The Resident interiors columnist, Kara O’Reilly, knows a thing or two about pulling together a sleek ‘look’, but when it comes to Christmas, more is definitely more  

I love, love, love Christmas. By which I mean I love everything around the season: dark nights, getting the winter woollies on, eating comfort food and lighting a fire; plus, of course, the good times, glitz and glamour of the festivities.

I love the build-up to the big day and the traditions that surround it, from carol concerts to trips to the panto. I love the lights draped across our high streets and the big stores’ Christmas windows – and I particularly love decorating my own home.

I have slowly evolved my ‘Christmas style’ over the years: moving away from tasteful minimalist twig trees and single-colour baubles to an explosion of decorative bits all over the house, having discovered over time that more really is more when it comes to festive decorating.

Creating your own family traditions is part of the pleasure of Christmas and the decorating is a key part of this. So, here, in no particular order, are a few of ours: the Christmas tree – a real one – goes up no more than two weeks before Christmas Eve (despite my children wishing to have one for the whole of December). This also ensures it lasts the duration through to Epiphany when, without fail, the decos come down.

Carols and Christmas tunes – Motown, Elvis, indie – on shuffle while the tree is being decorated. Lights first, followed by baubles; the star/angel on top is the final touch.

Then, the rest of the house: one of our best investments of recent time has been a plethora of large honeycomb paper ball and snowflake decorations from Hanging at various heights from the ceiling in the hallway and gently wafting in draughts, they have great visual impact.

Numerous decorations picked up over the years are dotted on pretty much every available surface

A Cox & Cox glass Christmas tree jar sits in the kitchen filled with Quality Street for the duration (lethal for our waistlines – but hey, it’s Christmas), while numerous other decorations picked up over the years are dotted on pretty much every available surface. Oh and the kids have mini tinsel trees from Paperchase in each of their bedrooms that they can chuck a kaleidoscope of clashing decorations on to their hearts’ content.

We try to buy a Christmas decoration whenever we travel and do get tempted by new trends that emerge each year, but have found the key to holding the whole medley of ideas together is to choose a colour palette and stick to it. Ours is silver, white and red, with plenty of flashes of green. Yours is up to you. Merry Christmas!


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