Outdoor festive season style

Outdoor festive season style

METALLICS and timbers are on trend for home decorating this Christmas, offering a subtle and elegant alternative to the traditional red and green theme, says renovation and dcor expert Naomi Findlay.

Mixing natural elements with organic shapes is also ‘in’ and food should be seen as a styling element, whether it’s a fresh loaf of bread or pavlova, the Trex spokesperson added.

“I simply love that we can be over-the-top during this time of year – as it’s just for one season, you can really let your inner quirkiness come out and do what brings a smile to your face,” Findlay said.

“You should style in a way that brings joy to your family and friends.”

Findlay’s top tips for designing your outdoor space for Christmas and New Year’s parties.

1. Choose your theme: Whatever your theme – Australian bush or coastal – narrow it down with a mood board of imagery you like and use this as your guiding light when planning the rest of your outdoor entertaining space. Include everything from lighting and tablecloths to dining sets and decking colours.

2. Prepare your outdoor area: Outdoor entertaining is essential in Australia so ensure your backyard looks the very best it can in time for summer catch-ups. Scrub back dusty walls with a light soap and water mix to brighten your space and prevent splinters by replacing old decking with a composite deck like Trex. Prune back summer flowers so they bloom in time for Christmas and give the barbecue a deep clean in preparation for your traditional prawns.

3. Set the table(scape): Find a fabric you love and cut it into the right shape for your outdoor table. Use complementary colours as placements and go to the markets for flowers and fresh fruit.

Swap hanging lightshades with the latest trends available at low-cost shops and hardware stores, replace faded outdoor chair covers with newer ones or dye the old ones in the washing machine and set the table with melamine or metal eco-friendly cutlery.

4. Bake: One of my favourite ways to have guests in awe as soon as they see my holiday table is to have some hero items of food already styled and sitting on top so their mouths water immediately.

Make a Christmas trifle and place it on top of a giant natural wood coaster, and for New Year parties decorate a ‘Welcome 2020’ NY cake with fresh wattle from the garden.

5. Finish with the little things: Set the mood with a music playlist including holiday jazz and slow pop, use dimmer switches on your lights that can turn your party from glaring to gorgeous, set up a vignette seated area so guests can choose to mingle separately or together and personalise place cards for each person.