I love to decorate for Christmas, but I do concentrate my efforts on key areas, rather than putting festive touches all around the house.
Aside from my Christmas tree, I always ensure my dining table and living room mantelpiece are beautifully decked out. These are the areas guests will focus on, and I will use seasonal foliage and candlelight to make them magical. Then, for me, it's all about comfort and creating a warm welcome. This is how I do it.
Birdie’s creative journey started when she worked at Percy Bass, an interiors shop and design service on Walton Street. Birdie then went on to join Imogen Taylor’s team at Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler’s old premises in Mayfair. Many buying trips later and with a decorative antiques course from the V&A Museum under her belt, Birdie decided to set up her own antiques business. Establishing the business in Norfolk in 2014, Birdie initially focused on sourcing homeware from Scandinavia, pieces that weren’t easily found in the UK, before creating her own designs. From block-printed fabrics to unusual table lamps Birdie’s discerning eye enables her to create unique designs that sit comfortably alongside the antiques and contemporary art sourced from artists both local and further afield.
When it comes to decorating your house for Christmas, I find creating memorable tablescaping the most enjoyable. It is such a special time and there is so much satisfaction in dressing up your table to mark an occasion.
Bring out your most loved and special tableware and glasses and add in subtle seasonal touches to make the scheme sing. Here I have carried a Japanese theme through the table settings with the trailing Peony tablecloth and Shashiko stitching of the linens.
I find that the mix of the celadon greens and pinks in the tablecloth create an interesting contrast with the traditional greenery in the decoration and give the table another dimension.
Tablecloths are an easy win when it comes to dressing a table for an occasion and can quickly take your scheme from every day to elevated. Lay your tablecloth with coordinating rather than matching linens and stacks of mismatched ceramics for an interesting but harmonious look.
An abundance of seasonal foliage and candles of varying heights and colors are great centerpieces for a table all year round, but work particularly well at Christmas. Opt for berries and eucalyptus rather than holly for a more contemporary Christmas table centerpiece and weave it through a scattering of candlesticks.
For a smart, cohesive look, carry the colors used on your table throughout the whole room as a visual thread – colors in the table linens might reflect the paint color on the walls and floral arrangements could pick out the tones of a key painting.
2. Dress a mantelpiece
Dressing your mantelpiece is a fun and easy win for injecting Christmas spirit into your interior.
Not only will this add visual impact, but it will also bring a wonderful, seasonal scent to the room. Intersperse your garland with candlesticks – adding candles to a mantelpiece is something I wouldn’t do all year round and so it feels particularly special and festive at Christmas.
Use candlesticks in coordinating tones and varying heights to create visual balance. There is nothing more inviting than a candlelit room so this is a quick fix for creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for your family and friends to enjoy!
3. Make the living room cozy
When it comes to styling your home for Christmas, sometimes less is more – try to avoid making every room an extension of your Christmas tree!
In a living room, the main focus I feel should be on the comfort and luxury created through sumptuous soft furnishings and low-level lighting. Soft textures, rich colors and woven textiles are perfect for this time of year and will add warmth and depth to your interior while giving your room a totally layered and interesting look.
Here I have interspersed cushions in earthy-tones with velvets in bold seasonal colors. Remember to work with your existing scheme when adding in layers of print and pattern – draw out the key colors in your room and use these in varying tones and textures, combining soft hues with the occasional pop of color. Aim for balanced asymmetry in your arrangements and don’t be afraid to mix patterns!
Living rooms are perhaps the most-used room in a house, particularly in the winter months, so aim to create a cocooning atmosphere where you can spend long, relaxing and peaceful evenings.
Well-chosen living room lighting is essential to achieving this – create a warm, welcoming ambience with a combination of table lamps and wall lights rather than overhead lighting. Play with coordinating patterns in your lampshades and mix these with some neutral shades for interest.
Finally, complete your seasonal switch up with a Christmas flower arrangement on a coffee or console table. For a dramatic seasonal look, use an abundance of pine, eucalyptus, berries and thistle or for a more pared-back rustic arrangement try hazel branches or dried hydrangeas. Displays like these are great for creating a subtle festive feel whilst bringing in a touch of nature, and making use of what you’ve got in the backyard!
Sign up to the Homes & Gardens newsletter
Decor Ideas. Project Inspiration. Expert Advice. Delivered to your inbox.
Birdie’s creative journey started when she worked at Percy Bass, an interiors shop and design service on Walton Street. Birdie then went on to join Imogen Taylor’s team at Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler’s old premises in Mayfair. Many buying trips later and with a decorative antiques course from the V&A Museum under her belt, Birdie decided to set up her own antiques business. Establishing the business in Norfolk in 2014, Birdie initially focused on sourcing homeware from Scandinavia, pieces that weren’t easily found in the UK, before creating her own designs. Birdie writes for Homes & Gardens about interior design.
3 key storage lessons from small space living – rules I follow to survive in a tiny apartment
I share the three small space storage lessons I learned when living in a tiny apartment that I still use today and explain why they are helpful
By Chiana Dickson Published
The best drip coffee maker under $100 - advice from an expert barista
The best drip coffee maker under $100 is actually only $50 and it's called the Bodum Bistro. Simple and stylish, it's an inexpensive way to make speciality coffee.
By Laura Honey Published