The Malta Independent 22 May 2019, Wednesday

FIRST: Home for Christmas seasonal decoration ideas to ready your home for the holidays

First Magazine Wednesday, 19 December 2018, 11:00 Last update: about 6 months ago

First has trawled the seasonal aisles to compile a list of eclectic home décor items that will tastefully brighten our island homes this Christmas.

It's the most sociable time of the year, a time when we all excitedly (or begrudgingly) pull our glad rags on and invite personal and public retrospection on another chapter gone by. As the holiday period approaches, we symbolically ready ourselves to be our own seasonal ornament, putting our achievements, lifestyle, and evolving tastes on display. And, yes, some of it is a symptom of keeping-up-with-the-influencers, but the rest is about taking stock and celebrating wherever we are in life, and the joy we've managed to amass and surround ourselves with. Nothing tells this story better than the way our home looks at Christmas - the time of year when we're best braced to invite our loved ones to gather around our real or imagined fire.

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But like our lives, our Christmases are distinctive to each of our households, and our décor should take the opportunity to luxuriate in that uniqueness. So, here's a selection of seasonal decoration ideas that traverse a variety of trends and tastes, each in earnest pursuit of pushing the holiday joy up a stylish notch.  

Twinkle, Twinkle

For some homemakers, Christmas décor needs to be subtle - otherwise it won't happen at all. In such instances, lighting is crucial to creating a Christmas atmosphere that's charming without being cheesy. If understated opulence is the style of choice, then the simple sophistication of an arched, metal candelabra will elegantly whisper the spirit of Christmas to home-owners and guests alike.

Alternatively, for those who only take their décor with a healthy dose of sumptuousness, a collection of lux scented candles is certain to deliver the radiant ambient lighting so merrily craved - especially if they're made by the oldest candle makers in the world and come housed in a richly gilded glass vessel. Each of these lighting solutions will deliver a delicate dose of seasonal warmth, without any unwanted bells or whistles, and without detracting from a home's original spirit.  

Merry and bright

Christmas doesn't have to be all about red, green and gold; and for those décor enthusiasts who do enjoy Christmas ornamentation but are bored to Bethlehem with traditional decorative schemes, there are other options. Deep berries, magentas, emerald greens and peacock blues can make for a gratifyingly alternative Christmas palette. Tableware is a perfect place to experiment - swap out your plain porcelain for some twenty-four-karat gold plated malachite dishes if you're ready to go gloriously bold. And to take that fearless flair up a notch, use clever combinations to assert your renegade approach to designing your home. Pairing a high-polished, hammered metal stool with a set of delightfully kitsch hanging ornaments might not sound like a match made in heaven, but it will look like one. Add in a flourish of coloured glassware and you'll have achieved the contemporary Christmas you never knew you needed. So what if it's not your regular silver bells? It's your home, your Christmas.

Crème-de-la-Christmas

Some home-owners are all about embracing the visual joys of Christmas and enjoy nothing more than decking out their beloved nest with the best of Yuletide finery. For that particular group, densely rich colours and materials are what it's all about, with iridescent metals, opulent velvets, and shimmering gilding begging to take centre stage. Nothing says Christmas more insistently than holiday ornaments designed to look as chic as the furniture that surrounds them; miniature tree-statuettes made from marble, brass and oak will be an instant triumph for design-savvy decorators. Likewise, a one-of-a-kind sculptural art work can work to both enhance a room's design qualities and serve as a conversation piece for nights of jubilant entertaining soirees. And statement pieces can come in all shapes and sizes - an earthenware chalice with hand-painted spikes is just one example. Velvet Christmas stockings is another. Shining golden cutlery also works to turn festive heads.   


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