Christmas… my favourite time of year, growing up with a mum who adored Christmas as much as me meant the magic of Christmas was well and truly alive in our house. From putting the tree up together covered in tinsel blasting Christmas songs, to getting up at 5am to go food shopping with my mum to get the best bits, our Christmas traditions stood strong every year and I loved them all. One of my favourites was Christmas Eve, my mum would cook all morning, making yummy food for the evening when all my family would come around to sing songs, play games and get excited for the big mans arrival. Me and my sister at that time were the only children in the family so everyone would make a big fuss of us, then we would leave out Santa’s mince pies and off to bed we went. I remember those nights so vividly, the excitement in the air, the sound of our ‘merry’ family downstairs … happiness! We would lay in the same bed trying to sleep but the excitement would take over and we always ended up chatting until late. One Christmas Eve night while two little girls lay trying so hard to go to sleep … we heard THE bells! I swear to this day that year we heard Santa’s bells …
And so enough of Christmas past, in Christmas present I have adopted some of the traditions from my childhood, I now love to do Christmas Eve at our house so my boys can feel the magic of that day, my boys leave old pillow cases at the end of the bed for Santa to fill, and we decorate the tree together dancing to Christmas songs … although I’ve left the getting up at 5am to go food shopping in the past! We also have new traditions that we have made as a family and have also adopted some of Phil’s old family traditions too.
All in all, Christmas time in our home is a time for family, love and magic. I want my boys to grow up and remember their childhood Christmas’s as happily as I do. Which brings me to decorations …
‘O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree … how lovely are your branches’
I still live for the day the tree goes up in our house at Christmas time, but do we have to stop at the tree? In the world of Our Beautiful Chaos we do not stop at the tree, we (or I) decorate every room. I love to have a little bit of festiveness all around the house to give Christmas that extra magic.
So here is how we have filled our home with festive, Christmas decoration this year and a few of my tip’s to make your home magic at this special time of year.
The Main Event
What better place to start than the tree, whether you get real of artificial your Christmas tree can make a big impact. We have an artificial tree and this year our tree is in the family room in the Kitchen. Last year we had two trees, one in the Livingroom and one in the kitchen, but we have taken it back to one tree this year and decided the family room was the best place for it. When decorating my tree, I like to pick a theme and decide how I would like it to look a few weeks before we decorate it, now I am a mum of two boys so our tree will never stick to a colour theme as my boys each pick a new bauble every year and they don’t stick to themes! Also, I like to have the Christmas decorations they make at school on the tree so you get the point, it’s hard to stick to a colour theme. But I pick a base colour for the tree and I use ‘base baubles’ as I call them to achieve this, for example I like to keep my ‘base baubles’ the same shape so I go for simple, traditional round baubles in the same colour tones. This year its white and brushed silver. These baubles go on after the lights and create a base for the tree, then I add some red and burnt orange baubles which are different shapes (stars, candy canes etc) and then the baubles the boys have picked and I try to spread these out evenly so the base baubles can pull the colours together. I finish off with some hessian bows. Don’t be afraid to fill your tree with memories of Christmas’s gone by and colour that’s what its all about.
For lights on the tree we go for a white, small light. Our tree is 7ft and we use 700 lights. As a rule, I try to stick to 100 lights for every foot of your tree. As our lights are white as apposed to a warm light they help pull the colour from the base baubles out and help to give the tree an overall themed look.
We have a wicker tree skirt basket around the base of the tree to hide the stand and finish off the look. You can pick these up in most homeware shops these days and you can also get fabric ones as an alternative.
We finish our tree off with a star on the top, and a paper, special delivery bag next to the tree for Santa to fill … hopefully!
So, as we have the Tree in the kitchen this year decorating the rest of it has been easy, I like to use fairy lights and candles to fill the majority of the kitchen décor but I also like to use ornament’s, snow globes and a wooden table top tree to finish off the look. My overall look for the house is a natural look, so, wood, greenery and natural colours pretty much like the tree, if you keep the theme the same throughout it will help the décor flow and help the house feel uncluttered.
Remember the kitchen is the hub of the home, well ours certainly is and it still has to function so don’t over decorate and make life hard, especially if your cooking Christmas Lunch, you will need as much worktop space as possible.
The kitchen table can become a work of art at Christmas time, i’ve kept ours quite simple this year as we have the tree close to it, with just a candle centre piece and a star table runner, but I have also decorated the back of the chairs by hanging garland stars onto them and adding little star baubles to the middle. I love to see how beautiful people make their Christmas tables, my mum especially turns hers into a magical wonderland every year!
This is normally the room we would have our tree, but with heavy oak furniture and large sofas we just don’t have the room for a tree this year, so i’ve taken the chance to decorate my fire place and turn it into a cosy room perfect to snuggle in and watch Christmas movies.
I’ve used a eucalyptus wreath with frosted leaves and fairy lights from Next and added snow covered pine cones, this created the base for me to dress up using a wooden sigh, candles, a hanging wooden stag head and a star ornament. Then I added stag stockings from Matalan and a tall candle stick and stag head on the hearth to finish the look. With the fire roaring this is the perfect Christmas backdrop.
In the rest of the room i’ve used fairy lights, candles and lanterns along with a gorgeous nutcracker and even a mini snow-covered tree with stag string lights on it.
The week before we put the decorations up I always do a deep clean of the house and put my normal décor into storage until the new year. This helps make room for all of your Christmas touches without the clutter.
I like this room to feel warm and cosy, I like to fill the sofas with Christmas cushions and throws.
The hallway and landing
The hallway holds the first impressions of your home so I think it’s important to decorate this space. I use wooden decorations and wreaths for this area. I like to keep the hallway décor simple and natural to stay with the theme running through the house. I adore when people wrap garlands and lights up the bannisters this creates such a festive look.
Upstairs on the landing we have our gallery wall I like to hang a few snowflakes over some of the photo frames and also on the pussy willow on the windowsill.
No room is untouched by the festivities, even our bathroom gets a few Christmas touches! Again, I like to keep the natural, wood theme in here and decorate our towel ladder with ivy and baubles. I’ve filled a glass vase with baubles and added candles and bath salts to finish the look. I know a lot of homeware shops sell festive towels and even toilet paper so there’s no excuse to leave the bathroom out. What better way is there to spend an evening than in a hot bubble bath, candles lit with a good Christmas book and a festive bathroom.
Starting with the boy’s room I love to go all out in here at Christmas. I’ve added a tepee complete with wooden star garland and fairy lights and a Santa cushion to their chair. Having Christmas bedding is an easy way to add a festive touch to any bedroom, it doesn’t have to cost a lot, most of the supermarkets now sell amazing Christmas bedding that’s under £10 for a single bed. The boys have personalised stocking hanging from their chest of draws which is decorated just how they like it … bright and colourful.
In our room I only add slight festive touches, we have a beautiful blue, glass tree next to the bed that lights up and I have added a Christmas throw to the bed. This is another way of adding festive touches without having to buy new bedding, a simple Christmas throw or cushions can transform your bedroom to a cosy Christmas haven.
The little Touches
To finish I want to remind you not to forget what a big impact the little touches can make, just adding hanging decorations from kitchen door knobs, Christmas cushions to sofas, a wreath on the front door, Christmas tea towels and decorating existing wall hangings can make all the difference to your finished look. Scent also plays a big part in Christmas for me, cinnamon plug ins, candles and diffusers fill the house with festive scents, taking me back to being a little girl. Candles always fill my home and Christmas is no exception, the front runners this year are Soul Candles new winter range, if you love Christmas scents you will absolutely fall in love with these beautiful candles and the glass jars and gold labelling are perfect for the festive home.
As well as the smell of candles running through my home I love nothing more than the smell of Christmas baking and mulled Cider bubbling away on the hob.
So, there you have it, Christmas at Our Beautiful Chaos.
Even if you have to totally redecorate the tree after the kids have had a go, remember … that’s what it’s all about, fill your home with what you love and your own Christmas traditions and enjoy every second of this wonderful time of year.
Thanks for reading