You know those great American Holiday movies, where each house is decorated in the last word of luxury, and the Christmas decorations look straight out of an interiors shoot? Well, it's something you can have in your own home, with a little forward planning.

A themed Christmas can be great fun to plan and design. You could choose a festive character as your theme, select a color combination or use a period or design theme as your start point.

Maybe your kids are crazy for Disney? Then why not given them a themed 'Disney Christmas'? For adults, you may wish to theme around something more classical, like 'A Victorian Christmas', or 'A Minimalist Christmas'. With the trend for reusing and recycling, it may even be 'A Green Christmas'!

The key to a successful themed Christmas is to pick one theme and stick to it. Don't try to mix and match – it will look too busy. If you are unsure of a specific theme, instead pick one main color and no more than two accent colors for your design and décor.

Themed Christmas suggestions:

  • Gold, with red accents – this is a very traditional look.
  • Silver, with purple and green – this gives a modern feel. Blue could be substituted for the purple, for a 'space odessy' feel.
  • Red, with bronze accents – a very modern twist on a classic Christmas theme. This Christmas, I'm using an eggplant base shade with bronze, to accent my existing interior.
  • For garden lovers, choose green with red accents – giving you the opportunity to use some of those lovely winter leaves and berries indoors.

If you choose a kids themed Christmas, again, pick one strong colour that can act as a base for the others. Choose something where the kids can get involved and help to create the items you'll need, and you'll be really getting them actively participating – a 'country crafts' themed Christmas is ideal for this, as they can really get stuck in to baking cookies for tree decorations, making other tree decorations and fishing out once-loved toys that can be re-dressed and used as part of the theme.

For themed Christmas success, be sure to carry the Christmas theme all the way through – from how you decorate your rooms, to the tableware, to the tree decorations and lighting. A traditional Christmas theme will require lots of candles and white/gold light – modern, multi-color strands just won't cut it. Many companies now also offer wall stickers and decals that are inexpensive and can be removed easily, so check online to see what's on offer.

If you're still stuck for ideas for your themed Christmas, check out department store online Christmas catalogs for ideas. Perhaps you have a collection of some kind hidden away that deserves a little time in the spotlight?

Pay attention to detail – how are you going to display your Christmas cards as part of your theme? Can you add cushions or other soft furnishings to fit the Christmas theme? Can you group candles together to give that festive glow, or will you need to rely on electric light? Cut glass looks great on a traditional table, but what about a modern one? You'll need plain, unfussy glassware instead.

If you take these factors into consideration, you too can have a design-led, stylish themed Christmas.

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