Deck your halls this Christmas: get your home party-ready

There’s nothing like decking your halls to put you in the festive mood. Add magic this year with tips from two experts.
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Left: Interior designer Katharine Pooley suggests polishing the silver and decorating with cones and berries; Right: Ribbons and trimmings from VV Rouleaux



The ultra high-end interior designer Katharine Pooley, admits: “I am very, very traditional when it comes to Christmas. For me it should be warm, inviting and colourful. I start with a colour as a theme but always add in red, gold and silver. These three colours are so rich and festive, they are hard to resist.

“Change the accessories in your main room to red velvet cushions, and drape warm, crushed-berry coloured throws over the backs of the chairs. If you have small silver objects around, polish them so they gleam. I keep several sets of decorations (five trunkfuls in a dedicated shed!) and choose a different mix each year.


Richly festive: a red, gold and silver theme is always a winner for a Yuletide table

“I am very organised and buy my tree at the end of November. No matter where you are you can make a trip to a small wood and collect lots of greenery — fir branches, ferns, foliage and holly. This is a free and easy way to decorate banisters and mantelpieces and make table centrepieces.

“Buy yourself loads of ribbon at a good old-fashioned draper, or a street market stall — red and green tartan always looks good. Tie the branches on to the banisters with the ribbon, leaving the ribbon ends to drape over the side.

“I love the scent of Christmas — my favourite candle is Ralph Lauren’s Holiday fragrance — and my guests really love it when my home smells festive.  I hang oranges studded with cinnamon, as cinnamon has a real Christmas  perfume.

“Children like to help make decorations so I always sit down with my son and cut out paper shapes. He loves decorating the tree. My mother loved Christmas and she has definitely passed that feeling on to me. I always look  forward to it.”

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As you might expect, Annabel Lewis, founder of the long-established favourite for beautiful and unusual trimmings, VV Rouleaux, has decorating running through her veins. Any excuse to drape her home is good with her. “This year is definitely a sparkly, glittery Christmas,” she says. “I make leaves by spraying feathers and fern branches with glitter.

“A can of glitter spray is a quick and easy way to transform anything — but always do the spraying outside.

“I have made a Christmas tree from an apple tree branch that I brought in from the garden and covered with vintage French jewellery tied on with ribbons. If you want to give a new lease of life to your decorations, tie your favourite old ornaments to the tree with new ribbon.”


Buttons and bows: tie trinkets to a branch with ribbon for a whimsical Christmas tree

She recommends 68mm ribbon, wire-edged so that it will hold its shape.

“If you want to change the colour of your baubles you can paint or spray them a new chosen colour.

“Collect your old light bulbs (throughout the year) and spray those too, then spray branches gold, place them in a vase and hang decorations from them. Round up a few friends to help you; open a festive bottle of wine and have fun.”

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