When it comes to Christmas decorations, Armstrong Ward’s founder Jacqueline Ward has some great advice – from choosing a tree to themes for 2018.
How do I pick the perfect tree for my home?
For Jacqueline, it has to be a real one, partly because of the family ritual around choosing it. She says it’s always good fun fitting two children and a seven-foot tree into a small hatchback! Her tip is to make sure you measure both the width and height of the space where you want your tree to stand. Jacqueline uses an outstretched arm as an easy way to get the size right.
She also advises checking that it looks and smell fresh and has a nice shape with evenly spaced branches. If a tree is netted you should ask to see it out. Once home, give it time to settle before decorating as the branches may drop.
If a real tree isn’t for you, there are lots of choices but remember the tip about size and space, adds Jacqueline. Artificial trees can cost more than real ones but they should be an investment that lasts for years. If you don’t have space for a tree, place some branches in a rustic pot or vase and decorate them with lights and tiny baubles.
The last thing to do before your tree is ready to decorate is to make it sparkle. And the key to success divulges Jacqueline, is to use lots of fairy lights, weaving them into the centre of the tree to give depth and lots of festive twinkle. She uses LED pin lights in a lovely warm white.
How do I choose a theme for my Christmas decorations?
Choose a theme to suit the style of your home says Jacqueline — whether that’s country, vintage, modern or glamorous. But don’t worry about sticking to it strictly. In reality, most people build up a collection of decorations over the years, many for nostalgic reasons, and these can still be incorporated into your scheme. Jacqueline has some favourite decorations that she uses every year, including handmade pasta angels and vintage baubles. Some decorations are all the more charming for their homemade look, or because they were made locally.
How can I save money on decorating my home?
Jacqueline suggests choosing a few favourite baubles or decorations that are distinctive and eye-catching, against a backdrop of simpler, inexpensive ones. Another of her saving tips is not to decorate the whole house. For instance, trim the hallway or bannister with fairy lights, greenery and colourful ribbon or, fill a big bowl with bulbs or clementines, a simple decoration which can smell amazing.
What are this year’s Christmas trends?
According to Jacqueline, Christmas decorations are influenced by interiors trends so expect to see velvet, jewel-like colours and a variety of patterns and textures including botanical-inspired prints, plus unicorns and llamas.