Christmas decorating for minimalists

Some people go crazy for Christmas - but if the flashing lights, singing Santas and three kinds of tinsel aren't to your taste, here are some simply but stylish decorating ideas that will match even the most minimalist home.

Pic: Next

Colour co-ordination
The easiest way to cut down on Christmas decoration overload is to go for a simple, single colour choice. It doesn't have to be white - just pick one or two complementary colours and use them to theme your festive decor for a stylish look that gives continuity throughout the home. The simple glass baubles shown above are £12 for a set of six, from Next. If you're on a budget, buy a can of white or silver spray paint and give last year's decorations a makeover.

Traditional tips
Simple doesn't have to mean minimalist, of course, and if you still enjoy the traditional bits of Christmas you can still manage it without decking the halls with boughs of holly.

A few simple additions to your home, such as pine cones in a wicker basket or baubles in a glass bowl, or even ribbons tied in bows around door knobs, the back of chairs or even wine glasses on the Christmas table, look stylish but not overdone. Alternatively, invest in a few simple but beautiful wreaths to hang at windows.

Mantelpiece marvels
If your living room boasts a feature fireplace, the mantelpiece is the perfect place for an understated Christmas display. Pick a natural material like burlap or muslin, tie in big bows and decorate with a few baubles or holly, fix at each end of your mantel, and between the two you can go traditional by hanging a few select Christmas cards, wooden snowflakes or gingerbread cookies. Come Christmas Eve, you can even use it to hang your stockings.

The tree
Ready designed and coloured synthetic trees are widely available these days, but what appeals one year might seem dated the next. And if a huge blue spruce is too strong a statement, the options might seem a little limited.

Try thinking outside of the box and go really minimalist with a bare branch tree. There's no need to head out into the countryside to find your own either - many big name retailers and garden centres sell them readymade. Then you can either stick to very simple decorations or white lights.

Where to buy
Aside from the wonderful and free items you can pick up in the countryside, there are a variety of online stores and high street retailers that are reliable sources of simple but stylish decorations.

At John Lewis online, for example, you can view decorations by colour, material or style, making things easy for the minimalist shopper. Similarly, the White Company takes the hassle out of handmade, with cut-out paper decorations, sets of natural decorations complete with tie ribbons. Plus there are super stylish glass tree decorations, beautiful wreaths and ideas for your Christmas table design that won't look amiss in the minimalist home.

Do you prefer pared down Christmas decorations? Leave your tips for others below...