CHRISTMAS

THE BROKE PERSON’S GUIDE TO GETTING CHRISTMAS READY

Before you start worrying about what you can and cannot afford to buy to ready your pad for Christmas, consider what you should get rid of.

December 13, 2017

Have a big chuck out first

Dated, worn, or damaged items could be doing the look of your home a disservice, and if they’re non-essential, removing them can give your home a clean slate. Bin, bin, bin. Then consider filling a bowl with Christmas baubles. Stringing them from across the room. Seek out whatever fruit and foliage is in season (and affordable) to give your house instant soul. Here’s a few of our fave quick tips and tricks.

Use Nature to Channel the Season

Turns out adding a festive touch can be as simple as heading to your local market for simple berry branches, holly or apples in a bowl. Plus branches of spruce or fir mixed with oranges.

Greenery

If you have a tree in a big pot or container, consider filling the top with bits of greenery or pinecones. 

Make It Look Good

Presentation is everything. Use a low centrepiece. Place a bowl of jumbo silver baubles in the middle with a simple bonbon on your table or an urn filled with holly leaves or huge, lovely apples. Avoid anything artificial.

Keep Things Simple Yet Striking

Hit your local chainstore such as Spotlight for canvas, hessian or burlap which you can buy en masse and use abundantly as tablecloths, napkins, even as your Christmas tree base cloth. It will make everything look chic.

Lighting

Harsh lighting can kill the vibe in one click, flat. Keep it romantic and soft, by dimming the lights everywhere in the house this season. Every room feels better with soft light. And if you don’t have a dimmer, just unscrew a bulb or two. And for real drama, add a floor lamp.

Music

The right tunes give charm and gaiety to life and with the press of a button, you can add soul to any space.   A great music list can go a long, long way. Our pick for the best holiday acoustics? Mix old with new: variety is key to setting the mood for the best holiday acoustics. Go for Christmas pop, and mix it up with a quick Spotify list of John Lennon to Cold Play. 

Layer It

Look around your house for artwork and use it to create a lot of texture, especially when using contrasting frames. And, like layered clothing, it’s versatile when you can rotate what’s in front, middle and back. Layered bedding is another easy starting point to freshen your interior for Christmas. Bedding piled high with feather and down pillows, crisp sheeting, a duvet filled with the fluffiest down and cotton waffle blankets will instantly make your home look great.

A single idea (or colour story is enough)

Simplicity is always best. You can’t have everything say, “Look at me! With so many products available at this time of year, the tendency is to buy visually arresting pieces without thinking about how they all hang together—and then lacking the discipline of an overarching design concept, our rooms can become a humble jumble of stuff. If the goal is a calm setting, then it demands that everything be simple and work together in a harmonious way. 

Throw in Some Black

No matter what style your interior—modern, traditional, or eclectic—introducing a black element such as a piece of furniture, painting, lampshade, or accessory will add instant edge.

Candles

Next, grab a bunch of votive candles lying around the house; or pick up a jumbo bag at your local chainstore. Use them to create the ultimate Christmas wonderland by massing them on tabletops.  

Flowers

No need to get an elaborate floral arrangement. Stick to a white or neutral colour scheme with roses or hydrangeas, which you can use in little bud vases, and then scatter around the house in various spots. If you get a basic rose, cut it at an angle, and leave in warm water, it will open up even if your picked it up from your local supermarket shop for almost nothing.

Champagne Buckets

Nothing looks better than great big champagne buckets filled with ice, when pals visit over the holidays. Head to Ikea for glam designer-look versions.

Keep It Classic

Considering you’re probably going to use your Christmas kit year after year, you won’t go wrong with traditional choices. Remember, Christmas colours (and decorations) should reflect solid values, so avoid splashing out on anything too mod (think acqua, or white). Use a two or three-colour scheme, but avoid green and gold, or blue and silver: they’re shopping centre cliches. Silver and gold, or taupe and green is more chic. Or try gold and a soft pink.

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