It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And so it should, given that we are but three sleeps away. But if you and your home are still not feeling sufficiently festive, then we have some brilliant, simple tips courtesy of the lovely and very talented Ruth from All for Love who has very kindly written this for us in between Christmasifying (it should be a word) venues across London, winter weddings, making what must number hundreds of wreaths and running her pop-up shop in my neighbourhood (long may she remain popped up). Here are her top five (with one for luck) tips to ensure your house wears its Christmas jumper.
1. Every home should have a festive door wreath in December! How often do we get to decorate our doors? There are so many beautiful options out there: from the simple and traditional holly wreath, to a more jazzy, all-singing, all-dancing, glitzy bauble number – there is a wreath out there for everyone! If you pop to your local florist, they will no doubt have lots on offer, or you could ask for a bespoke design…like Natasha, who opted for an entirely fresh, beautiful blue-grey eucalyptus one with a hint of silver leaf.
2. Paint it Gold! This year I have been obsessed with the metallics, as have a lot of the venues I have been dressing across London. The colour of Christmas this year has been ‘winter gold’ and it definitely has a warming effect. Try massing stems of painted gold or silver Ilex together in a vase for a simple and striking, statement arrangement.
3. Succulents! These little guys are my all time seasonal fave. So perfectly formed, and in so many beautiful pastel shades of lilac, soft greys and pale greens they are a winner every time. If you have guests staying, instead of a bud vase of fresh flowers, why not pop a little succulent in a nice vase and place that on their bedside table instead. Quick, easy, unusual, lasting and beautiful!
4. The Christmas Tree. The starirng role of the Christmas decorations, an absolute must for every house (or in my opinion, every room!). My advice? Definitely focus on the lights. Choose the biggest, bushiest tree you can find and then fill it with loads of fairy lights…the more the better! There is nothing worse than a sadly lit up tree, so go to town and put a couple of sets on. For a six foot tree, I tend to put three or four sets of 140 bulb lights on it, making sure I wrap the lights around every single branch, starting from the top down. This takes time, but it is worth the effort. I also nearly always go for warm white, as it adds a cosy glow to the room much more than the bright white or blue bulbs. Then just add your decorations. Pick a colour scheme and go to town. The more you add to the tree the more interesting, juicy and lush it will look – and of course, let the kids get involved. A homemade touch melts the heart much more than a picture perfect, professionally styled one.
5. Fresh Flowers. As much as I love a huge bouquet, there is something so delicate and joyful about a few simple stems placed in old milk bottles or jam jars and dotted casually around the house. They add a relaxed little touch to each room, without having to stand on ceremony too much. Why not pop out on Christmas eve and collect a few single stems of winter anemones, or tulips and pop them in whatever little containers you have scattered around the house? They will make you smile when you see them, guaranteed… and absolutely no arranging skills are necessary!
* 6. Am I allowed a sneaky sixth, for good luck? Grab the twigs! For a really, really simple but effective instant Christmas look take a bundle full of birch or willow, natural, painted or glittered and stick in a large floor standing vase. For extra festive-ness, add co-ordinating baubles to the branches, or little led lights on clear or wire cables, so you just see the twinkle of the lights lost amongst the twigs. Place in the corner of any room or edge of a fireplace for an instant Christmassy room lift.
For more floral inspiration, follow Ruth on Instagram @allforlovelondon and Twitter @all4lovelondon.