I have a turkey bone to pick with Christmas. Much as I love an excuse to glitter up my home and open a bottle of champagne (not that an excuse is ever needed in either case), I have serious issues with Christmas’s colour scheme. Because while I’m a big fan of clashing colours when it comes to interiors, the one combo I just can’t stand is the yuletide favourite: red and green.
As for the festive season’s sense of style, surely it’s getting a bit dated? I for one have had enough rotund robins, snow-dusted Santas and magical mistletoe to last a lifetime. Luckily for me, and anyone who feels similarly, many retailers have also decided that Christmas décor is in desperate need of a makeover. Including Marks & Spencer, who asked me to tell them how I brought my pinked-up personal style to Christmas (have a read here).
“Tinsel and snowflakes don’t work for everyone,” says DFS design director Philip Watkin, who believes that when it comes to Christmas decorations, you should go with a “throw out the rule book” approach, and choose a theme that feels right for your home: “Your home is your personal space, so it’s important you create a cosy Christmas space that works for you.”
I couldn’t agree more, which is why I’ve come up with five non-trad tips to help you decorate your way this Christmas, while keeping things cosy…
1) Rainbow brights
As Christmas comes at the darkest time of year, it makes sense to guard against the gloom with your decorations. Luckily, there’s an increasingly wide range of non-boring hues to choose from on the festive décor front. How about this rainbow baubles and tinsel garland (£14, Rockett St George) for starters – instead of chucking it on the tree, try draping it round a window, winding it up the banister or arranging it on the mantelpiece. Or if you want to take things even further from robins and reindeer, Paperchase has a range of rainbow decorations in its Mexicana collection, complete with cactuses, pineapples and pink Christmas trees.
2) Fabulous furnishings
If, like me, you believe Christmas is for life, not just for Christmas, you might want to use the festive season as an opportunity to update your home décor. A jewel-bright, velvet sofa is ALWAYS a good idea, and I love this deep purple Gower velvet medium sofa from DFS (£998). It’s dark enough to act as a foil for a flurry of brightly-coloured cushions, including this Tretchikoff cushion from Graham & Green (£65), a range which reimagines Vladimir Tretchikoff’s portraits of women in traditional dress around the world. Add a copper floor lamp (try the Metal Bow copper lamp from 4Living.co.uk, current on sale at £242), a Christmas tree and some white fairy lights (any good garden centre) and you’re ready for the alternative Queen’s speech.
3) Drink and be merry
The ideal way to decorate your house at Christmas is with beautiful things you can drink out of. I’m a fan of these gorgeous gold ombre wine glasses from MiaFleur (£34 for 4), and why not nab yourself their decorative gilt drinks stand (£195) while you’re at it. If the whole mulled wine thing is too old school for you, how about making yourself a nice big festive pot of tea in this celebratory Gold Star teapot (Rockett St George, £45).
4) Beats baubles
If you’re a pom-pom fanatic (that’s me), why not use them in place of baubles – I love Pom Pom Galore’s pom-pom wool wreath (£39), pom-pom neon baubles (£15 for four) and magenta pom-pom fairy lights (£25) - click HERE for Pom Pom Galore's Xmas shop. Another of my go-to decor favourites is Yonder Living – these Peruvian tree decorations, £8.50 each, are handmade from llama wool. For a bright alternative to the standard star, try Paperchase’s pom-pom tree topper, £6.
5) Alternative animals
Just because you don’t want a partridge in a pear tree, doesn’t mean your Christmas tree has to lack wildlife – you just need a bit of imagination. How does Rockett St George’s Gentleman Stag decoration, complete with monocle and sparkly top hat (£12) grab you? Not weird enough? Perhaps I can interest you in Paperchase’s tree decorations: there’s a sparkly unicorn (£8), a sequinned flamingo (£5), and, for the true non-traditionalist, there’s always a green cheerleading alligator (£8). Just don’t put it next to a red robin…