It’s at Christmas that I seem to appreciate our old house the most. At other times of year I occasionally find myself wishing that our original stained woodwork was painted white. Sometimes all that dark wood feels heavy. But at Christmas it’s a totally different story. That dark wood goes from heavy to cozy. Old houses come alive with Christmas decorating.
Here are some quick tips:
Sideboards are a perfect backdrop for decorating at Christmas. Use the surface (as shown here) to show off your collections. Group objects in clusters of 3 or 5. Put the tallest piece at the back and create a “staircase” to the lowest piece. This looks even better if your sideboard has a mirrored back!
Use or at least display your silver and crystal. Yes, this means cleaning it up but what better reason than Christmas to do so? The Victorians used the sparkle of both to amplify the low lighting in homes at that time – do the same and keep your lights dimmed. Watch how fabulous these items look in candlelight!
Mantels are the perfect place to let your individuality show. It can be simple or ornate. Go overboard or keep it simple. Decorate with berry topiaries, red candles in antique brass holders and large pine cones. Use natural swags of greenery.
Sometimes the colours of a house work especially well with decorating at Christmas. If that’s the case in your house then you are already half there! Here’s a good example. The grey green of the walls are a perfect backdrop for the burgundy touches throughout the room – the tapestry “portiere”, the berry swag over the tall sideboard, the burgundy plates, and the velvet fabric on the chair seats. Even the hand painted globe lamp is painted with burgundy roses.
Don’t forget about your windows. They deserve their own treatment. Sometimes all it takes is a simple berry wreath and swags of greenery. Make sure your rods can handle the extra weight.Hallways or entrances create an instant impression of the rest of the house. Decorate the top of your doorways with swags or berries and greenery. Use the largest arrangement on one main door as a focal point and use smaller ones on doors leading to other rooms.And it goes without saying – if you have a staircase flaunt it for all it’s worth!