the ceiling
If you don’t have a chandelier, suspend a foliage covered hula hoop from the ceiling and decorate it with baubles, berries, cinnamon sticks and dried orange slices.
Make a garland of pine cones
Tie pine cones onto a length of twine to make a simple garland. Add some pom poms (a must have trend this Christmas) to give a little colour.
Make a miniature garland with rosehips
Thread rosehips onto wire and bend into a circle or heart shape. Alternatively, use a length of cotton thread and dangle the rosehips from a hook or drape them along a shelf or table.
Make a rustic wreath
Make a rustic wreath from holly, ivy and trimmings from your Christmas tree. Follow these easy instructions for making a simple rustic wreath and decorate with rosehips, faux berries, cinnamon sticks, dried orange slices, teasels, pine cones, feathers … Hang it on your door, on a window, on the wall or from the ceiling. Lay it flat and use it as a table decoration.
Pop a spring of holly behind the pictures on the wall
I’m not sure if anyone has done that since 1970, but maybe it’s time for a revival.
Now you just need to find a pair of secateurs and take a walk outside to gather foliage, berries, seed heads, fir cones and branches bring them inside to create a stylish, natural Christmas home.
Maybe it will be the start of a new family tradition.