Christmas Home Tips

1. Light it up!

It's the darkest time of the year so make your home sparkle with some clever lighting.

Everyone loves fairylights on the tree but adding them to your mantelpiece or wrapping them around your stair banisters creates a festive glow that can flow from room to room.

Drape them across the tops of shelves or even above cornicing for a gorgeous glow;

2. Tree to the max

If you're bored of just a large Christmas tree stuck in one corner every year, why not think about getting a few smaller trees to dot around the house?

Artificial, smaller trees are great for adding festive cheer to other areas of your home such as the hallway, upstairs landing and even your bedroom!

3. Use your little helpers

Get the kids involved in making home-made decorations such as wreaths and fireside ornaments.

Wreaths - simply twist a wire coat-hanger into a round base for the wreath, then wrap branches of greenery around them such as pine and fir, securing with wire.

You can then glue in fir cones or plastic red berries.

Kids will love decorating their own fir cones.

Simply bring a few back from a muddy walk, clean up and spray with gold or silver glitter spray and dot around your fireplace or under the tree;

4. Fake it

Nothing says Christmas like candles.

But, with kids and tipsy relations milling about they can be dangerous.

Invest in some flameless battery-operated flicker candles.

Many have scents like the real thing.

Pop them in your window to give a festive glow – without the worry of any accidents;

5. Santa stop here!

Make sure Santa doesn't miss your house by using fun signs and placards.

A 'Santa stop here' sign looks great outside the house or by the chimney – and it's a good way to bribe the kids into behaving well by reminding them Father Christmas is on his way;

6. Change the colour

Everyone associates Christmas with colours such as red and gold.

But why do the same?

A tree covered with different shades of blue baubles and decorations, for example, gives a modern edge – you can complement this with blue accents in your garlands and even hang up different coloured blue stockings by the fire;

7. Pick a theme

Perhaps you're tired of your usual decorations so why not pick a theme this year?

Victorian Christmas decorations look stunning in any home – think Mistletoe balls hanging from ribbon, and small toys, dried fruits and nuts hanging from the tree for a truly historical Christmas;

8. Dine in style

It's the most important meal of the year.

So don't let your table decorations let the turkey down.

A selection of different coloured and sized baubles in a clear vase make a great quirky centrepiece.

Handmade placecards cut into shapes like Christmas trees or sprigs of holly will make your guests feel extra special;

9. Show your cards

Bored of simply stuffing your cards in the windowsill, only to knock them down every time you pull the curtains?

Why not choose a more inventive way to display them.

Cards hanging from strips of ribbon at different heights makes a pretty display, or why not peg cards around a wreath on the wall?

Another way is to hang an empty picture frame with string in lines inside it – hang your cards from the strings to create a 'painting' of cards on your wall;

10. Don't forget outdoors

If you want more than just a few lights hanging from the exterior of your house, why not invest in some freestanding rope lights in festive shapes such as reindeers and Santa to give a festive edge to your front lawn?

Or, instead of the usual wreath on your front door, get one with LED lights that will glow in the darkness, welcoming your guests to the perfect Christmas...