“I absolutely love Christmas because it’s such a wonderful opportunity to really ramp up the colour at home, and literally change rooms overnight,” declares interior designer and colour expert, Sophie Robinson. Mum of one Robinson, who combines her design career with TV appearances on shows like 60 Minute Makeover and The Great Interior Design Challenge is adamant the ‘deck the halls’ ritual should be a pleasure, not a pain.
“People get totally hung up on trends and bothered about perfection. Why? You’re not aiming for a look to suit a department store or hotel foyer. I want my home to look stylish, fab, fun and zingy colour is the easiest way to achieve that,” she says. While she always indulges in a bit of a seasonal splurge on new baubles and accessories, Robinson also delves into her treasured collection of decorations, gathered over the years and full of memories.
“I love a homely vibe, so I always hang up Fifties style baubles from my grandmother, glorious hanging snow globes, my favourite glamorous, rainbow coloured sequin encrusted baubles and, of course, all handmade efforts made by my eight year old son, Tom,” says the home style guru, who’s teamed up with Habitat on this festive campaign.
Here, Robinson reveals some easy-to-create looks to transform your home for Christmas...
Create a colour-popping tree
Make a tree festive and fabulous with bright, beautiful baubles. “My golden rule when creating a strong colour story is to focus on just three hero colours,” says Robinson. “I’ve used pink, turquoise and orange, as they’re a trio of complementary shades which give the look an element of cohesion.” Alternatively, she says: “Mix multi coloured baubles with a selection of plain ones, maybe in red or pink, which is one of my favourite combos. Simply adapt the colour theme to your taste.” Colour craze: “If you love to go full-on with brights then ignore the ‘less is more rule’ and pile on the decorations but do introduce some natural elements to help ground the look,” Robinson advises. “The rich dark green of a real Christmas tree makes the perfect foil to all the bold colour and will really make bright colours zing!”
Bring on the baubles
“To keep a scheme organic and edgy, don’t be overly matchy,” she warns. “And definitely don’t ever match your baubles to your decor - that would be a design crime!”
Let baubles roam free
“Think outside of the box with your decorating and don’t limit baubles to the tree. Use them for small scale festive features around the house,” Robinson urges. “I arrange them in odd numbers, and if I use them with other ornaments or accessories, I make sure there are a variety of heights for interest.
“Look for those neglected spots like a table in the hall, a dull corner of a room, which will look great with an injection of colour. Or just bring seasonal spirit to a guest room and arrange a small display on a bedside table. “Hang a selection of baubles on a string or wire line,” she suggests. “It’s a wonderful way to dress a window, or you can achieve a beautiful ‘double’ effect by hanging them across a mirror, above a table, or along a stair banister.”
Focus on the foliage
“For me, Christmas is a time where we get to up our game with a little opulence, and yet also cherish the humble things like home-made decorations, which you make yourself or are your children’s cherished efforts,” says Robinson.
“Fuse together luxury with the handmade and you have one of my favourite festive looks. It just takes a little imagination and you can really create a look that’s unique to you.”
“My Mum always went foraging for foliage and branches to decorate the house at Christmas, and I’ve kept the same tradition,” adds Robinson. “What’s great is that this is so in tune with the trend for reflecting nature and greenery in our rooms.”
Branch out: For a modern update, create a striking focal point with a swathe of fir branches tied with string, she suggests. Embellish with sprayed gold leaves and baubles, and interweave fairy lights for a striking display.
Use adhesive wall strips to secure to a wall or hang from picture hooks. This decoration will look brilliant suspended over the table, especially if you use transparent fishing line, which will be barely visible and look as though it’s floating in the space.
Transform a table
Continue the foliage theme, says Robinson, by snipping some smaller branches and laying them down the centre of a table as a basis for a centrepiece. “This needn’t be elaborate, in fact the simpler the better, as the table will be busy with crockery and glasses,” she adds.
“Simply weave lengths of satin ribbon inbetween the fronds and stems, and then pop in a few shimmery baubles so they nestle in the greenery. Candlesticks interspersed at intervals will complete the look.”
Dining details: Pimp up a place setting by popping a bauble in a bowl or beside a plate. Add to the effect by tying individual baubles to the chair backs. Use ribbon to tie a miniature bauble around each napkin and attach a gift tag bearing each guest’s name.
Serve up some style
“For a final flourish, spray some large leaves and sprigs of foliage gold, to up the opulence,” says Robinson. “These can be added to your displays, or used to embellish gift wrapped presents. “Gold looks particularly ‘wow’ against dark colours like black and green, and a glittering bauble adds that extra special finishing touch.”