It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but between hosting holiday festivities, shopping for presents and working full time, it can feel like the most stressful.
Here are ideas from experts on how to capture the holiday spirit at home, without spending a great deal of time or money.
Colours: Simple but festive
Choose one or two festive accent colours (or two shades in the same colour family, such as red and pink) and find simple ways to tie them in with your existing decor, suggests designer Iantha Carley. Go practical, but fun, with ribbons, summer flowers, scented candles, bright cushions and Christmas stockings.
Paint glass jars in festive colours and fill with surprises. Try incorporating different hues in the same colour families, such as deep burgundy and watermelon pink, rather than cherry red, for an elevated and modern look. Stores such Checkers and Woolworths have an assortment of stars – big, tinsel and small, glittery ones – that really add sparkle to a home.
Think food as bling
For stunning summer festive colours try cherries, watermelon and blueberries. Or the wonderful aroma of uncut pineapples or red and green apples in big fruit bowls.
Many of the retail stores have chocolate balls covered in lovely wrapping of different hues. Put them in a few small bowls around the house to pick up your colour palette.
Bring in all things cool and breezy
To turn your home into a summer haven, try burning candles and use strong and bright lighting. For a larger makeover, replace your heavyweight linens with lighter textures and gather hand-held fans powered by batteries with a mister spray (we found them at Clicks) to keep guests cool.
Consider rearranging furniture to face your Christmas tree (or place it outside) to create a welcoming gathering spot for entertaining.
Put your extra ornaments to good use
Instead of cramming all your extra ornaments on the tree, or packing them away indefinitely, place spare, bright-coloured balls and bulbs in big jars of different heights around the house.
Stack extra shiny and colourful ornaments in a bowl or on a cake stand or serving dish with pine cones and white string lights for a simple centrepiece, suggests Carley.
Want an easy and decorative holiday window treatment? Tie extra ornaments to it with ribbons of varying lengths.
Style your bar
With parties aplenty this time of year, it’s a good idea to have your bar cart fully stocked with all the merrymaking essentials. This could mean ensuring your bar has all the ingredients needed to make your favourite cocktail.
If you want to take your decor a step further, style your bar area with brightly coloured fruits, sparkly (reusable) straws and festive glassware. If there’s room to spare, set out bowls of seasonal cocktail garnishes or snacks, such as jelly beans and sugar canes.
Incorporate the outdoors
The smell of the outdoors always sets a festive mood. Adorn your holiday table with freshly crushed mint and flowers to add texture, colour and fragrance. You can also attach leaves gathered from outside to napkin rings or place cards for a green and sophisticated touch.
* Additional reporting by Washington Post
Written by Vivian Warby.