Decorating your home for Christmas with Kirsten Bookallil
Interior Stylist Kirsten Bookallil talks us through the best tips on decorating your home in preparation for Christmas.
What are some simple ways to update the home for Christmas?
December and Christmas are a time of renewal as much as regeneration. December is when my family spend more time at home, so I tend to spring clean the house. I put all the pillows and duvets on the line for a day, wash all my decorative cushion covers and wipe down skirtings and picture frames with a small amount of warm water and eucalyptus oil drops; this leaves a beautiful fresh, festive scent.
It’s also the time that I look at plantings and flowers in the house and replant and pot up plants to scatter around the home. Herbs are especially good mixed in and rosemary is a wonderful fly deterrent.
I will often change cushion covers and add different colours to the bed and sofa; nothing feels like a change like added colour! A space can change so much by adding a pop of colour and different textures to a space. Get the woollen throws and replace with lighter cotton and linen ones.
What are three key styling trends for the season ahead?
Three areas I saw as very popular in the coming months was the use of a rich strong green, used in stronger jewel colour tones. This works beautifully with ambers and yellows and lighter woods. This can be used in bigger pieces of furniture or just with highlight pieces throughout the home. Scatter cushions and throws are a wonderful start.
The second styling trend is still very strong with plants. Terracotta pots for summer and dark green leaves, layered on surfaces, softening corners and bringing the outside in.
Feng Shui prescribes that dead leaves should be removed, and dead plants replaced to generate good and healthy energy in a home. Subconsciously we notice these things and may not understand exactly why but understand when everything is fresh and blooming.
The third styling trend is texture. Whether this be woven baskets filled with fruit, plants or towels in bathrooms, or different textured cushions on sofas and beds. It makes the home palette more tactile and layered.
The rawness of the texture against more modern pieces can work wonderfully. It’s a trend that is less organic and homespun. Feeding our need for interesting layers with more sophisticated and modern fabrics that we want to dive into.
How can someone complete simple finishing touches for the arrival of guests?
Simple things make a home welcoming; lighting of a candle can make a space feel and smell wonderful, baking banana bread with a bowl of fresh cherries. Using a personal touch doesn’t have to be costly or time consuming.
This year I love the entertaining style of laying the food straight onto the table without plates or boards and layering a little baking paper underneath. You pile all the vegetables and crackers in piles down the table. Dips in small bowls and it feels unfussy and the perfect summer Christmas entertaining.
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