How to get your home ready in time for Christmas*



*This is a collaborative post*



We bloggers love a beautiful flat lay, in fact I think it's every bloggers dream to take better quality photos and to have an 'Instagrammable' home, especially at Christmas. And even if you're not a blogger, you'll probably have a fondness or admiration for the gorgeous pics that crop up regularly in your Insta feed! 
The Christmas season - my all time favourite - is the perfect opportunity to show off your home in all it's festive glory. It's a chance to create the ultimate Christmassy feed that will look aesthetically pleasing on your profile and will hopefully up your engagement. Everyone wants more followers right?
If your home isn't quite up to scratch then have no fear. GirlGoneDreamer has teamed up with Oldrids and Downtown, provider of bedroom furniture, to give you guidance on how you can change up your interior to make it more magical, all in time for Christmas. 


The Living Room

Your living room is arguably one of the most important rooms in the house, after all we spend the majority of our wind down time in there. When Christmas comes around this can be even more of the case as you'll no doubt be having many family and friends round during the festive period. It'll also be home to your Christmas tree and various festive decorations. Many of us go all out and deck the sofa with seasonal cushions and throws too. If you want to make your home more visually pleasing this Christmas then there are some fab tips you should be aware of.



Walls


You might decide to have a drastic revamp which will mean pulling out all the stops to get work done in time for Christmas. If you choose to repaint your walls for December, then it's recommended that you go with a matt colour such as a sage green or a traditional royal blue. This will make your furniture stand out from the walls. Don't worry if you're not keen on repainting entirely, Christmas decor provides lots of versatility so the rest of your decorating won't suffer. 
When the walls are finished you can go to town and do what you want. Ideally if you're going to be taking photographs over the festive period then you'll want a decent backdrop so avoid over cluttering. Hanging photos in different sized frames but in an inconsistent pattern across the wall is a lovely way to showcase your family and memories. If you prefer having just one family portrait then be sure to go for a large photo so it doesn't look lost on the wall. 

Extra special touches such as a pre-lit wreath with baubles can make your living room look even more magical. And you can be a little adventurous with its placement. If you want to make it a focal point, either hang it independently above your fireplace or let it stand on your mantelpiece and lean it against the wall.


Threads

I love curtains, mostly because I love shutting the damp, dark, cold world out when I get home from work. They instantly make the room appear cosy and warm. 
Check curtains are bound to make your living room look like more like a showroom and this is something that you might want to achieve if you’re allowing the world of social media into your living room through images that are likely to start trending! Fingers crossed. Stick with subtle colours, nothing too bold, as this could take the attention away from other aspects of the room that you’ve decorated for the jolly season.
Everybody loves cushions on the sofa - I know I certainly do -  however, sometimes we can go overboard and have far too many and sometimes we don't have enough. Balance is key and there are many factors that can influence your decision before you decide on how many you need. Firstly look at the size of the cushions, the number of sofas in your room and also their sizes. Make sure that the cushions you purchase have some festive features, such as snowflakes or reindeers. You don't have to buy brand new cushions either if you're on a budget, many places sell just cushion covers. When it comes to colour, we recommend that you try and stay within the colour scheme of your room, match with either your walls or your curtains - but try not to match your cushions with the colour of your sofa or this can make your whole room clash.

Christmas tree

Putting up the Christmas tree is one of my favourite parts of the festive season. Oh, Christmas tree! Oh, Christmas tree! How lovely are your branches? It's an event in itself and usually the family comes together for this as you eat nice food and sing along to festive tunes. I usually decorate the tree with my mum and brother around the 1st December. 
When it comes to picking a tree, artificial trees tend to be the easiest which is why I opt for this at work. At home however we always opt for a real one. With Christmas tending to be a stress inducing time for many, you will want to avoid anything that can add to this. As chaos takes over, everything becomes more of a challenge, so extra mess is something that you won’t want to be dealing with. Whether you opt for a green, white or black Christmas tree, there are a few methods you can take to make your tree unlike any other. Once you’ve pieced together your tree and it’s ready to decorate, remember to hang the LED fairy lights first. Take time to really spread them out evenly so that your tree can sparkle in all directions. It's harder to adjust them once all the other decorations are in place.
If you’re looking to make your tree more unique, a Christmas tree garland can make the perfect addition. However, deciding on the type can be a challenge. 
If you want to keep up with Christmas tree trends then go with a string-like garland that includes sleigh bells or even pom-poms that look like snowballs. Another trend that is picking up and would make for a killer Insta-pic is letters that hang around the tree spelling out a festive phrase such as “Merry Christmas!” or “Ho! Ho! Ho!”.
When it comes to baubles, go big or go home. Use a mixture of gigantic and tiny baubles to make your tree really stand out. If you’re using a white tree, do not go with silver coloured baubles, instead opt for bright and bold colours such as reds and golds. Those using a green Christmas tree, you can’t go wrong with silver!
To top things off, you could place fake parcels under your tree to give your room that ‘Santa’s Grotto’ feel. If you have little ones, it might be a nice idea to have a children’s train track loop around the tree to make things extra special. Of course if you already have some Christmas gifts bought and wrapped, then you can place these around the base of the tree too.

Christmas dinner

One of my favourite parts of Christmas day - once all the presents have been opened of course - is Christmas dinner! I love a beautiful Christmas setting on the table. From table covers to dinner sets, everything must be perfect. Luckily you can buy anything you need from many places, napkins, place names, Christmas straws, you name it and they've got it. 
When it comes to the dining room, you need to make sure that everything is in the right position and that your table design is not lacking in creativity. Firstly, position candles at opposite sides of the table and make sure that they’re in a symmetrical position. Secondly, position your tableware for each person in the right area but don’t make things too tight, people want to stretch freely after stuffing their faces without the fear of nudging someone by accident. It’s also important to leave room in the centre of the table for sauces and gravy boats to reduce the amount of running backwards and forwards to the kitchen!




According to psychology experts, those who deck the halls with decorations earlier tend to be happier than those who don’t. And so since Christmas is almost here, there’s no reason for you to not start preparing.


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