In the spirit of Christmas, our Creative Director Danielle Langlois is here to share her festive styling and decor tips. It’s time to discover how you can bring your personal touch to traditional Christmas decorations for something truly special this season.

Generally, when people think of Christmas decorations and styling they lean towards the classics: red, green and gold. How can people keep it ‘Christmasy’ while also adding their own personality?  

The way I see it—decorating your home is all about personal expression, so why shouldn’t this extend to your Christmas decorations?

The classics are beautiful and instantly recognizable, however, those traditional elements have changed over time to incorporate other creative interpretations. In Queensland, we tend to lean a little more to colourful expression in our lives, so it makes sense that our Christmases would also reflect this.

I don’t believe this is a “one size fits all” scenario, so my advice would be to pick a colour or theme that makes you happy and run with it!

Where would you start, when styling your home at Christmas?

It’s always important to start by working out your budget and what you already have in your stores to work with, this makes it far easier for a smoother, happier process!

Next, it’s time to choose your colours and theme. If you like cohesion throughout your house it’s important to keep all the items within this theme, however, if you’re a little more eclectic then it’s fine to have a looser thread. I also recommend picking up a few items every year—that way you are building a beautiful collection over time. There are also great deals close to and post-Christmas for those of you with next year in mind!

What are the essentials for your table setting?

Having a beautiful table setting has a couple of intentions. Firstly, it creates a welcoming vibe and ambience for your guests and demonstrates a level of care and love for them. It shows that you’ve gone that extra mile to ensure they have a lovely experience. It also places importance on the moment you are about to celebrate, and Christmas fits that bill.

When it comes to setting your table, the essentials are a tablecloth, placemat and napkins (preferably cloth for that quality feel and durability to last through the feasting). You’ll also need a dinner and bread plate, water and wine glasses, and a centrepiece to catch everyone’s attention!

“Having a beautiful table setting shows that you’ve gone that extra mile to ensure they have a lovely experience.

Why is a table centrepiece a nice touch and what can they be?

The centrepiece establishes the drama on the table.  It’s what’s viewed first from a distance more so than the actual setting, so it’s important that it has an impact. There are lots of ways to do this from the popular green garland which can come straight from your garden or Christmas-specific items like gingerbread houses and mini Christmas trees. The most important thing is to play with is the heights to create interest!

“The centrepiece is what’s viewed first from a distance…so it’s important that it has an impact.

What about tablecloths and napkins – can there be a nice contrast or do they have to match?

Both have a place in my world, and it’s all about the mood you want to set. If you’re matching your tablecloths and napkins, it will create a calm, tranquil setting, whereas if you’re contrasting it will bring a little more energy to the space.

What can we do to jazz up our plates?

It’s always nice to add a little detail to the place setting. The most obvious at Christmas is a cracker, however a little handwritten note or a joke is always a nice personal touch to the space‚—again, making your guests feel special. Visually, adding additional Christmas decorations works as I have done this year, or alternatively having a sweet treat for the guests as they sit down to have is also thoughtful.

Let’s talk about the tree, which is usually the main feature of a Christmas setting. Besides baubles, what else can be used to decorate the tree?

I love a full tree and an inexpensive way to do this is with flowers as they take up space more so than smaller ornaments. Like decorating your home, it’s all about layering and adding items that differ in size and texture to create that interest. The use of picks in Christmas trees also add instant drama and dimension to the tree.

At home this year, I’ve gone with a pink, red and white floral theme using artificial orchids and magnolias as the main flower decorations. This was continued through to the front door wreath and table setting. I have also added a couple of gemstone decorations to add a little bling!

At the end of the day, choosing decorations doesn’t need to be complicated. If you like it, pop it on the tree. If the kids made it, pop it on the tree. If it brings a smile to your face, whack it on there! If you want to be a little more considered, you need to make sure there is a common thread between the decorations.

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“Like decorating your home, it’s all about layering and adding items that differ in size and texture to create that interest.”

What are your top tips for the perfect placement?

I recommend placing your big key items first, and then filling out around those.

Other things to remember include keeping it symmetrical with a balance of colour for the strongest visual appeal. And if you’re setting a traditional tree, smaller baubles are better suited to the top with larger ones at the bottom.

Once you’re done, stand back and check the tree from every angle. The first placement is very rarely the last, it’s fine to keep tweaking it until you’re standing there with a big, proud smile on your face!

And as for the tree topper – tell us about this fabulous topper which is on your tree this year!

My topper is a little cheeky but brings a smile to my face, so job done! If you’ve got a more G-rated household and are looking for an alternative to the star or angel, oversized bows can look great as do birds or kids craft projects for a wholesome touch!

Okay and let’s talk about wreaths!

My wreath this year is simple and focuses on the colour blocking taken from the indoor decors. Your front door wreath gives a little glimpse of what’s on the inside so it’s important that it makes an impression. You need to make sure the wreath is proportional to the door and doesn’t get lost or overpower it!

Again, it’s all about adding your personal touch—pick the decorations you like and run with it, and mix up the size and shape to create interest! And if you need to keep everything in place, use zip ties to avoid the decorations coming loose when you open and close the door.

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“Your front door wreath gives a little glimpse of what’s on the inside so it’s important that it makes an impression.”

What is the ideal place to hang a wreath?

Your front door as it welcomes guests into your home while setting the scene for what’s to come—and aim for higher up around eye level. Alternatively, you could hang one in the living room if you have a feature mirror or fireplace where it could hang. It could also form part of your dining room decorations if you’re having a self-serve style of buffet situation. Ensuring the bench holding the food is decorated is just as important as the table decorations.  

And to wrap up, the Christmas season is notoriously stressful. What are your top tips for staying sane?!

Gin, a to-do list and delegation. Good things come in threes, right?

(Oh, and man’s best friend of course…)

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