Summer is creeping on us – before you know it, it will be Christmas again and once-a-year friends and family members will be stopping by your house for a Christmas drink. While these are truly the best times of the year, filled with family and friends, they’re also challenging for busy people who have to clean and make it look like human beings live in their home, and not wild animals.
And even the largest homes can feel a bit overstuffed and cluttered around Christmas, as people come to stay for a few days, presents pile up in hiding places, and decorations and kids’ craft projects eat up valuable floor space. While we can’t necessarily prevent your relatives from staying over, and no one wants fewer Christmas presents, we can offer some classy suggestions on how to keep your home feeling festive and Christmas-y without needing a machete and a guide to cut your way from the lounge room to the kitchen where all the holiday food is kept.
Free Your Floor Space
A festive mood is all about lighting and decoration, not necessarily knick-knacks on every shelf and toddler-high Santa figures that dance when you press a button on their shoe. Getting your decorations off the floors and onto your walls is one of the most effective way to make the house feel festive and still be able to stretch out your legs.
- Beautiful art – Say no to gaudy tinsel and hang some stylish Christmas-themed art instead. An original way to add festive cheer and much easier on the eye for the extended holiday season.
- Skip the tree this year and create a tree on your wall! A series of canvas prints going from small (the top) to large (the base) could be hung with a photo or artistic conception of a gorgeous tree, and real ornaments could even be pinned to the canvas! This keeps the beauty of the tree tradition without taking up a bedroom’s worth of floor space, and means the tree can go in any room, in any spot.
- Go 3D – Christmas decorating ideas don’t have to be two-dimensional. With old-fashioned wreaths as your inspiration, Christmas decor that comes out from the walls will add some texture and shape to your rooms.
- Ladders! You have an old ladder in the garage: Paint it a festive shade of green or white or red and then lean it shallowly against the wall (secure it with a nail or two) and then hang decorations, ornaments, cards, or anything else on it! The shallow angle means it only eats up a small amount of floor space, and it’s an unusual way of decorating the room.
Your walls are missed opportunities for decor – but so are a lot of other aspects of your home that can help keep the floors clear.
Four Dimensional Decor
Look up! Look down! Your walls and floor aren’t your only decorating options when it comes to making your home into a Christmas attraction.
- Go vertical: Chandeliers and other ceiling architectural features can be made into hanging holiday decorations with the addition of baubles or paper chains or just streamers in Christmas colours.
- Think in colours: Your furniture can be made into instant Christmas art installations with the right choice of cover – even red or green sheets strategically draped can transform any room into a celebration of Christmas joy without putting a single other decoration out.
- Go outdoors. This is Australia, after all – who wants to spend Christmas inside? Decorate the back- or front-yard and bring the party outside.
Decorating with Food
If you’re the type who spends Christmas humming happily in the kitchen, why not take it one step further and create treats that double as decorations! Biscuits, cakes, all manner of pastries and other delicious foods can be made into decorations just through the use of colourful frostings and other touches. The rooms will get that Christmas feeling, but by the time you’re saying good night to everyone all the decorations will have been eaten, leaving you with no work to do except the washing-up.
Celebrating Christmas is a time for family, for reflecting on your life and the good things in it, and for having fun with your living space. Decorating can be stressful or fun depending on your approach. These Christmas decorating ideas will at least make living with a festive home a little easier to manage, and might even open up a little more space for extra relatives or old friends to stop by and spend some time. After all, it’s more fun to step over sleeping kids than a clutter of decorations and other stuff that you’ll eventually have to put away again!