This year, we’re doing our best to avoid our kitsch inclinations and bring a little sophistication back into our Christmas decorating. Cue the charming Surry Hills studio, The Life Style Edit and their curated selection of beautiful homewares and lifestyle objects. Editor and Creative Director, Heidi Albertiri took timeout of her busy pre-Christmas schedule to take us through her tricks of the trade, so that you too can fend off tinsel-fatigue for another year.
What is the first thing you do to prepare for the Christmas season?
I always start with a bit of a cleanout, it’s like I need to have a clean canvas to start with, and I work from there. I start tending to my plants that have been neglected because I have been way too busy, I freshen up my soft furnishings if they need it, buy cushions in a new colour and make space for my Christmas Tree.
Are you a live tree or plastic tree person?
As an ex-florist, I have grown up around fresh flowers and plants, so fake trees do not even get a look in around our place. There is nothing like the smell of a fresh pine tree when you come back home. I am a sucker for tradition too, so I love the notion of going and picking the tree and then taking it home and dressing it. This is a big tradition at our place. We are selling Christmas trees at The Life Style Edit this year and we can smell the Christmas Tree truck pull up out the front. It is so amazing.
Any tips on decorating the tree like a pro?
Choose a theme and stick to it. We pick a colour each year and play with that - the whole family gets involved. My only rule is that because it’s Christmas, if you love it keep it, if you don’t, leave it out.
What trends and colour schemes should we lean towards for Christmas styling this year?
We’ve been drawn to rich colours sitting with the strong charcoals and blacks. Rich colours such as Sea Greens and Velvety Blues are big on our radar this year. Match colours with the cushions on the couch to the setting of the table. These colours pair perfectly with natural ceramics or you can add a sophisticated touch by adding a touch of brassy golds and dark woods.
It’s good to keep staples like your dinnerware, and change up your napkins and tableware to match new colour themes.
Are there any specific objects or themes you are loving?
I have always loved plants and flowers and to be honest this is a constant in my life. The fact that the indoor plant trend is hanging around makes me super happy. Plants can transform any space. We have so many instore and it always feels empty when we sell them. I get pretty attached.
Where do you shop for your decorations?
Heaven in Earth always have beautiful and classic decorations for Christmas. Also Papier D’amour have the best Christmas Crackers and decorations. I have my staples that I use year after year but I love to add a few pieces each year to the collection.
What are some of your favourite locations to add theme throughout the house?
I think the simplicity of a wreath of gum or pine attached to the front door is such a lovely Christmas tradition. It doesn't have to be big and garish, just simple and quaint. It’s super lovely to pop on the front door when guests are coming over. Anything that evokes nostalgia or memories always works for me, so burning a Christmas candle is always a subtle but heavenly touch.
What are some simple ways to make a table setting come alive?
Flowers of course. A good linen table cloth (yes table cloths are back in!) candlelight and beautiful glassware. I love making little bunches of herbs for my guests to take home with them and they double as a table setting. Everyone loves them. That being said, the best thing to bring a table setting to life is the company you keep. Spend time with people who love you, make you laugh and enjoy the day.
If you have a lunch or dinner event planned over the festive season, how do you tackle time management?
Christmas Day means morning swims at the beach and present opening for us. Because I don't like to over complicate things on the day I make sure I am prepared a few days before.
I am a bit of a list girl, so is my husband. Our approach is to divide and conquer; I style and do desserts and salads, he does the mains. We pre-order our seafood so we just need to collect it the day before, and we just tick off the list in the lead up to the day. I always have flowers ready to go and as far as the setting the table goes, I fluff around from task to task. Christmas is meant to be fun, so I don't stress and everything always gets done on time.
What are some nice add-ons to have when styling your home for a festive dinner or lunch that people often overlook?
Make it personal. People love the extra thought; it puts the icing on the cake of a wonderful day. Along with those little herb place cards I always give my guests something extra to leave with, whether it is a muslin bag of cherries or a jar of my homemade rocky road. I go all out, but I love it. It’s my favourite time of the year.
For the procrastinators among us, do you have any simple tips for last minute decorating?
Anything green looks good. Run out onto the street and trim a few stems of something green. Tie it to the front door, pop it on the Christmas table, add a couple of pinecones, some candles… bobs your uncle! Still not sure what to do? I’d jump onto Pinterest for some visual inspiration for how you can throw a few things together to make it look impressive with little effort.
Originally Published on Sitchu