Interior Style

10 affordable styling hacks to add festive cheer to your home

Holiday decorating needn’t be a chore. Here are our top tips for bringing affordable, fuss-free festive cheer to your living spaces

1. A tree or three

A decorated Christmas tree is the starting point for most festive schemes – and some families like to go for more than one. A mini tree or two can be a lovely way to introduce a Christmassy feel into the home. Mini trees cost as little as $5 and can live in a family room, on a hall table, on the kitchen bench or wherever you have the space.

You could also add one to a playroom or child’s bedroom and the kids could choose a few special decorations for it or make their own. Check out our tips on how to decide whether to buy an artificial or real Christmas tree to help you decide on your style.

2. Candles & diffusers

For an easy dining-table centrepiece, create an arrangement of candles down the middle of your table. Mix things up by including different sizes and heights. For an aromatic option, introduce an oil diffuser with a festive scent, such as pine, cookie dough or cinnamon spice. This is a simple way to add a subtle touch of Christmas.

3. Lightbulb moments

Festive lights are a growing trend in New Zealand, from simple strings to full-on Christmas displays. Why not start the movement on your street and take your decorating outside?

When decorating your tree,

mix up the size and shape of ornaments for interest

4. Step it up

A ladder rack is a great way to display greeting cards. After Christmas, it can be used to hang magazines and kids’ books in a living space or towels in the bathroom.

5. Towels & linens

Christmas doesn’t usually make its way into the bathroom, but there is fun to be had with festive towels. We love these “naughty” and “nice” hand towels from Kmart. Christmas tea towels in the kitchen can also add a merry touch. Get the kids even more excited about Santa’s visit by adding a cute pillowcase or even a duvet cover to their bedroom. Along with a simple garland, this will create a real air of anticipation.

6. Xmas countdown

Advent calendars are a super-fun way to count down the days to Christmas. But if you want to avoid dreaming up 24 gifts (or dealing with all that chocolate in the morning), consider creating
a countdown using a simple lightbox that can be found in most stationery stores. Change the days with the letters and numbers provided or get creative with a whiteboard marker.

7. Grand entrance

Faux or freshly made, wreaths are a favourite front-door decoration for many. For something different, try adding a giant bow to your entryway instead. Make one yourself or find a nice bright option in a festive shop.

8. Soft touches

Cushions are one of the most cost-effective ways to refresh a space. Why not add a holiday-themed one to your favourite chair or sofa?

9. Stars & garlands

A garland is another quick way to make your home feel more festive. Kids’ rooms, entranceways and dining rooms are all perfect places to hang one. If the budget is tight, hang a group of paper or card stars on a wall or doorway for a touch of fun.

10. Santa’s coming

A Christmas stocking is a must in preparing for St Nick’s arrival, but a festive doormat can help to show Santa the way inside. A strategically placed reindeer won’t go amiss either. This could be a good spot to leave treats for the hardworking critters.

Scroll down to shop the look


Shop the Look

Endless Line framed print, from $49, from Simply Creative.
Christmas cookie candle, $7, from Kmart.
Grey paper Christmas tree ornaments, $11.99 each, from Shut The Front Door.
Naughty and Nice hand towels, $4 for 2, from Kmart.
Stars pillowcase set, $39.90, from Wallace Cotton.
Santa Stops Here pillowcase, $4, from Kmart.
Pom pom garland, $19.99, from EziBuy.
Merry Christmas greeting card, $8.50, from Father Rabbit.
Dear Santa and mulled wine greeting cards, $8.99 each, from Shut The Front Door.
Gingerbread Cookie candle, $29.90, from Bed Bath & Beyond.
Black house LED light, $34.90, red house LED light, $22.90, from Citta.
Santa sack, $39, from Henry and Co.
Merry Bright Shine Sparkle Cushion, $8, from Kmart.
Jewel candle, $27.99, from Shut The Front Door.
Reindeer doormat, $29.90, from Bed Bath & Beyond.
Merry Christmas bunting, $2, from Kmart.
Mini illuminated twig tree, $24.90, black bear and polar bear ornaments, $11.90 each, from Citta
Pom pom ornaments, $2.90 each, from Citta
Zebra, hippo, penguin, star and tree ornaments, $8.90 each, from Citta.
White geometric reindeer, $7, from Kmart.
Hanging advent calendar, $12, from Kmart.
Tea towel, $19.90 for 2, from Wallace Cotton.
All other items stylist’s own.

Words and styling by: Vanessa Nouwens. Photography by: Melanie Jenkins.

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