Christmas tips from Thame designer

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THAME-BASED designer Hanna Francis, furniture and interior accessories expert, has been giving some tips on how to decorate your home for Christmas.

1.Try tying festive coloured ribbon around plain cushions to make them look like gifts, and to go for an even more Christmas feel, add holly or a rhinestone pin.

2.Homemade decorations are good when you are keeping to a strict Christmas budget, and they keep the whole family entertained in the making. Make your own Christmas wreath for the front door and place dried cranberries or cumquats to add vibrant colours.

3.Compliment wooden furniture with natural looking decorations and decorate them by painting them in festive colours such as gold, silver or reds. Attach very on-trend stars or add a pop of sapphire blue or a bright purple ribbon.

4.Play around with traditional Christmas themes if you are making decorations. For traditional festive images like holly and Christmas trees try using unusual colours or textures instead. Try velvet or felt or gingerbread decorations

5.Experiment with putting your tree in a different room this year for a change from the norm or add white lights to a tree outside your home

6.Don’t just decorate one room or just your hallway, try to add subtle hints of Christmas all over the house, for example by putting festive plants where you would usually have flowers or hang decorations from your window frames like our beautiful Riiput Snowflake hanging decorations.

7.Make your dining table festive by replacing your regular table accessories with something more festive, swap white napkins for emerald green, and spray napkin rings gold as well as using festive coloured material instead of placemats. Add what nature provides for free like pinecones, holly and berries.

8. Instead of tying ribbon around doorknobs and staircases, why not tie together some cinnamon sticks and leave them on mantle pieces or tables to excite your all your senses. Go branch hunting or find pinecones and make a natural display. Alternatively add some bling by placing some crystals in your display!

9.Using a gingerbread house instead of a traditional floral centrepiece on the dining table can make a stunning display although you may have a problem stopping naughty hands stealing sweets off the roof!

10.Lighting is very important at Christmas time. With shorter colder days you want to really bring warmth into your home. Our KAJO lighting collection provides a fabulous way to brighten any room, with the perforated shapes casting beautiful displays of light highlighting the natural beauty of the wood.

11. We take the simple approach in Scandinavian – you can create such a relaxed and beautiful Christmas feeling of calm simply by using white light. No need to create a disco effect with flashing multi-coloured lights. Go for a sophisticated look using candles and paper decorations using white lights instead.

12.If we are lucky enough to have snow, make about 10 - 15 medium snowballs to form a pyramid outside and add a tea light in the middle. This is the ultimate natural decoration, which doesn’t cost you a penny! It will get the neighbours talking too.

13.Hang a tea light in a lantern outside your front door or make ice candle holders by pouring water in a small bucket and letting it freeze over night to the point where you can still break the ice in the middle. Add a tea light and it looks beautiful!

14.Inspired by the Scandinavian forests, our OKSA multipurpose hook captures the natural form of a branch which is beautiful in winter and makes a real talking point.