November 27, 2015
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Tips for Decorating for Christmas  – On a Budget!

Christmas is just around the corner, and with everyone leading such busy lives these days, preparing for Christmas can often be left until the last minute!  However, with a little creativity & forward planning, preparing for Christmas doesn’t have to be stressful & doesn’t have to cost the Earth!

Below are 5 simple tips & tricks to create a magical Christmas atmosphere at home or at the office!

  • Colour – Try and stick to a colour palette of no more than 3 colours, and continue this theme throughout the entire home or office.  You don’t always have to use traditional colours for Christmas, and if you want to experiment with a more modern theme, try a mixture of bright colours such as pink, purples & blues – or my favourite the Nordic Theme (Scandinavian).
  • Table Setting – The table setting I think is the most important part of decorating for Christmas.  Whether it be a big Christmas Party you’re hosting, or a Christmas work dinner, or a small family get-together, decorating the table for Christmas is what really sets the overall mood, and creates that festive atmosphere. 


  • You don’t need to spend a lot to achieve a great table setting or stunning centre-pieces, just a little experimentation and creativity.
  • Try filling a tall vase or a cluster of glass bowls with small baubles and other Christmas Ornaments.  This will create a simple, yet beautiful centre-piece for your table.
  • Bring the outside in!  Branches look great in a tall glass vase, and the height creates a dramatic effect.  Hang some small baubles and Christmas decorations from the branches, and for something extra special, try hanging some tea light candles from the branches, to create a warm glow.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment! Add height to centre pieces with a stack of  white plates underneath, or layer 2 or 3 different placements on top of one another to add texture and depth.  Wreaths are also great to use on the table, to wrap around and frame individual place settings or to create a spectacular centre-piece!
  • Christmas Tree – Lights, lights, lights! Twinkling fairy lights are a must, and will really make your tree sparkle and create that magical feel!  These should always be the first thing to go on the tree.  Once again, consider your colour palette before choosing your lights.  White fairy lights look great with almost any colour palette, as they won’t clash with other colours on your tree.  After the lights are on, always hang your largest decorations on the tree first, and then work your way down to the smallest decorations.  This will result in a more balanced overall look.  Always finish your tree with a ‘tree skirt’ around the base.  Or for a cost effective option, drape a ‘cut-off’ of fabric around the base, for a beautiful finished look.
  • Burn a Scented Candle – Christmas is all about the delicious smells wafting through the air.  Think gingerbread and delicious spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, rich Christmas puddings and dark winter berries and fruits.  My favourite candles to burn at Christmas time are Yankee candles in Red Apple Wreath and Christmas Cookie… They smell good enough to eat!!
  • Christmas Carols – nothing creates that magical Christmas atmosphere like Christmas Carols.  Be sure to always play some festive music at home or in the office at Christmas time to really spread the Christmas cheer and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone, and wishing you all the best for the New Year!!

Carissa is an Interior Designer and Stylist, and the Creative Director of Upstaged Home Staging.  She also specialises in decorating and styling homes and offices for Christmas, and can work with you to create a beautiful and magical Christmas theme, customised just for you!