As the excitement builds in the count down to the big day, it’s very tempting to go down the ‘more is more’ decorating mantra – pile everything on the tree, mantlepiece, you name it… and just hope for the best.
But when you start cramming everything in, you may start to cancel out key pieces.
Treasured baubles and decorations get lost among the paper chains – and blinking fairy lights detract from garlands or the flickering flame of a candle.
Even tastefully placed tinsel can find it hard to have a voice and the result may look more messy than elegant.
Here, experts share their top tips on getting your festive decor right…
Stick to one theme
“Planning a coherent theme and colour scheme is the first point of call for avoiding a cluttered look, whilst still keeping it festive,” says Jess Martin, party decoration expert at Ginger Ray.
“Some of our favourite trends this season include contemporary, Scandi and rustic red schemes.”
She says the contemporary Christmas trend is a great way to get a chic and classic look. “Incorporating on-trend minimalism with modern and edgy monochrome colourways are the perfect way to embrace traditional Christmas silhouettes like stars and trees – with a contemporary twist,” explains Martin.
Sure to catch the eye, she says to try using black as your base colour to build off, with dark tablecloths and metal ornaments to create contrast – such as a Christmas candle centrepiece.
“Then add touches of green foliage and wooden textures to soften the darker tones,” she suggests. “And bring back that classic homely feel Christmas is all about.”
Scale your ornaments
If you’ve got a huge tree, you can go for bigger ornaments, and on a tiny tree, miniature decorations look adorable,” notes Lucy Hood, home interiors and table-scaping expert, founder of Tableday.
“You don’t have to go overboard with the number of baubles either, you can still achieve some impact with just a dozen ornaments. You can get bigger packs of plain ornaments which look great mixed with a few more special baubles to add interest.”
Choose simple decorations
She says it’s better to go with two or three simple elements and colours – such as traditional red and gold baubles, with white snowflakes.
“This year, there are several companies doing colourful paper ornaments that look lovely – but are really cheap too,” adds Hood.
Incorporate metallics for a luxurious hint of sparkle
“Christmas isn’t complete without a little sparkle,” says Marie Goodwin, head designer at fabrics specialist Prestigious Textiles.
“To add a sophisticated shine to any interior, opt for semi-plain metallic finishes rather than glitter and sequins,” suggests Goodwin.
“Add some pale gold or cool silver soft furnishings like scatter cushions, throws and stockings to bring a glint of wonder to spaces around the home.”
Tip-top & tidy tablescaping
As Heidi Jackson, designer at Portmeirion, points out: “There’s a lot to think about and fit on your table when it comes to Christmas dinner – ensuring you properly tablescape is an essential step to avoid a cluttered display.”
When setting the table and assembling tableware, she says it’s a good idea to use the rule of three…
“Begin with your placemat, then place the dinner plate on top and, lastly, finish with a dessert plate.”
Jackson continues: “Top it all off with a carefully folded napkin, your chosen cutlery, and a Christmas cracker that matches your theme.”
As far as the centrepiece goes, she says the main thing to remember is you don’t want it to take up too much space on the Christmas table.
“Candles are a great choice for Christmas, inviting an ambient glow to your table. The shape and style of your chosen candles can be guided by the size of your table – if you’re struggling for space, slender candlesticks are a great option.”
Style it out with a decorative arch
“You can quickly make a TikTok-worthy statement with your Christmas decorations without having to fill a space – keeping floor space clutter-free,” says Wayfair’s resident style advisor, Nadia McCowan Hill.
Often used by stylists to create the wow-factor, she says a decorating arch is a clever way to dress an overhead installation for a dining table.
“Not only do they allow you to make the most of vertical styling space – leaving tabletop space free for all important silverware, candles and crackers – but also means no need for any drilling of fixtures,” notes McCowan Hill.
Faux Pinecone Christmas Swag
Available in a variety of shapes and finishes, she says you can tailor the design to suit your decor desires.
McCowan Hill continues: “Easy to assemble, the metal frame makes them super portable so can be moved into various rooms. If you’re looking for the festive wow-factor, without the clutter, they are a must for every celebration, inside and out.”