20 last-minute tips to get your home ready for the big day.
1. “Your front door is the first thing that your guests will see when visiting for the festive season, so welcome them with a beautiful wreath, ” says Melissa Redwood, interior designer for builder Webb & Brown-Neaves.
2. Sharon Wiley, of Seven Willow Designs, Mt Lawley, says it’s easy to create an inviting space with only a few moments to spare. “Cut some lush, green foliage from the garden and place it in a large, clear glass vase in the centre of the table, ” she says. “Succulents are perfect for a Christmas centrepiece as they have large green and red leaves.”
3. Delight your guests with personalised crackers on the table, suggests Anna Macoboy, of craft specialists studiOH! “Buy some plain-coloured crackers and remove any trimmings, ” she says. “Cut three strips of plain brown craft paper to fit the middle and two ends of each cracker and cut two slits in the middle piece, about 1cm apart. Wrap the three pieces of paper around the cracker and secure with glue or sticky tape. Slide a small sprig of rosemary through the slit in the middle section. Finish with plain twine bows around each join in the cracker.”
4. Haven’t got around to putting a tree up yet? Landscape designer Janine Mendel, of Cultivart, recommends a living version such as an Albany woolly bush or Rottnest Island pine. “Both these plants make a great waterwise addition to an Aussie garden after the festivities end, ” she says. “For a real Christmassy feel, adorn it with some solar fairy lights.”
5. “Most of us have things around the home we don’t realise can be used as festive decor, ” Kate Barakovska, of Moda Interiors, says. “Wrap a few gifts and arrange them on the table to create a quick and easy display, similar to how stores merchandise items in windows or on counters. Hang bells in offbeat places such as cabinet knobs and hallway doorknobs to add a fun musical touch throughout your home.”
6. There’s still time to give your home a quick face lift before the big day, Ms Barakovska says. “Painting furniture — such as tables, bookcases, mirror frames and chairs that are not upholstered — can freshen up the look of it and colours can easily be changed to co-ordinate with a room’s scheme.”
7. Baubles aren’t limited to decorating the tree, Ms Redwood says. “Try filling a platter (or a vintage tray) with beautiful and colourful ornaments to create a stunning table centrepiece.”
8. Stuck for a table centrepiece? Head to the greengrocer or garden, stylist Kate Dennis, of Zest Styling, suggests. “Fresh pineapples and proteas will always look lovely together.”
9. “Tie jute around paper doilies on to recycled pickle jars and fill these with freshly cut flowers — hydrangeas are a beautiful bloom to instantly make any room come alive, ” Caroline Davis designer for napery specialists Dandi, says. Or, make a doily garland by folding doilies in half, cutting along the centre crease, gluing the straight edge of the doily and attaching it to a ribbon. “Repeat with the remaining doilies, leaving 5-10cm between each one.”
10. For a fun kids’ craft project that will also deliver you a fabulous centrepiece, Miriam Karsten, of online partyware retailer missbunting.com, suggests using paper honeycomb balls to make a DIY display. “Simply attach two different coloured balls to a length of dowel and insert into some floristry oasis, cut to fit a small terracotta pot, ” she says. “If you want to go all out, put gold leaf on terracotta pots and cover the oasis in moss.”
11. “Christmas lights aren’t limited to the tree, ” Adairs’ Jessica Gadd says. “Make a statement with Christmas lighting on the walls or above the table.”
12. Desi Litis, owner of Venn shop and gallery in Perth, says fresh flowers, greenery, fruit and vegies can make for a stunning centrepiece. “Place a combination of the fresh fruit or vegetables (pomegranates, star fruit, rambutan, oranges, pineapples, avocados, chillies and lemons) in a glass vessel, add fresh flowers and large leafy greenery, ” she says. “Once you have an arrangement that has a balance of colour and form, place coloured candles in-between the fruit/vegetables.”
13. “You don’t need to spend a fortune on masses of plastic trinkets and ornaments, ” Ms Karsten says. Think branches sprayed gold for a lovely decoration idea, bunches of rosemary tied with twine and used as a fragrant place setting, and tin cans wrapped in washi tape for simple and stylish serviette or cutlery holders.
14. If your table setting is in need of some festive flair, grab some gold paint and get crafty, suggests Ms Macoboy. Simply collect an assortment of leaves and press them between the pages of a heavy book . “Once dry and flat, paint your leaves with simple dots, stripes or patterns using the end of a small paintbrush dipped in gold paint, ” she says. “Or use the regular end of the paintbrush to paint one half of the leaf horizontally or vertically. Scatter these down the centre of your table or write a name on each one using the end of a paintbrush or a gold pen and use as place settings.”
15. “Christmas and summer always reminds me of fresh berries, ” Justine Murphy, of Kitchen Warehouse says. “I like to work this into my table settings with cherries cascading down the table centre and ceramic punnets filled with fresh strawberries or raspberries used as place settings .”
16. Traditional Christmas colours will instantly add some festive cheer to your interiors. “Brightly coloured cushions in bold shades such as festive red and green can be grouped on your lounge suite, ” Ms Wiley says.
17. Spruce up your garden by hanging lanterns in trees or winding fairy lights through the branches, and bring art and decorator pieces outside, Ms Redwood suggests. “Why limit artwork to your living room when you can bring the art outdoors?”
18. “Create a beautiful home this Christmas for your family and friends by making it smell warm and inviting, ” recommends Fiona Steddy, of retailer Minkz.
19. Debra Hayes, of Debra Hayes Styling and the Angove Street Collective in North Perth, believes in an aromatic festive table. “Use a garland made of fragrant cinnamon quills down the centre of the table, with a small pots of herbs for individual place settings and tall vessels filled with greenery like fresh rosemary, bay foliage and pine, ” she says.
20. If you’re short on space, this idea is a great last-minute option. “Buy a small pine branch — most florists will have something like this in stock around Christmas time, ” Ms Macoboy says. “Pop it in a jar with some water. If your branch is top heavy add some stones to the jar to secure it. You could also wind fairy lights around your branch or hang a few sweet ornaments.”
PHOTO: Anna Macoboy
© The West Australian
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