With so much stunning Christmas decor hitting the stores, sometimes it's hard to know where to begin. How many baubles do you need? How full should your tree be? And what's the verdict on gift wrapping? Enter our resident styling expert, Lucy Wolstenholme.
A little about Lucy
From a very early age, Lucy knew she wanted to work in the homeware and interior design industry. After finishing high school, she went on to study interior design before spending seven years developing her expertise as a visual merchandiser for an iconic Australian furniture brand. Lucy then moved across to Flower Power, spending two years perfecting our visual merchandising style before stepping into her current role as homewares and furniture buyer.
In her eight years in this role, Lucy has travelled the world, visiting the leading international homeware exhibitions and sourcing stylish, on-trend product from far-flung locations including China, Vietnam, India and Europe. Her extensive travels have helped to shape her vision, but she also finds inspiration in interior design magazines and on social media.
As far as trend-spotting and trend-setting goes, Lucy has her finger on the pulse at all times, because she lives and breathes interior design both in her career and at home. Between sourcing product internationally up to 12 months in advance and styling her own home, she is quick to identify emerging trends and colour palettes, often before they appear in the local market. Her prediction for the next twelve months? Look out for lots of line drawings of faces and still life images in wall art, quirky faces on planters, and plenty of earthen tones.
Lucy's top Christmas styling tips
The colour scheme
"This year's Christmas colour palette takes great inspiration from the earthen hues of the Australian outback. Paprikas, rusts and blushes serve as beautiful, warm, on-trend focal points alongside traditional Christmas tones of gold, copper, bronze and champagne. As far as texture is concerned, you'll see plenty of raw wooden pieces and seashells which provide a natural, earthy accent to metallic and glittery ornaments."
Styling your Christmas tree
"When selecting decorations for your tree, the best advice I can give you is to choose a selection that are traditional in colour and design, then accent them with seasonal trend pieces - think of those paprika, blush and rust tones, plus the seashell elements, as your on-trend accent pieces. By working through your decorating in this manner, you'll only need to replace 20% of your ornaments each year to keep your tree up with the latest trends.
In order to create a stylish, symmetrical and balanced look, my top tip is to keep it simple. Choose anywhere between 5 and 9 ornament designs, depending on the size of your tree, and 6 to 12 units of each design - the larger your tree, the more you will need to prevent it looking sparse. Once you've selected your ornaments, choose a complementing light garland, either battery operated or electric.
I also recommend choosing a gorgeous and timeless lightweight planter to finish off your tree in a modern and minimal way, no matter whether your tree is living, cut or synthetic. At Flower Power, we have a huge selection of planters to suit any decor scheme - and even better, once the tree comes down (for me, that's always the twelfth day of Christmas - January 5th!), you can keep the planter and replace your Christmas tree with a stunning, oversized indoor plant! I always feel that my living room is empty once the tree comes down, so having a beautiful indoor plant helps to fill that space.
Once you've selected all of these elements, it's time to style! Place your tree in its oversized planter, wrap it with lights, then separate your ornaments by design and colour. Place each design evenly across your tree to achieve a balanced look."
Styling your wreath
"Wreaths, much like Christmas trees, can be updated each year simply by changing up your decorations. I recommend that you choose a plain wreath and then layer up on ornaments that work with the latest Christmas colour palette. Choose 3-5 hanging ornaments in this colour scheme, plus a battery-operated light garland for a twinkling effect, Don't be afraid to think outside the box, either - I love using dried leaves, for example, to create an organic textured look on my wreath.
Once your wreath is styled, you can use it to add that Christmas feel in a number of places. You could hang it traditionally on your front door, pop it on your front gate for some Christmas street appeal, hang it on an interior wall or even use it as the centrepiece on your Christmas lunch table."
Styling small spaces
"Don't think that you have to sacrifice that festive feel if your living space is compact. Small vignettes of tree alternatives, grouped candles, lanterns and Christmas ornaments in the season's palette will help add that touch of Christmas. This isn't limited to small spaces, though - you can create these vignettes on bedsides, side tables, buffets, desks and shelves to maintain a common thread throughout your entire home."
Styling your table
"Your table sets the tone for your Christmas gathering, so it's important to get the styling right. For a timeless, Australian summer Christmas look, use crisp white platters in a range of sizes, shapes and patterns, and layer them with jute placemats for texture. White linen napkins can be accented with seashell rings, while tealights, candles and lanterns set the mood with an inviting ambience. Layer a few Christmas baubles and ornaments in between to help tie your table in to your overall decorating scheme and colour palette."
Styling your gifts
"Remember, your gifts will sit under your tree, which makes them part of your decor - so you want them to work harmoniously with your Christmas decorating concept while adding layers of colour and texture. For a modern yet minimal look, keep your wrap plain in colour - my favourite is always a plain brown paper - and then choose textured ribbons that complement your tree. Adding dried leaves or a small ornament when tying your ribbon into a bow will really help to carry that organic, earthy feel through your gifts.
If you're like me, though, you might want to give a living gift! To do this, I'll pick a small indoor pot that I know the recipient will love, but that also complements my tree. I'll add a white Phalaenopsis orchid or a small indoor fern, then simply tie a ribbon around the pot. It really does make the perfect gift!"
Creating an ambience
"Never underestimate the importance of home fragrance! Our sense of smell is one of our strongest, so it makes sense that we associate particular scents with places, people, feelings and memories. To help create a lasting impression on your guests and make your Christmas celebration one to remember, it's really important to set the mood with home fragrance. We have a huge range of stylish candles, diffusers, wax melts and sprays to choose from, including special Christmas editions with scents designed for the festive season in decorative packaging, so you can really give your home that Christmas feel - and they can be styled in so many beautiful ways! I like to cluster pieces of different sizes to create a sense of texture. Bonus - home fragrance pieces also make fabulous gifts in beautiful packaging that needs no gift wrap."