How to dress your house to excess this Christmas

From bold velvets in berry tones to antiques that glisten in the candlelight, here’s how to serve Christmas with a flourish and an abundance of festive cheer

Dining table decorated with clusters of witch balls
1

Dress your hall table with swathes of fresh green foliage, a golden bowl laden with fruit and a scattering of glistening baubles.  Mirrors and ornate frames lead the eye upwards, while reflecting the cosy glow of candlelight.

Hall table dressed with fresh foliage and ornate gilt frames
Wall painted in Hague Blue, £46.50 for 2.5l, Farrow & Ball. Showgirl velvet, £115 per m, Anna Hayman Designs. 18th-century Italian rococo console table, £5,900, Brownrigg. 19th-century French gilt porcelain pierced basket, £850, Julia Boston Antiques. Green fabric, stylist’s own. Gold feather trellis glass bauble, £4.20, Gisela Graham. French early 19th-century Charles X frame, £380, Peter Framer. 19th-century gilt framed mirror, £195, Trilogie Antiques. French 19th-century Louis XIV-style frame, £200, Peter Framer. Egyptian glass baubles, £8 each, Raj Tent Club. Gold glitter bauble, £2.50; Peacock Feather wreath, £57, both Gisela Graham. Russian ormolu mounted ruby cut glass vase, £12,000 for a pair, Mayfair Gallery. Small 19th-century mercury glass candlestick, £180 for a pair, Chloe Cyphus. Fluoro candle, £3, Graham & Green. Italian gilt mirror, £1,600, Lorfords.

2

Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without a bowl of walnuts and a novelty nutcracker. Arrange an appetising display on a tiered cake stand, surrounded by cut and coloured glass vessels for a tantalising centrepiece.  

Appetising display on a tiered cake stand
Wall painted as before. 19th-century Chinese export leather and brass-bound camphor trunk, £2,300, M Lees and Sons. Present wrapped in Peacock Feathers paper, £5 per roll, John Lewis & Partners. Pink fabric, stylist’s own. Squirrel nutcracker, £12, The Alleyways Bridport Antiques Centre. Mid 20th-century French silver-plated cake stand, £650, Brownrigg. Purple Egyptian glass bauble, £8, Raj Tent Club. Forks, stylist’s own. Cherub, £10, The Alleyways Bridport Antiques Centre. Coloured glass plate by Brocard, £6,500 for six, Mayfair Gallery. Macarons, £1.50 each, Anna Cake Couture. 1950s bon bon dish, £25, Old Albion. Nutcracker, £15, The Alleyways Bridport Antiques Centre. Jewelled insect, £18, Gisela Graham. Cranberry glasses, £12 for four, The Alleyways Bridport Antiques Centre.
3

Make sure the eye is drawn to every inch of your tree – arrange the baubles to create maximum impact and intersperse vintage trinkets for a more-is-more approach. Team with plenty of clashing patterns in the stockings, rugs and wrapping paper for a look that’s vibrant and fabulously OTT.

Christmas tree decorated with maximalist decorations
Wall painted as before. Thin gold candlesticks (on mantelpiece), £25 each, Focus on the Past. Fluoro candles, £3 each, Graham & Green. Small resin & peacock feather tree top fairy, £15, Gisela Graham. Stockings made from: Plumas fabric, £128 per m, Osborne & Little; Sgt Pepper Arsenic velvet, £115 per m, Anna Hayman Designs. Thin gold candlesticks, £25 each, Focus on the Past. Vintage Moroccan candlestick, £120, Raj Tent Club. Large 19th-century mercury candlestick with hand-painted decoration, £220 for a pair, Chloe Cyphus. Early 19th-century marble bronze and gilt candlestick, £1,800 for a pair, Julia Boston Antiques. Wrapping paper, from a selection, Paperchase and John Lewis & Partners. Royal Blue Spruce 7ft Christmas tree, £619, Balsam Hill. 1920s silk top hat, £85, Lark Vintage. Baubles (on the tree), £4-£18; glittered peacock feather spray, £6; gold glitter peacock feather stem, £8.25, all Gisela Graham. Christmas biscuit hanging decorations from Christmas Tree Decorations Luxe Biscuit Tin, £45, Biscuiteers. Retro baubles, £4.50 each, Raj Tent Club. Gold fox hanging decoration, £12.50; copper fox hanging decoration, £12.50; Egyptian glass baubles, £8 each, all Raj Tent Club. Peacock rug, from £995, Wendy Morrison. 19th-century green velvet deep buttoned slipper chair, £850, Lorfords. Gold On Golden Oriole cushion, £100, Timorous Beasties. Zebra printed cowhide rug, £495, Graham & Green.
4

Remember your stairs are a brilliant place to show off your decorative excesses. Weave swags of greenery around and over your banisters, then hang a few oversized baubles and peacock feathers from the branches. If you’re blessed with wide treads and alcoves, these are ripe for your treasured ornaments.

Staircase decorated with swags of greenery and oversized baubles
Wall painted in French Grey Mid, £45 for 2.5l, Little Greene. Stairs painted in Hague Blue, £62 for 2.5l, Farrow & Ball. In alcove: 20th-century brass stag’s head, £395, Lorfords; waxed paper bauble with gold, £6.25, Raj Tent Club; gold leopard print bauble, £8, Rockett St George; turquoise and gold dimpled large vase, £9, Gisela Graham. Items on the stairs (starting from the top): brass stag, £380 for a pair, Lorfords; small witch ball, £50, Anne Fowler; Christofle silver-plated candlestick, £425 for a pair, Lorfords; fluoro candles, £3 each, Graham & Green; large statue of Mary, £85, Lark Vintage; 19th-century small mercury glass candlestick, £180 for a pair, Chloe Cyphus; King Charles Spaniels, £16 each, Raj Tent Club; gold vase, stylist’s own; gold jug, £28, Trilogie Antiques; small religious statue, £38, Lark Vintage; gold vase, stylist’s own; Grand Tour alabaster statue of Aphrodite of Menophantos, £650, Brownrigg; turquoise and gold dimpled small vase, £7, Gisela Graham; c1950s Austrian headress, £195, Clifton Vintage. Silk Feel Nylon Wilton Woven carpet in Kenya Onyx Leopard, £59.95 per sq m, Animal Print Carpets. French salon chair, £745 for a pair, Lorfords. Paper decorations, from £3.75, Pipii. Decorations on banisters (from bottom): blue bauble with flowers, £5.25; purple gold glitter leaf bauble, £4; matt white bauble with flowers, £5.25; red bauble with flowers, £5.25; clear turquoise bauble with gold peacock feathers, £4.50; turquoise, damask & gold crushed bead spiral bauble, £5.25; gold ribbed bauble, £4; glittered peacock feather spray, £6; ribbed glass peacock bauble, £4.50; shiny blue glass bauble with gold glitter top, £4.50; gold glitter bauble, £2.50; forest green bauble with trees, £4.25, all Gisela Graham.
5

Take a florist-bought wreath to another level with a few pinned-in-place antique and vintage brooches.

Wreath decorated with antique and vintage brooches
Scissors & ribbons, stylist’s own. Brooches, £15 each, Rachel’s & Michael’s Antiques. Toleware dish, £1,540 for a set of five, Lorfords. Retro baubles, £4.50 each, Raj Tent Club. Jewelled insect, £18, Gisela Graham. Honeycomb paper balls, from £2.75 each, Pipii.
6

Shine on with clusters of baubles and witch balls artfully arranged hanging from the ceiling. Team with brightly coloured candles and your most over-the-top tableware for a setting that wows.  

Dining table decorated with clusters of witch balls
Wall painted in Bavarian Forest, from £26.50 for 0.94 litres, Benjamin Moore. Cotton sateen red velvet curtain c1890, £200 a pair, Clifton Vintage. Russian ormolu and crystal antique candelabra, £9,500 for a pair, Mayfair Gallery. Fluoro candles, £3 each, Graham & Green. Honeycomb paper decorations, £12.95 for five, Pipii. Ormolu mounted cut glass French antique amphora vase, £750, Mayfair Gallery. Chinoiserie japanned side chairs, £1,150 for a pair; English mahogany chair, £950 for six; 1950s dining table, £1,900, all Lorfords. Gingerbread House Village Luxury crackers, £35 for six, Nancy & Betty Studio. Angel porcelain candleholder, £38 for a pair, Amy Perry Antiques. Ribbon, stylist’s own. Antique French ormolu mounted malachite tazza, £22,000 for three, Mayfair Gallery. In tazza: purple bauble with gold leaves, £4; matt blue glass bauble with flowers, £5.25; mottled pink glass bauble with gold bead spiral leaf, £4.50, all Gisela Graham; leopard print glass bauble, £8, Rockett St George; clear turquoise glass bauble with gold peacock feathers, £4.50, Gisela Graham. Hanging from ceiling: waxed paper baubles with gold/pearls, £6.25, Raj Tent Club; matt forest green glass bauble with gold trees, £4.25; shiny blue glass bauble with gold glitter top, £4.50; gold ribbed bauble, £4; clear glass bauble with gold peacock feather trellis, £4.20, all Gisela Graham; large mercury glass witch ball c1900, £350, Chloe Cyphus. Honeycomb paper ball, as before. 19th-century Rosenthal gilt porcelain dinner service, £725, Lorfords. Gold rimmed dishes, £24 for a pair, Number 52 Antiques & Interiors. Cutlery, £75, Rachel’s & Michael’s Antiques. Bristol Blue glasses, £125 for six, Focus on the Past.
7

Up the whimsical stakes and ensure even the quietest and most modest members of your household are dressed up to the nines with tiaras, crowns and necklaces – the more bejewelled the better! Position busts in your entrance hall or on the landing to give visitors a smile. 

Antique busts decorated with tiaras, crowns and necklaces
Wall painted in India Yellow, £46.50 per 2.5l, Farrow & Ball. Plaster classical figure, £1,450, Lorfords. Gold and green beaded garland, £45, Rockett St George. Gold coloured Spanish side table, £650, Lorfords. Tiaras (from left): c1950 Austrian headress, £195; c1920 French silver, metal and glass crown, £225; late 19th-century gilt, metal and glass crown for religious statue, £245, all Clifton Vintage; 1930s mercury beaded tiara (worn as collar), £45, Lark Vintage. Clear turquoise glass bauble with gold peacock feathers, £4.50, Gisela Graham. Copeland Parian bust of Juno with light green tinting of the tiara, £395, Drove House Antiques. Purple bauble with gold leaves, £4, Gisela Graham. Blue and pink vintage baubles, stylist’s own. Late 19th-century plaster bust, £595, Brownrigg. Present wrapped in Kraft Turquoise paper, £4 per roll, John Lewis
& Partners.
8

‘Tis the season to whip out your cut glass decanters and most precious antique glassware for a celebration that exudes glamour. Bedeck the top of your drinks cabinet with fresh greenery, a selection of artfully placed ornaments and a clutch of witch balls for a super-sized statement.

Drinks cabinet decorated with fresh greenery, a selection of artfully placed ornaments and a clutch of witch balls for a super-sized statement.
Wall painted as before. Small witch ball, £50; large witch balls, £80 each, all Anne Fowler. Walnut cocktail cabinet on carved giltwood base, £2,950, Loveday Antiques. On cabinet: mottled pink glass bauble with gold bead spiral leaf, £4.50; clear turquoise glass bauble with gold peacock feathers, £4.50; matt blue glass bauble with flowers, £5.25; purple bauble with gold leaves, £4, all Gisela Graham. In cabinet: present wrapped in Peacock Feather paper, £5 per roll, John Lewis & Partners; beaded red & yellow berry pick with leaves, £2, Gisela Graham; Blossom glasses, £79 for six, Graham & Green; red and gold bauble, stylist’s own; Val Saint Lambert crystal cocktail shaker, £345, Lorfords; Pagoda Metallic cocktail sticks, £26; Iko Scalloped cocktail shaker, £24, both Oliver Bonas; decanter, stylist’s own; small witch ball, £50, Anne Fowler; blue bauble, stylist’s own; parcel gilt, enamelled and coloured glass plate by Brocard (holding lemons), £6,500 for six, Mayfair Gallery; Floral Gold bar tools set, £55; Iko Scalloped wine glasses, £24 for two, all Oliver Bonas; Versailles coaster, £68 for four, Jonathan Adler; pink fade glass pitcher, £75, Lorfords. 1920s French occasional ebonised table, £1,100, Brownrigg. Glasses and decanters, stylist’s own.
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