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November 12, 2005

Elegant Christmas decoration

Filed under: Festivities — DO or DIY @ 4:15 pm

Timeless Elegance

Timeless Elegance is the classy Christmas decoration theme. It can be classic or contemporary, glamorous or understated, timeless or fashionable. The most important feature of this theme is to accomplish harmony, balance and visual connection between space and decor. It’s very much a designer look that needs careful styling and detailing. If you’re not confident or experienced in design – it might be better for you to commission a designer or stylist..

Suitability

It suits people and homes that are style-conscious & sophisticated – both in a classic or contemporary setting.  It’s particularly suitable for elegant period homes, such as Georgian townhouses and Art-deco villas; it complements oriental, retro, modernist, minimalist or futuristic styles. This look doesn’t really work in country or rustic style homes – try the Traditional Christmas decoration, the White Christmas, the Winter Wonderland or Starry Nights themes.

The look

The success of this look depends on fine design insight and vigilant attention to details. The overall effect is not only a subtle elegance, but it appears to be effortless and flawless. It’s an aesthetic wholeness evoking the subconscious. The color scheme is simple and monochrome – a maximum of three colors are used: two main colours and one accent color. The classic version is based on combinations of gold, ivory, red, deep purple, chocolate & black - offset by shimmering pearls or sparkling crystals. The contemporary palette uses black, silver & white paired with pinkish-pearl, porcelain blue or emerald turquoise. Clear glass, crystal or transparent plastic then adds the x-factor. Textiles are luxurious and classy – lace, leather, silk, feather, velvet & satin. Delicate lighting completes the look. See some examples of elegant Christmas decorating.

Get the look

First decide on the right style for your home – would the classic or modern version work in your interior? Then choose two colors and one accent or balancing colour – and basically use these on most of your decor. Make stylish garlands of feathery or metallic twigs, then decorate them with glass drops, pearl beads and porcelain baubles. Put these on the mantelpiece, sideboards and coffee table and add tall vintage or modern glass candlesticks. Create unique installations by hanging feathers, glass beads, jewels and luxurious baubles in your windows, above your fireplace or from the ceiling along a wall or a feature.  Fill large and thick glass vases and bowls with coloured/ metallic or coloured/glass beads & baubles – weave in some fairy lights (or battery-run twinkle-lights). Drape your banisters with jewelled or feather fairy lights and garlands. Dress your sofa and chairs with silk and velvet. See illustration.

Christmas tree decoration

For the classic version get a real, long-needled pine tree and decorate it tastefully, based on the above scheme. The modern variation asks for a white or black feather tree or a white or silver optic-fibre twig tree. Leave the twig tree undecorated – it should be a piece of art. The feather tree (if not pre-lit with LED lighting system) should be dressed stylishly and delicately with small glass, satin & feather baubles and beads. To create a touch of glamour put huge metallic, black or white feathers into a tall glass vase and use this as a central piece in front of your fireplace, or in the corner, or on your sideboard or console table – or even instead of a Christmas tree! See examples.

Christmas Table Decoration

The Christmas table should look classy: sophisticated, yet understated. Choose a basic colour & smooth material for your tablecloth depending on which variation you want to achieve (modern or classic). This could be dupioni silk, charmeuse or silk velvet – simple, embroidered or beaded.  Cover this with a semi-transparent fabric – silk organza, chiffon or lace in your contrasting color. Use elegant tableware, shimmering placemats & napkins with jewelled or metallic rings. The central piece should be an antique or glass candelabra complemented by glass bowls of clear or coloured beads, pearls and baubles. The glassware to be used is crystal flutes, coloured or etched glass goblets complementing your chosen color scheme.

Christmas lights

This theme uses lighting to add shine and shimmer to the details. Use long glowing candles in metallic or glass candelabra & elegant candlesticks. Put church candles into clear glass vases or cylinders, on top of a layer of glass beads. Alternatively wrap a glass beaded thread around the lower part of the vase. Dimm your wall and ceiling lights or use low level lights and hide battery-run fairy lights in your displays.

Outside decoration

Put a wreath on your door that matches your garlands and your overall scheme – feather, gold, silver, frosted or pearly. Decorate your porch subtly – if you have topiary, wrap them with external rope lights, or make an elegant instillation based on your interior theme. Don’t overdo the exterior decor – less is more!

As the theme name suggests, Elegance is timeless – whether it’s fashioned in a modern or classic setting. It’s not really a trend-setting style – if you’re interested in the Christmas decorating trend of 2005, read further or check out some other Christmas decorating ideas!

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