12 Days To Christmas

My top 12 last-minute festive decorating tips as we countdown to Christmas Day!

It’s not too late to make your home look festive and welcoming! Make all your festive style wishes come true with my guide to last-minute decorating and styling in the 12-day run up to the Christmas day. From warm and welcoming exteriors and festive-looking hallways to glamming up windowsills, shelves and surfaces. Read on for lots of festive ideas to make your home shimmer and sparkle this Christmas.

1. A Warm Welcome

A Christmas wreath makes a welcome addition to any front door.  And, if you have space, adorn your porch with a small potted Christmas tree or a pile of freshly cut logs for your winter fire.  Outdoor lighting will create a welcoming glow as dusk falls, from twinkling fairy lights in potted trees or around windows to lanterns and candles to decorate your entrance. This will truly set the scene for a warm and hospitable Christmas for your guests.

2. Deck the Halls

Extend your warm welcome into the hallway. Lavish garlands of foliage and fir wrapped around banisters and entwined with small, warm white fairy lights will add instant cosiness when coming in from the cold. Use satin ribbon to hang shiny baubles or on-trend large paper stars from coat hooks or over the top of doors leading off the hallway.  Adding layers of lighting such as hanging lanterns, lamps and fairy lights will soften the atmosphere in the hallway too and make it extra inviting.

Christmas lanterns
Sandra Rothwell 12 Days to Christmas

3.  Intoxicating scents

Add festive scents such as cinnamon and spice or cranberry and ginger – use sprays or diffusers and fill a bowl with pinecones and spritz or add essential oil – place these in the hallway, cloakroom and living room so it’s Christmas wherever you are in the house.  Add festive hand wash and hand cream plus towels in the cloakroom too.  Set the scene with LED candles and a room fragrance. Remember to make the guest bedroom welcoming with cushions, a throw and towels/soaps too.

4. All Fired Up

If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, then make this the focus of the room. Go big with greenery and add foliage along the length of the mantel.  Adorn with pinecones, berries and small baubles to add shine and touches of bling!  For a truly magical look, add mini votives in and around the fireplace and lanterns to glow even when the fire isn’t on.

5. Lighten Up

There can never be too many lights at Christmas and it’s not just the tree that should sparkle!  Put battery operated fairy lights in a glass bowl for an instant glow that can be positioned anywhere to set the mood.  Choose coloured glass for a fun atmosphere or keep it simple and use a Mason jar. Or weave a string of fairy lights up stairwell banisters – simple and stylish!

6. Keep it Natural

Forage in your garden for a few long twigs or small branches and arrange in a simple vase or pot, great for a dining table centrepiece. Leave natural or decorate with miniature wooden decorations or baubles. If you can find twigs with festive red berries, these will look great on their own.  Hanging clusters of twigs or foliage from the ceiling is very on trend!  Use fine cotton so they look like they are floating like clouds or make a statement with satin ribbon.  It will free up much needed space on the dining table too for all the Christmas food.

7. Christmas Shelfie

Add garlands to shelves and cupboards, weave through a set of micro fairy lights and together with red, white or orange berries to add extra colour and texture.  Battery operated lights are fantastic as there are no unsightly cables on show.  Add instant glamour with sparkly baubles and, if there isn’t any room on your tree, tie with satin ribbon or natural cotton and hang from shelves or in clusters from light fittings or mirrors.

8. Glass Cloches, Crockery and Crackers

This is a wonderful way of adding colour to either a table centrepiece, windowsill or shelf.  Brightly coloured baubles stacked under a cloche will brighten up any corner and if you don’t have any spare baubles, use pinecones.  Some special crockery, glassware and plate chargers or mats will really set the scene, with stylish napkins and crackers.

Sandra Rothwell 12 Days to Christmas
Sandra Rothwell 12 Days to Christmas

9. All that glitters…

Add a sparkle to your table or mantelpiece with gold or silver glass, candlesticks and vases. Arrange them in clusters for a truly eye-catching display.  Complete the look with lit candles or a string of lights.

10. Wrap up!

Wrap extra presents under the tree for extra guests that may turn up! And hang stockings on Christmas eve – no-one is ever too old for one!

11. Pre-dinner drinks

Both functional and useful, serve your guest’s favourite tipple from a drinks trolley festively decorated (talking point and very on-trend!) and use gorgeous trays and sparkly coasters to place drinks on.  If you have space, small tables near sofas for drinks and snacks is always a good idea.

12. And finally, keep it cosy

Add throws to sofas and armchairs to make your living room extra cosy.  Choose natural colours which won’t compete with your decorations – a faux fur or soft luxurious velvet throw will keep you snug and warm as you curl up to watch your favourite film over the Christmas holidays.

Sit back, relax and enjoy all your hard work.

Sandra xx


You may be building your dream home, or expanding or renovating your current home. It is never too early to get Interior Design advice as many options can be explored which may not be possible when other decisions have been made.

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