Christmas Decorating your Way

Cassandra Turner

Interior Designer

When Frank Sinatra crooned “I’ll be home for Christmas” I wonder what scene he imagined arriving home to? Presents by the tree, the fireplace burning and a good dumping of pretty white snow outside the window. Stockings aside, the mood and the aesthetic was pretty much set. Nature took care of it all.

christmas-home-decorimage via pinterest

In the absence of fluffy whiteness adorning our windowsills here on the sunny side of the world, we rely more on our savvy sense of style to manifest the type of Christmas we dream about.

Decorating for Christmas should be exciting. It gives you yet another reason to exercise your styling muscle and show Santa and his reindeer just how clever you are to have put your own spin on the holiday. After all, surely Santa is bored of seeing red and green tinsel by now.

I like to approach Christmas decorating like I would styling an event. I always start with an idea or a concept, which includes a ‘theme’ (for want of a better word) and a colour palette. Otherwise, it’s too easy to get distracted along the way and your distraction will be mirrored in the end result.   I aim to have it to reflect my aesthetic style, showcase my creativity and of course be relevant to the event on the day, creating the mood that I think will make the event sing. Christmas is no different.

I can hear you screaming.. Isn’t Christmas the theme??? Well yes, but there are lots of ways to represent Christmas, even if you use the traditional symbols, there’s now plenty of choice in colours, textures and materials so that we can nod to tradition without losing our modern sensibilities.

The key to a stunning home at Christmas is to enhance your home, not overwhelm or detract from all the beautiful things you already have. The final result will take into consideration not only the style of decorations you choose, but also the quantities and how you use them. Remember that decorations don’t need to be limited to baubles. Think of décor items as part of your decorating. Beautiful candles, votives, special cutlery and crockery and the odd new decor piece can completely create a new mood.

Keep in mind the principles of design, be aware of the power of repetition, balance, contrast, emphasis and harmony. Don’t be afraid of taking a few existing décor item things away to make space for your decorations so you don’t end up competing or cluttered.

Essentially, you want your guests (and your family) to be uplifted and make the place feel like it has an extra bit of fairy dust sprinkled over it. A good way to do this is to look at the existing style of your interior. Are you a minimalist, a Scandi lover or a fan of high glamour, details and colour? You can compliment your interior by using decorations and styling techniques that have the same characteristics.

Whilst there are no rules to decorating for Christmas, I do have a few tips that you can follow no matter what style you choose to go with.

DO Pick a style / theme and stick with it.

DO Give your decorations room to breathe and be seen. More is not necessarily more.

DO go for a new look this year. Every year is different so why shouldn’t your house be (plus its more fun!)

DO look at sites like Pinterest for inspiration. Even one new feature idea will bring a freshness to your table.

DO carry the theme across to your table setting in terms of colours.

DO consider bringing bling in via home furnishings like a few new throw cushions for the couch.

DO use lights to create mood. Lots of fairy lights!

DON’T leave it until the Christmas eve to get started!



You follow a minimalist aesthetic in your home. Strong clean lines and shapes, minimal detailing. You believe less is more and like to let each piece shine in both its form and function. Your base palette is neutral; whites and greys with contrasts of black, softened by natural textures and raw materials.


Room Decorations Look for either geometric, simple lines or lines formed by nature in your decorations. Use your creativity with decorations. Think Art gallery versus kids wonderland – make your decorations into feature moments. Fairy lights and candles will soften the look.


Nightfall hanging geometric shapes
RRP $14.95 / Set 6

Nightfall hanging driftwood
RRP $12.95


Dice Metallic Gold Wreath
RRP $39.95

Bauble with Gold Stripes
RRP $14.95

Table Décor You can do either bold or geometric patterns on crockery or focus on organic forms featuring raw materials. Both will work.


Copper Stainless Steel Cutlery Set RRP 490

Tom Dixon Tank Bud Vase RRP $230


Colour Palette There’s no reason why Christmas can’t be a minimalist colour palette.. black, white, grey, metallics, concrete and timber. Bring in a strong bold colour but keep it confined to one area making it a huge statement.


You love the crispness of the Scandinavian style. You prefer raw linen sheets, you love timber, the beauty and imperfection of handmade items and honest textures. There is a softness to your home. Your palette is muted, neutral and from nature with lots of crisp white walls.


Room Decorations Natural materials. Animal motifs and textures. Timber.


Feather Christmas Wreath RRP $59.95

Gold Glass Votives RRP $35


Forest Friends hanging felt scenes RRP $27.95

Ceramic Reindeer Head White RRP $4.95


Table Décor Handmade ceramics, layered to accentuate their wabi sabi properties, simple items from nature like leaves or sticks, candles in holders made from raw materials. Scandi also has some minimalist qualities so look to strong geometric lines in candles holders.



Medium Resin Beetle Bowl Dark Horn RRP $200

Kubus Copper Bowl by Lassen RRP $554

Colour Palette Neutral earth colours combined with the green from your tree. If you bring in coloured decorations keep the colours neutral, or muted and muddy



Your home is energetic and high glamour. You consider gold a neutral and are not afraid of bold colour. Your home is sophisticated and balanced with pops of irreverence and fun in your meticulously layered décor. You love a Hollywood reference. Restraint is not in your vocabulary.


Room Decorations: Look for colour, bling, beads, embellishments.   Either keep to a few styles or go the other way and make it crazy

baublesBaubles from

Table Décor
: Keep it sophisticated to balance the fun in your decorations. Use Christmas to add more detail than normal in items like candles and glassware. Crystal is a must. Bring the bling.


Round Marble Platter RRP $125

Waterford Mad Men Circon DOF Tumbler Gold Pair RRP $240.00 / pair

Colour Palette: Be sure to choose a palette that works with whatever bold colours you already have, either harmonising or contrasting. Make good use of the great metallic decorations and décor items that are around at the moment.


Follow Cassandra: Website | Instagram | Pinterest

For all of Cassandra Turner’s posts click here

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