Christmas Decorating Ideas For Those Short On Space And Time

From Interiors Journalist Sharon Dale

Christmas is hurtling towards us like an express train and most of us are not fully prepared for it. The phrase “How many days?!” is often heard when the countdown is mentioned, followed by groans of despair. There's a mountain of work to finish before you can take those precious few days off, presents to buy, menus to plan and then there’s the decorating.
 
The season to be jolly can be stressful, especially for those who live in small properties.
Trimmings take up precious space, and catering for guests can be a dreadful squash.


So here are a few tips for those who are short of space and time!

 
*Christmas trees take up a lot of room, especially if they are floor-standing. Instead, raise it off the floor. Pop it on your TV unit or get a smaller tree and give it added height by putting it on a small side table. You can get space-saving skinny trees but, personally, I think they look sad, starved and very un-Christmassy.


 
*Try an alternative tree. You can make one yourself from a glass vase filled with a bed of pebbles and a collection of sturdy twigs. Decorate with baubles and lights. Or what about this slimline charmer? The decorative birch tree from www.Brissi.com features Edison bulb lighting to add warmth. It costs £59.



Rockett St George has the best space-saver of the lot with its Christmas tree wall sticker, £52. It comes with a set of firefly lights and self-adhesive hooks to hang them from.


 
*Stick to a subtle palette. Too many colours will look chaotic and will be headache inducing. Scandi-inspired trimmings in white, soft greys, scarlet and green work well.
 
*Make use of the ceiling and windows by hanging paper snowflakes. You can make these yourself with white paper, scissors and invisible thread. Or invest in ready-made honeycomb paper decorations. www.talkingtables.com has a good selection.  These also make for a dazzling display in an entrance hall. Don’t go overboard in the sitting room or it could look like a children’s party!


 
*Use your walls to hang groups of tree decorations from ribbons at different heights. Don’t forget doors. Hang simple wreaths and Christmas stockings on them.


 
*Swapping your everyday cushions for Christmas ones is an easy way of getting a festive look fast. Wilko has some of the least expensive at £7 each.


 
*Give it some sparkle. You can never have too many fairy lights but if you have a small space stick to white and make sure they are warm white rather than the brilliant white, which looks cold. Battery-powered strings are inexpensive, about £3 each. Wrap them around mirror frames, doorways and pop them in jars and vases on a bed of mini pine cones.

One of my favourite fairy light stores is www.lights4fun.co.uk. It has a great festive selection, including artificial spruce wreaths with micro lights. They are £30 each and look great grouped together on a wall.
 
*When it comes to accommodating guests my number one tip is to invest in AeroBeds so you can turn living spaces into a makeshift bedrooms. They are extremely comfortable and self-inflate and deflate. All you have to do is plug them in and press the button. They also pack away small in their own duffel bag. My basic single was £70. You can also get divan versions, which look like real beds when dressed at www.aerobed-europe.com.


 
*If you’re worried about having enough room round the table for Christmas dinner guests, then the obvious solution is an extendable table. The Ikea Bjursta, £130, has two pull-out leaves and Argos has some great fold-up wooden chairs for £11 each. I have just bought a vintage gate-leg Formica table for £15 from a charity shop. Both leaves fold down so it’s easy to store away. On Christmas Day I’m planning to tag it on to my dining table and cover both with a length of white sheeting.

Join us again tomorrow to see what content is hiding behind the next advent door!

Publish date: 19/12/2017