Next: Four festive décor tips for your first home

Christmas is an exciting time – and even more so when it’s your first one in a new home! Many of us put plenty of thought into our Christmas decorations to make sure our surroundings have the ultimate “snuggle factor”, investing in cinnamon-scented candles, Nativity-style ornaments and fairy lights to brighten up our abodes.

But it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to decorating – what to prioritise and how much to spend, particularly if you haven’t done it many times before.

So we’ve put together a few tips on decorating for the festive period; hopefully these will save you time and money and also get your creative juices flowing!

A child writing a letter to Santa for Christmas

Tip 1: Look for inspiration online

Platforms like Pinterest are full of inspiration when it comes to home décor. You can create your own boards, pulling your favourite looks and styles into one place for ease of access.

Instead of spending hours mulling over where to put the tinsel and which lights to decorate the tree with, we recommend approaching the task with a fixed idea in mind of the kind of style you want to do – this will save you time and make the whole process more enjoyable as well.

Stick to a specific colour scheme as this will help narrow down your choices. Typical Christmas colour schemes involve reds, greens, golds and silvers – but think about the furniture you’ve got and try to find a theme that matches.

Tip 2: Don’t leave it all to the last minute

Though some eager beavers were searching for the phrase “is October too early to decorate for Christmas” nearly 400 times between October 2018 and December 2018 according to a recent study by retailer Next, many of us wait until 1st December before we even begin to think about decorating our surroundings.

Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to plan out when you’ll get your tree and when you’ll decorate the house – particularly if you know you’ll be hosting on Christmas Day.

Don’t leave it to the last minute and end up with bucket-loads of work to do in the couple of days before the big day, as these precious hours will likely be taken up by social events and parties.

Decide whether you’re going to have a real or artificial tree as well. Real ones require more maintenance and can also be hazardous to curious pets and tots, so be sure to factor in these things to your decision.

Tip 3: Figure out what you can afford

Though some of us can afford the “most expensive Christmas crackers” (searched for 1,600 times last December) and “rose gold decorations” (searched for over 8,000 times in the same month), that doesn’t mean to say we need to splurge on the fanciest of items just to impress our house guests.

Figure out a budget for your décor and try to stick to it, otherwise you could end up getting carried away. Second hand sites and platforms like eBay are great for finding hidden festive gems without spending too much (plus, purchasing second hand is a lot better for the environment than buying brand new!).

Something else to take into account is electricity costs. You’ll no doubt invest in Christmas lights – whether that’s just for the tree or for the kitchen, bedrooms and exterior.

These will likely be turned on for a large portion of December, flickering away in the background while you’re watching TV or twinkling away for hours on end on the outside of your house.

If you’re trying to budget, it’s worth monitoring how much you’re spending on electricity so you don’t find yourself lumped with an enormous bill for the festive period.

Tip 4: Don’t be afraid to be different

Many of us are shunning traditional Christmassy décor in favour of more alternative styles – something that is evident from our Googling habits. For example, queries like “space themed Christmas tree” and “Halloween themed Christmas tree” were searched for a number of times last December, and the intriguing “LEGO Christmas tree” saw over 2,000 searches last December alone.

To that end, take comfort in knowing that some of us are crying out for more daring décor – and if that’s you, why not take a leap of faith and go for something different this year?

If you’re an arts and crafts aficionado, find some plain glass or plastic baubles and paint galaxies and stars over the top with acrylic paint – you’ll be one step closer to creating a space themed tree.

And although merging two holidays like Christmas and Halloween together may feel unnatural to some of us, it might work out cheaper in the long run. Dig out your Halloween decorations from October and repurpose them – something which could save you time and money.

A family enjoying a Christmas meal together in their home

We hope these tips will come in handy when you start decorating your home for Christmas! If you’re not a homeowner yet, we’d encourage you to check out the Share to Buy Guides & FAQs to gain a better understanding of the different home ownership options available, including Shared Ownership and Help to Buy.

And if you’re intrigued to see what else the nation is searching for around the festive period, have a look at some more of Next’s quirky Christmas queries.

A chart showing the top 1- quirky Christmas queries on Google