Expert tips to dress your home for Christmas

PUBLISHED: 00:00 26 November 2014 | UPDATED: 10:22 28 November 2014

Keep it simple and keep it personal

Keep it simple and keep it personal


Welcoming friends, family and neighbours into our homes for a festive mug of mulled wine is an important part of the Christmas celebrations. It’s also a good excuse to bust out all your best decorations and make your house look like a Knightsbridge shop window.

Bring the outside inBring the outside in

But don’t be tempted to add too much twinkle, advises designer Lili Tanko of Leeds-based Vanessa Rhodes Interiors, unless you actually want a queue of children at your door looking for Santa’s grotto.

‘Less is more,’ she says. ‘Subtle decorations are what give a true, warm, peaceful Christmas feeling to a home. You may want to cover the Christmas tree in shiny baubles but if you want to avoid your home turning into a tacky Santa’s hut, keep the décor refreshingly festive. A few understated wreaths spread around the house, a decorated Christmas tree and delicate details of refined garlands and other ornaments in the rooms will
do the trick.’

Here are a few more Christmas crackers from Lili to ensure your home stays on the right side of stylish this season.


Choose a subtle colour theme that enhances your roomChoose a subtle colour theme that enhances your room

Bring the outside in. Incorporate elements that you can find in the garden or the park. Fallen branches with funky shapes can be dressed with spray snow and evergreens can be used in flower arrangements to decorate the mantelpiece or the dressing table.

Make your own. Creating the Christmas feeling at home is easier when you have some emotional attachment to your ornaments, so make your own decorations if you can. A crafty afternoon with your family will not only help you get in the festive spirit but also decorate your home and save you money to for presents.

Use what you have. Utilise items that are already in your household to add to the decorating scheme. Fill one of your favourite vases with baubles, put your candy and cookies in festive bowls and use fresh fruit or brandy bottles as decorative items.

Spread the love. The true secret of a beautiful festive home is not about the colour themes you have chosen for the year or the amount of decorations you use, it’s about making each and every room feel a little bit more special around December time. Lighting a few candles on a tray or placing a wreath on top of your mirror will add festive cheer.

Dont be bound by tradition  baubles look just as effective in a vase as on the treeDont be bound by tradition  baubles look just as effective in a vase as on the tree

Remember something old as well as something new. Some people go all out and come home with a whole set of new decorations every year. It’s nice to have some variation but you don’t have to do that every year. Old ornaments form cherished childhood memories and remind you of wonderful times passed, and you can combine them with your new found trendy decorations as well.

Colour coordinate. Christmas decorations are at their best when they are coordinated with the colours of the room they are placed in. No one says you can’t add an accent red wreath into a blue or green themed living room to add a focal object for Christmas time, but try to keep decorations to the colour scheme.

Keep it organised. It makes your life much easier if you keep all your Christmas decoration in a separate storage box or compartment, because nothing is more stressful then having to untangle those fairy lights every single year. The amount of effort it takes to just roll them up when you take them down is worth it.

Consider a designer twist by adding typical Christmas decorations to your home in unexpected ways. You can make a garland out of ornaments, place baubles in your unused fireplace or decorate the logs with some fresh holly. Everyone will be impressed by your creativity.

An unused fireplace can come alive with a bit of festive forethoughtAn unused fireplace can come alive with a bit of festive forethought

Fake it till you make it. You don’t have to go with a traditional tree as you can now get amazingly realistic artificial ones. Alternatively, you could always just spray a funky looking branch and hang it with ornaments to achieve a very unusual, talking point Christmas tree.

For more design advice, contact Vanessa Rhodes Interiors at Jordans House, Leeds Road, Collingham, Leeds, LS22 5AA, call 01937 918186 or email

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