Get Festive! Home Styling Tips from Kate Baxter

Check out your chance to WIN a £50 or £100 Selfridges Voucher at the end of this feature.

Award-winning interiors and lifestyle blogger Kate Baxter shares her styling tips for giving your home all the festive feels this season…

Are you ready to get festive?

I’m not normally one to start throwing the tinsel and fairy lights around with abandon much before the start of December, but I think this year might just call for it.

As we’re all settling for more nights in than we’re used to this Christmas, I say we all need to fully embrace the holiday season indoors and wrap ourselves and those we live with in some much-needed merriment.

Get Living challenged me to give one of their beautiful rental homes at Manchester’s Middlewood Locks a festive makeover, on a £250 budget.

Here’s what I did.

Let’s get this party started.

For me, Christmas should start in the bedroom. If you think back to your best Christmas memories from childhood, when it comes to the big day itself it’s all about waking up to discover the delights that have been left in your stocking at the end of the bed. Rekindling some of that magic of Christmas morning is what Christmas 2020 should be about.

The main bedroom in the New Maker Yards apartment is furnished in a lovely array of soft taupes and greys, so I adopted a silver scheme. This beautiful yet subtle cotton mix bedding set from Marks & Spencer features a reversible festive tree design in white and grey, evoking the charm of a snowy winter wonderland while still feeling grown-up. I’ve paired it with grey teddy fleece pillowcases to bring an extra layer of tactility to the bed and to encourage plenty of lazy mornings spent reading, playing board games and eating chocolate.

These gorgeous Snowflakes window stickers from eBay peel right off, 57 stickers are just £2.99 – and they make an instant impact. Use CommandStrip hooks for hanging lightweight decorations from walls or window-frames, they hold strongly, and remove cleanly (Nb. These will only work on smooth surfaces, don’t use on wallpapered walls.)

The headboard, bedspread, jewel-blue cushion and thick grey curtains are part of the New Maker Yards’ ‘Premium Collection’ decor scheme. When you rent with Get Living, you can choose an apartment decor style to suit your own taste, from contemporary bold colours of the ‘Design Collection’ to the luxurious ‘Premium Collection’, or opt for the blank canvas of the ‘Signature Collection’ so you can make the place completely your own.

I accessorised the headboard with a silver foliage garland, and dressed the bedside table with a glass jar full of baubles and fairy lights. Fairy lights are a renter’s best friend when it comes to creating a cosy, festive atmosphere in the home, but they don’t need to be strung around a tree to be effective. This stylish light jar on the nightstand serves as a decoration and reading light.

A stylish towel ladder – like the birch VILTO from IKEA, £35 is great to string lights from too and can serve a purpose in the bathroom or bedroom as a blanket stand long after the holidays are done and dusted.

Rocking around the Christmas tree.

Colourful paper trees (my personal favourites) are a stunning alternative to a real tree and can be easily folded back down for storage year-after-year. Altrincham-based Rose & Grey have a great selection of varying sizes and colours to choose from; they look beautiful gathered together in pairs or as a trio. I’ve scattered Next’s shatterproof baubles in shades of red and brown around the place and positioned some more fairy lights beneath the sofa for a touch of atmospheric light – although this not advisable if you have pets.

Giant hanging foil decorations in colourful metallic shades are one of my lasting memories from Christmas in the 80s. While I’m not about to embrace such a retro look this year, these decorative hanging snowflake fans feel like a suitable contemporary update on a childhood tradition. Paper crafting is a brilliant mindful activity too, so why not try making some of your own here.

For soft furnishings,  a pop of red velvet is Christmas, and I couldn’t resist the Happy Holidays printed cushion cover from H&M; a steal at £3.99.

The countdown is on.

Since we’re all on heightened countdown to the holiday season, check out these DIY advent calendar houses from Party Pieces.

Didn’t get sent the Louis Vuitton advent calendar this year? No worries.

You can fill this DIY calendar with whatever takes your fancy – trinkets, love letters, bath bombs, booze miniatures (?!?) The choices are endless.

A season of feasting.

The best part of the holiday season though – the food. I was so impressed by the kitchens at New Maker Yards – a perfect place to entertain (even if it is just one or two guests).

We’ll all be dining at home more this holiday season, so sparkle it up a bit.
Step 1 – a statement tablecloth. This Holly & Ivy tablecloth from H&M gave me all the Christmas feels and it’s worth every penny of £17.99.

I’ve created a beautiful centrepiece for the table with candles and seasonal green foliage, pine-cones and red berries. It’s a traditional centrepiece that still leaves plenty of space for a turkey-and-trimmings, hams, cheeses, mince-pies, mulled wines – and then some.

Have fun adding some festive sparkle to your own home.

Merry Christmas everyone.

How do you like to transform your home at Christmas?

Get Living want to see how YOU #SimplyGetFestive over on Instagram by sharing photographs of your own decorated homes on Instagram using the #SimplyGetFestive hashtag. The winner will then be chosen to win a £100 homeware voucher to spend on themselves as a treat for the new year. Two runners-up with also each win a £50 homeware voucher.

How to enter:

  • Follow @SimplyGetLiving Instagram page
  • Upload a photo of your Christmas decorations this year to your Instagram feed, tag @SimplyGetLiving and use #SimplyGetFestive
  • Share the competition post on your story for an extra entry

The competition is open now and runs until Sunday 20 December 2020. Winners will be announced on Monday 21 December – see the full T&Cs on the @SimplyGetLiving Instagram page.

Good luck – we can’t wait to see your festive styling!