This year was House and Home magazine's inaugural #InteriorInfluence19 awards. Bringing with it a fresh batch of instagram stars. Jen Connell spoke to some of the winners about their top Christmas decor tips.
1. Turn something old into something new | Katrina Carroll @vintageirishkat
Winner - Best on a Budget
My number one tip would be to reuse and recycle what you already have! I found all the old baubles that I didn't want from last year and now I’ve made them into new decorative pieces! I would tell people Christmas time is the perfect time to get creative especially with children! Instead of buying a new tree, this year I spray painted one and now it looks like new! Use what you have and you can make something magical with it and make it a one off.
2. Go the handmade route | Joanne Condon @joannecondon
Winner - Best DIY or Upcycycling Account & The House and Home Grand Prix
I like to create my own DIY and handmade decor that represent my style. I still keep to my colour palette even with Christmas decor. More is always more!
3. Mix real and faux foliage | Darran Heaney @oldvictoriannew
Winner - Best Interior Blogger
I'm actually researching something at the moment for my stairs garland! When it comes to an over mantel or stair garland, you can mix faux foliage with the real thing to keep costs down and still end up with a really substantial piece. Completely fresh can cost a lot of money so mixing both fresh and faux is a more economical way to get a stunning end result.
4. Clash your colours | Joanne Mooney @aproudhome
Winner - Best Before and After Project
My number one tip tip for Christmas is more is more. Mix it up, clash your colours and make your own decorations.
5. Get crafty and create your own | Catherine Carton @daintydressdiraries
Winner - Best Use of Video
I think my best tip would be to have fun and create some of your own pieces, whether it is a wreath, Christmas stockings or a fresh table centre piece. To have fun creating and recycling things to make unique decor pieces. My upcycled bike wheel wreath from the weekend is a great example!
6. Keep decor minimal in small spaces | Susan Crosbie @tinyinteriorz
Winner - The Small Space Award
My top tip for Christmas decor when living in a smaller space would be to not over do it and make it look too cluttered. I also like to keep the colours as minimal as possible as to keep the space look calm and cosy so I try to incorporate my home style into my Christmas decorations as much as possible.
7. Try colourful paper decorations | Jill Corrigan @rowansrainbow
Winner - The Colour Creative
I think it would probably would be to stock up on paper pompoms. I swear by them as they are so so cheap and cost effective. They are available in such a range of gorgeous colours and shapes to suit every decor.
Probably the most important thing for me is that I hate buying too much plastic and foil decorations for my house and the paper decorations are reusable if you mind them and you can recycle them too. After Xmas I always hang mine in the kids rooms.
I love how versatile they are, I hang them over the dining table for a festive feature, I put them on the tree and I string them up as garlands too!
8. Fake it til you make it | Aisling Nugent @vintagehillcork
Winner - The Make a Change Award
In my book, there's nothing more 'Christmassy' than the welcoming smell of a real fir tree and this is definitely the number one drawback of having an artificial tree. However, with a little bit of cheeky subterfuge you can still fill your home with that lovely seasonal perfume by hanging scented decorations on your tree and incorporating them into faux wreaths and garlands around your home. After all, 'You gotta fake it til you make it' and none more so than when it comes to creating a festive feel.
Examples of scented decorations are 'Scentsicles' which are currently available in Lidl and Harvey Norman. Similarly, Max Benjamin have launched a new range of beautifully scented Christmas decorations too.
9. Use scent to create a festive atmosphere | Laura Magee @deco.dwelling
Winner - Best Newcomer
If you have a fireplace, make use of your mantle and add lots of fresh festive blooms and greenery. I love fresh poinsettias and bunches of tied cinnamon dotted around. Not to mention scented spiced candles. I think the scents of Xmas are just as important as the aesthetics!
10. Build your Christmas decor collection gradually | Stephanie O'Sullivan @coallanehouse
Winner - Best Self-Build Account
Christmas decor always feels most festive when the decorations are well crafted and made from natural materials. Invest in hand-crafted well made decorations over time that mean something to you. Go to local Christmas markets and pick up one item a year or something unique on your travels. Your home will slowly fill up with decorations that bring back great memories and last a lifetime and can be passed on to the kids. I'll be visiting the Jam Park Christmas Market this year to support local crafters for our house this year!
11. Make it personal | Yvonne Purcell @sixat21
Winner - Best Use of Photography & Best Styling Skills
Choose one colour palette and style whether its rustic with wire glow worm lights, reclaimed wood accents, soft fur textures, fresh evergreen boughs, garlands, and wreaths combined with citrus like lemons and oranges or a neutral pallet with gold, mercury glass, and champagne or icy blues and snowy whites or going all out with every colour of the rainbow.
Don't reserve Christmas decor for the living room and let it overflow into every part of the house. Add tags or names to Christmas stockings or your Christmas dinner table that make the space feel more personal. Top your present with a pretty piece of greenery, dried flowers or a Christmas tree ornament.
If you have an important present to wrap use wallpaper. Its more expensive but so worth it. Use your shelves and bookshelves as an opportunity to inject a bit of holiday flair and decorate them too. Don't just use lights in your home and drape them around trellis, birdbaths, and other features in your garden.
12. Try additional artificial trees | Ciara Denvir @ormistonhousedesign
Winner Best Period/Vintage Home
If you have a bigger property that requires a lot of decorations, don't shy away from additional artificial trees in other spaces. The quality available today is second to none. Using artificial trees gives you more time to style and perfect your Christmas look.
Jen Connell is an Irish designer and columnist. Follow her on Instagram at @jen_connell_ or get in touch at email@example.com