Posted on December 13 2021
With festivities in full swing, the annual appeal of readying your home for Christmas has arrived.
Living rooms, staircases and dining room tables are decorating mainstays, yet spreading the same cheer into your bedroom and guest rooms will raise that extra holiday spirit. In fact, adding your bedroom(s) to the holiday to-do-list will ensure you’re surrounded by endless festive feel. Though, it is easy to get carried away. With light-up Christmas trees, seasonal wreaths and festive ornaments of all sizes, decorating without limitation can leave your home overwhelmed in theme. Instead, take advantage of the festive period’s sophistication with straightforward dressing, classic colours and limited layering. Infusing your space with holiday decor can be so much simpler.
We spoke to Rory Robertson, interior designer and stylist, for his advice on getting your home ready for a cliche-free festivity. As a freelance Homes and Interiors Editor for the likes of Living Etc, Homes & Gardens and Financial Times, Rory is an expert in his field. Known for his keen use of colour, attention to detail and appreciation for quality design, who better to ask? Follow these top industry-insider tips on dressing your space for the season and you’re sure to have a home that is stylish and cosy, ready for you and your guests this Christmas.
1. Edit out opulent layering
Whilst it may sound controversial, Rory’s top tip for dressing your bed for the holidays would be to cut out the complexity of traditional styling. Rory states, ‘this ‘look’, whilst wonderful in a boutique or luxury hotel, can actually end up being a bit anxiety-inducing and stressful as you strive to get all the elements in place. Instead, I would recommend opting for a really good quality duvet cover, pillowcase, and throw’. In essence, keep it simple. If you want to further minimise effort and maximize presentability, Rory recommends opting ‘for a material like a washed cotton over a linen. Why? Because the brushed finish means the cotton doesn't crease quite so harshly. Just throw your duvet up in the air, plump your pillows and you have a perfectly presentable bed, ready for Christmas.’
2. Don’t get caught up on colour-match bedding.
With the worry of going overboard by mixing different colours and patterns, opting for a matching duvet cover, sheet and accessories is the safe option for many. Though as Rory states ‘it’s simply a case of everything in moderation, and being mindful of tone’. For example, pairing a navy bedding set (duvet cover and pillowcases), with either a burgundy or dark green fitted sheet and extra pillowcase pair would be Rory’s festive colour choice: ‘Different colours yes, but very much in the same deep and subdued tonal palette. Be mindful that the tone is quite important here. I’m suggesting similar colour shades because when you start contrasting tones (light and dark colours) things inevitably start getting a little too energised. Instead keep it synced - and keep it restful - with similar shades’.
3. Simple bedspread styling is the most effective.
When adding extra blankets to your guest bed, there's a fine line between the ‘thrown’ arrangement looking effortless vs messy. In attempt of the perfect placement, Rory suggests to ‘double fold your throw (lengthways) and drape it over the lower third of your bed. If it has a settled crease, or a few folds, then that’s perfect. Don’t try to ruffle, or make folds where there aren't any. Anything fussier or more time consuming than this approach and you’re over-considering the detail. More often than not, the first time you fold and place your bed throw is probably the best’.
4. Have a cushion, yes, but avoid unnecessary trimmings.
Christmas themed bedding and all the trimmings may seem the most festive way to spruce up your bed, but excess rows of coordinated cushions, placed neatly on display defeats the purpose to ‘scatter’. Rory suggests ‘One (or two) scatter cushions on a bed is perfectly acceptable. Anything more than this and you have to ask yourself - do you really have the time to plump them?’.
5. Use a low-wattage, warm-toned bedside lamp for relaxation
Unless you’re an avid nightly reader, a traditional white-light reading lamp for beside the bed is not always needed. Instead balance practically with something stylish. Rory states, ‘For the way most of us use a bedside lamp, we should consider it to be more of a ‘mood creator’ and design element. This way, light can be used as a styling detail akin with the comfort of candlelight. For this reason, the ultimate is to look for a lamp that has a dimmable option.’ Perfect for you and your guests on the cosy evenings and dark mornings this season has to offer.
6. Blend with your bed.
Where we may have suggested avoiding matching sheets, nothing says luxury more than a dressing gown in the same colour or tone of your bed: ‘The ‘concept of being subtly twinned with your bed covers is kind of appealing. Of course, nobody would see your coordination unless they catch sight of you in your matching bedding and gown. But good styling, as always, comes down to the devil being in the effortless-looking detail’.
*These tips were based on suggestions by Rory Robertson, commercial interiors stylist and freelance Homes & Interiors Editor. https://www.roryrobertson.co.uk/