Decorating in a Contemporary or Traditional Style Are you leaning towards the classic and timeless look, with traditional colour schemes like red and gold; or are you veering toward the more modern and daring this year? There are no rules to Christmas decorating, so there’s no reason you can’t try different looks in different rooms, but if you want your wreaths and garlands to look one way or another, try these tips… For a Contemporary Look: Avoid “warm white” coloured lights, which have a cosy, traditional feel. Instead try the ice white or multi-coloured options for a more modern look. Make more daring choices in your colour scheme, steering clear of the traditional red and gold. Violet and ice white/blue make interesting alternatives that create a crisp, wintery Christmas atmosphere. Turquoise blue, lime green, deep purple, grey or even all-white are more options for a modern look. With a contemporary theme, you have more scope to use unusual textures and items as decorations. Go as eccentric as you dare! Incorporate items that aren’t necessarily “Christmas decorations” like feathers, burlap, lace, and crystal and glass ornaments, which bounce light beautifully. For a Traditional Look: As above, “warm white” coloured lights are the ideal choice for a homely, traditional look. Stick to a colour scheme, with just two or three accent colours. Red, gold, silver and white baubles, bows and decorations are great choices for old-world elegance and are offset beautifully by the greenery of garlands and wreaths. Choose decorations that are timeless and could have been around 100 years ago. Use lots of natural elements in your decorating like pine cones, branches and berries. Where to Place Christmas Wreaths Of course, the usual place for a Christmas wreath is the exterior of your front door. There it will serve as a welcoming festive adornment to greet passers-by and visitors. At Topline, we like to think out of the box, so we’ve come up with some other wreath-location ideas for you to consider: On Gates – If you have gates at the top of your driveway, one wreath on the left gate and one on the right can look fantastic. In Windows – Surprisingly, wreaths actually work really well as Christmas window displays. Try to balance them out, e.g. one large wreath in each of the windows on either side of your front door; or three smaller wreaths in each window on either side. You will also have the benefit of being able to enjoy your wreaths from inside and outside. Indoors – Hanging three small wreaths over a mirror makes an eye-catching focal display for the holidays. Consider the wall above your fireplace, or on interior doors too. As a Chandelier – Want to knock the socks off friends and family with your creativity? Go on, we won’t tell them we gave you the idea! Hang a wreath from the ceiling on its side rather than in the normal way. It looks great with the baubles and other decorations dangling down, and works well above the dining table or if you have a high-ceilinged entranceway. If you’re feeling extra creative, you can combine three wreaths in different sizes for a multi-dimensional chandelier effect. On a Table – Lay a wreath flat on a table for a visually stunning centrepiece or focal point. Try adding a large pillar candle or lantern to the centre. Where to Place Christmas Garlands Mantelpieces, doorways and staircase banisters call out for garlands at Christmas time. Garlands brighten up dull hallways and stairs, and add a sense of luxury to Christmas decorations. Outside, they look great draped above the front door or along the porch roof line. They can also be draped on gates or railings, roof awnings or window sills. What You Need to Decorate Christmas Wreaths & Garlands Lighting50 - 100 LED LightsWith the vast selection of Christmas lights now available, you are lucky that you won’t need to worry about excess bulbs and miles of cable anymore when decorating your wreath or garland. Lights now come in smaller bulb quantities like 50’s or 100’s, which are ideal for the smaller surface coverage required. Battery PowerBattery powered lights now make life even easier and give you more freedom when placing your decorated wreath or garland. You don’t need to worry about reaching a socket or tripping over wires. Automatic TimerMost battery powered lights also feature an automatic timer option so you can set them to come on for six hours each day and to stay off for 18. This is great as you don’t have to try and remember to look after that each day, and with the energy efficient LED bulbs, it helps your batteries to last for the whole season. Decorating After lights, the next most important step in creating visually impactful wreaths and garlands is your choice of decorations. Try creating little bunches of baubles in different sizes and finishes, and interspersing them throughout the branches. Ribbons, bows, berries, leaves and pine cones also make great additions. You could try using artificial snow spray to top some pine cones and wintery branches, to add further interest among the greenery. Really, anything goes. Strings of pearls, feathers, burlap, lace, glitter-painted fruit; use your imagination and see Pinterest.com for further inspiration. Hanging A little less fun and creative than the previous steps but essential none the less. Sturdy and secure hanging of your wreaths and garlands will prevent the headache of continually picking them up off the floor over Christmas. You will need either a decorative ribbon or a barely visible string (or fishing wire) to hang with. If you don’t have a nail or railing to tie your ribbon/string to, you will need to install a hook, nail or large staple you can tie to. If you want to avoid making a permanent hole in the surface, you can use 3M’s adhesive hooks, but this option will only work if your wreath is under a certain weight. See the packaging for further information.