How to brighten up your home on a budget during this festive season

It’s that time of year again – Christmas is just around the corner – and for many people around the world, this is the happiest time of year. Decorating for Christmas has always been a joyous occasion, especially when done with family – but the costs involved may have some looking into decorating their home on a budget, so here’s how you can brighten up your home in Yuletide fashion while keeping to a reasonable budget.

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The Tree

The imagery of a lone evergreen conifer is deeply ingrained into the global consciousness as the symbol of Christmas – so much so that the mere sight of a decorated pine tree has the potential to trigger festive moods almost immediately. As a result, live evergreen conifers harvested for Christmas are highly prized and the costs typically vary depending on the height of the tree, in addition to the volume and symmetry of its foliage.

This tree would probably not fit into the average living room.

This tree would probably not fit into the average living room.

While the traditions of temperate climates dictate the cutting of young evergreen trees in winter, most folks – with the likely exception of hardcore traditionalists – opt for artificial trees on account of sustainability, cost, and availability.

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If you’re getting a live tree for a small home, for the sake of your decorating budget, consider a tree with a smaller profile – and don’t overlook trees that lack perfect symmetry. Homes with less available space benefit from a smaller tree for a cosier and neater décor – and with some trimming or careful positioning, even a lopsided tree can be made to show its good side.

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Once you’ve set up a Christmas tree – with the stump standing in a pan of water if you opted for a live conifer – there are just a few flourishes needed to elicit that holiday vibe. Just be sure to clean up any pine needles that drop off as they’re toxic for most house pets.

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As an alternative to adhering to the rules of tradition, consider putting a tropical twist to your decoration by using a palm as a Christmas tree instead. Tropical palms are easier to get a hold of in this part of the world – and they would not appear out of place even after the Yuletide season has long passed.

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Decorative ornaments and lights

By far the most cost-efficient means of decorating a Christmas tree would be to drape a few strands of coloured ribbons or fairy lights over the branches. Even when working with an artificial tree, the addition of some fairy lights – and pulled cotton used sparingly to stand in as snow – can effectively reproduce the familiar sight of a traditional Christmas tree in winter.

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Once again, tradition demands ornaments that are invariably less accessible and definitely more expensive at this time of year. Things such as mirror balls, candy canes, and other familiar baubles fashioned out of plastic, metal, glass, or crystal, may be the go-to forms of decoration – but they will cost and can only be used during this particular time of year.

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Effective decoration can still be achieved by using DIY items, such as leftover ribbons from wrapping gifts in place of ready-made garlands. Going DIY with your tree decoration enables you to get more personal and makes for a truly unique end result.

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Colours

Be playful with your colours – mix and match according to your own ideas and theme. Just be wary of overdoing it when mixing and matching more than three distinct colour tones – too much colour could make for a more congested décor. Try differentiating your choice of Christmas colours – traditionally red, white, green, and more measured doses of gold or silver – by combining several layers of various textures that relate to your Christmas theme. Some relatively inexpensive examples include faux fur and plaid or flannel fabrics.

To prevent your décor from turning into a mess of highly saturated colour, consider applying colours in layers with varying textures.

To prevent your décor from descending into a highly saturated mess, consider applying colour in layers and with varying textures.


Gifts

Besides the presents themselves, one of the costlier accompaniments to your Christmas décor could be the wrapping paper. If you can bear forgoing the thematic imagery and relevance of sparkly red wrapping paper, consider using rough textured recycled paper – or for true immersion in historical norms – wrap your presents in brown butcher paper and twine instead.

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Read about decorating the table for a Christmas feast and join us on Facebook for more seasonal decoration tips.

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