Mairead Curtin, co-founder of funky florists Rebel Rebel has some useful ideas to get you started:

✻ Add an on-trend touch to your decorations by bringing the outdoors in. Invest in some seasonal plants – a couple of blowsy amaryllis, say, or a line-up of potted mini pines along your mantel. You could also use foraged and garden finds to decorate any and every surface you fancy.

✻ A line of pine branches down the centre of the table with tealights in between is the simplest, cheapest and most effective Christmas decoration. Jazz it up with dried flower place settings.

✻ Old man’s beard – the seedheads of Clematis vitalba – is really beautiful and will add an ethereal feel to any greenery; while olive is another great foliage to try.

Still nervous about opting for the real deal? Then head to sources such as Abigail Ahern, Neptune and Audenza for great fauxs. Hobbycraft is your reliable go-to supplier for any DIY essentials such as chicken wire and florist’s foam; while Ikea and Habitat consistently have broad ranges of tealight holders and LED fairy lights that you can intertwine among your foliage. Alternatively, McQueens always does a selection of stunning bouquets and wreaths for the season.

Check out more ideas for festive foliage.


Safia Shakarchi and Katie Brigstock, the duo behind on-point pop-up supper club, Cook& Baker, on how to style your table setting:

✻ First things first: choose your perfect colour scheme as this will serve to tie your whole table together. Are you going for whites and silvers, opulent golds or something less traditional, such as dusky pinks or bluey greys? During planning, we collate inspiration images so we have something to work towards.

✻ A centrepiece gives a table impact, and you can have a lot of fun with it. You can’t go wrong with a beautiful flower arrangement or a classic runner, but what about hanging flowers or baubles above the dinner table? You’ll appreciate the extra space for food. Try using dried flowers to keep the cost down. Another idea is to create a “runner” out of candles.

✻ Beautiful linens are the perfect finishing touch, and you don’t have to spend a fortune. We go to our local fabric shop and buy a couple of metres of the colour we want. To make napkins, we divide the fabric up into the right measurements for the amount we need and simply cut.

Find more tips for hosting over the holidays.

Jacky Parker

Jacky Parker is a London-based freelance journalist and content creator, specialising in interiors, travel and food. From buying guides and real home case studies to shopping and news pages, she produces a wide range of features for national magazines and SEO content for websites

A long-time contributor to Livingetc, as a member of the team, she regularly reports on the latest trends, speaking to experts and discovering the latest tips. Jacky has also written  for other publications such as Homes and Gardens, Ideal Home, Red, Grand Designs, Sunday Times Style and AD, Country Homes and Interiors and ELLE Decoration.