The Ultimate Guide To Decorating Your Home For Christmas
Depending on the person, homeowners either love or dread Christmas coming around. Yes, it’s an opportunity to imbue your home with holiday spirit and cheer, but it’s also often quite a big project. Luckily if you’re on the “dread” side of things, DreamyHome is here to help you out with a few ideas to make your life easier. Keep reading for the ultimate guide to decorating your home for Christmas!
To best decorate your home for Christmas, pick a feel. Do you want to be elegant, rustic, or a true classic? Or do you need something… in between?
Keep reading to get an idea of every possible look your home can (jingle bell) rock this Christmas.
The Ultimate Guide To Decorating Your Home For Christmas – Christmas 101
While I personally feel that the most important part of a holiday home’s appearance is indoors (you know, where the guests are), many don’t agree. For a good number of homeowners, Christmas time is the moment you gently, but firmly, tell your neighbours to suck it – for you are the decorating master, and they cannot touch your decoration game.
Now, I personally hate outside decorations, if only because I’m lazy – but my parents? Oh boy, do they go overboard. So let’s take a few pages from their book and get your home looking like it’s Santa’s own personal refuelling station.
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The Ultimate Guide To Decorating Your Home For Christmas – Themes
When beginning to plan your home’s Christmas decorations, it’s vital that you pick a theme and stick to it. Regardless of your final goal, you need to have a uniting overall appearance. Otherwise, you end up looking like the Island of Misfit Toys with various themes taking over different bits of your garden and home.
“But what even is a theme?” You may be asking – fear not, we’re getting there.
The True Classic
This is, without a doubt, the safest and jolliest look you can try to get. Begin by establishing your colours – are you going with more metallic tones like silver, gold, and bronze or copper? Or do you prefer the look that your grandparents chose with red, blue, and green lights scattered everywhere?
If you’re a fan of tinsel, this is your look. The goal here is to make your home feel like a step back in time with old-school decorations and lights to make your home feel, well, homey! If you choose to go this route, it may be best to choose a few yard decorations to fit the image. Whether that means full-blown inflatable scenes, or just a sled or two and some tastefully placed wreaths, you’re bound to get compliments.
And perhaps most importantly, keep to the glittering tinsel and gold, red ribbons, garlands, and perhaps even a “ho ho ho” sign to really hammer home just how much you love Christmas.
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The Countryside Cottage
Now, this is my personal favourite. Rather than focusing on the bright colours traditionally associated with Christmas, the countryside look is more subdued. It focuses on emphasizing Christmas’ roots in a celebration of the winter solstice. That means earth tones, lots of greens and browns, with candles inside. Perhaps a gently decorated exterior that opens into a warm, welcoming home, if you want.
Remember to gather pinecones and holly for your home’s doorways and gathering places, and collect a few candles that have truly Christmas-y scents. That could mean the cinnamon-apple candle you’ve had to stop short of nibbling each time you visit the shop, or even a cedar and fir candle to really hammer home that rustic countryside scent.
If you’re like me, then this is your moment to shine. Gather every candle you’ve had your eyes on and light them all at once – now there’s no turning back. The goal of this theme is to emphasize the interior, rather than the exterior of your home.
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The Noble’s Home
This is for those of our readers who desire a bit of class in their Christmas. No tinsel will find its way through your doors, nor will there be pinecones or elves on shelves. You’re a classy household, and your Christmas should reiterate that to all who enter your home.
Because you clearly love the finer things in life, this look makes strong use of gold, white, and silver, as well as any sparkly items you can get your hands on. You should decorate the exterior of your home, yes, but with carefully chosen placement of lights and decorations. We’re not looking to make a statement about our love of Christmas here – no, we’re showing that you take Christmas seriously. After all, the in-laws are coming over!
Interior decor will play a large part in this, so be sure you’re prepared. Whether that means that you’ve got special furniture you lay out (nobody does this, right?) or you’re ready to devote days to decorating your home to the finest detail, be ready. This look is about the details and how they make your home pop, but with class. Too much and it’ll look like a poorly done classic look, and too little will make guests ask, “do they even like Christmas?”
The Ultimate Guide To Decorating Your Home For Christmas – Christmas Trees
Now we’ve spoken about the feel you’re going for. Now comes (in my opinion) the most important bit – the tree. This is something that you’ll likely spend a pretty penny to get, so it has to be the best. We’re not looking for a Charlie Brown tree here, no – we’re seeking the tree to end all trees, the saviour tree.
Here’s how to pick the best Christmas tree you can:
- Know your tree types
- Don’t get overcharged for a tree. Know what each type of tree is worth and don’t let yourself be overcharged.
- Come with a plan when looking for a tree
- Go in knowing what size and shape of tree you need. You don’t want to be stuck wandering, wondering when you’re supposed to just give up and pick one at random. No – you need perfection, so have an image in your mind when you enter the tree farm.
- This also means you should measure the space you’re putting the tree into. Nobody wants to bring home a tree, only to have to cut it down to size when you get home.
- Have a tree base ready at home
- Be prepared for tree care
- This is vital – you’re taking a tree into your home. That means that to avoid fire hazards (and dead trees on Christmas), you need to understand their upkeep and maintanence. Don’t worry, we’ll get to that in a bit.
Let’s talk about a few types of trees, shall we?
These are the signature Christmas trees – triangular, slightly lean, and sturdy. They won’t shed needles very quickly and their branches will hold a bit more weight than other breeds may. Their largest downside, though, is their size. They’re generally not the largest, meaning if you have a large space to fill, they may not be your best option.
Frasiers are fantastic, but expensive trees. They’re similar to Douglas Firs, though they’re a bit thinner. They are easily recognized by their bluish-green needles with silvered undersides. The best part about them is that they’ll give a very glittery look when adorned with lights and ornaments. They’re also great for small homes due to their generally diminutive size, and they don’t shed needles nearly as quickly as other trees.
White (Concolor) Fir
These are my personal favourite. Depending on where you live, they may be hard to get, but boy are they worth it. Their smell is unrivalled in uniqueness, due to the sweet, citrus scent that their needles give off. If you want the truly Christmas-y pine scent, though, this won’t be the choice for you. White firs have rather dense foliage and grow pretty large, but they do have two downsides.
First, their colours fade rather quickly. They’ll go from the signature blue-green to a more faded classic evergreen. Second, their branches can’t generally hold weightier ornaments, so don’t try to overdecorate these bad boys.
While this may seem rather straightforward, I feel it’s important to note. The number of times I’ve seen someone kill their tree before December even rolls around is, honestly, sad. Here’s how to properly care for a Christmas tree and keep it lush for much, much longer:
- As soon as you get it home, cut ~3 cm from the base before putting it into your stand. It doesn’t matter if they did it for you at the farm – do it again. Just trust me here, this will allow the tree to absorb more water. If you don’t do this, sap will build up at the base, preventing the tree from getting water.
- Keep the tree away from heat sources and choose lights that don’t get too hot. Things like TVs and computers are included in the list that obviously includes heaters and fireplaces as well.
- Water the tree immediately with 3.5-4 litres of water. If your stand can’t hold this much water, buy a new one. Try to keep the water level right around this for the entirety of the time you have it – so check it daily. On the first day or two, don’t be surprised if the tree takes 8 or more litres of water.
- Do not add “tree food” or anything else to the water. Believe it or not, but these trees exist out in nature just fine without packets of powder. Some of the additives and “preservatives” in commercial tree food can actually decrease the moisture and needle retention of your tree.
Christmas is a wonderful, magical time of year… unless you’re outside on a ladder stringing lights. Then it’s slightly more troublesome, but it’ll be worth it – keep reminding yourself that as you struggle. If you came looking for the ultimate guide to decorating your home for Christmas, you found it! Hopefully the themes and style tips we gave helped breathe a bit of cheer and creativity into you.
Just remember three things: Pick a theme and stick to it, know your trees (and how to care for them), and most importantly – enjoy yourself. Christmas is about family and community, which is exactly why you’re decorating your home. So try to breathe and just take a moment to remind yourself why you’re on the ladder or in the tree farm.