At the end of a tough year, it’s time to embrace the festive season and give our family, friends and ourselves an abundance of love, good cheer and the happy feels.  

Early Settler super stylist Heather King shares her go-to guide for planning Christmas 2020, with ideas for your festive colour palette, setting the scene, and some simple but super-stylish crafty hacks that everyone will love and remember forever.

What will Christmas look like?

Heather believes this Christmas will bring a strong sense of nostalgia for simpler times with a focus on family, beautiful fresh food, and relaxed outdoor dining. 

“We’ll see less bling and over-the-top metallic décor, and a greater appreciation for natural fibres and earthy organic shapes,” she says.

“This year, Christmas will undoubtedly be a very Australian affair and I think this will be reflected in our décor choices which will celebrate the unique colours of our landscape.

“Think lots of pale timbers, eucalyptus and sage greens, the warm pinks of proteas, the sunny yellow of wattle and bottlebrushes.” 

What about the Christmas table?

Christmas tables are all about abundance and treating your loved ones to a visual feast as well as one for the tastebuds.

Big timber grazing platters loaded with delicious food will set the scene. Tiered food stands take up little table space and can be used for everything from starters to sweets. 

“A big floral centrepiece is always stunning, but if space is tight, then use small single stem vases dotted along the table – this is a more economical way to dress a large table, too,” Heather says.

Making the most of the great Australian outdoors

According to Heather, our cumulative cooped up inside time this year will drive us towards al fresco dining for Christmas eve, lunch, dinner and Boxing Day.

“Outdoor dining can be a little more casual and relaxed, so tablecloths are optional as you can use a table runner or placemats instead. 

“When you need to entertain a big group, bench seats are a great option – and remember comfortable seating is a must for those long lunches, so make sure your seats have pads or add some cushions. 

“If your outdoor setting is under a pergola, or near some trees, festive garlands can be strung above the table.

“I’ll be making a long garland from faux florals to match those on the table as it’s a really beautiful way to elevate the Christmas scene, as well as being economical if you reuse it next year.”

Crafty hack

To create a photo-worthy holiday moment, don’t just decorate the tree! Add masses of faux flowers and Christmas decorations to the chairs for the perfect festive photo.

It’s simple – all you need are plastic cable ties, scissors and a spare hour or so.

The joy is in the details

Hang some extra decorations off door handles or hooks in the hallway.

Place a little note at everyone’s table place to say what you love or admire about them.

Set the scene with a playlist that caters to everyone’s tastes.

Exhale, relax, and worry about the dishes tomorrow.  This year, we all deserve a fairy tale ending.

christmas place setting
Vintage linen, glassware and cutlery (prices vary) from Totally Country, Gold Creek; assorted plates from $19.95, Freedom; Christmas star decorations $14.95, Bed Bath N’ Table. Photo and styling: Kerrie Brewer.

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Ian Cubitts
Ian Cubitts