I must begin this post with a confession: In recent years I have not been on my Christmas decorating game. Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas decor. And in a fantasy parallel life, where there’s little more to worry about in November and December than crafting festive wreaths and decking mantels with snow frosted spruce garlands, my Christmas decor is nothing short of jaw dropping.
The reality of course is that the lead up to Christmas passes in a blur; a frenzy of present buying, present wrapping, nights out, office parties, the realisation that you’ve got nothing to wear at all/that fits for nights out and office parties, panic clothes buying/crash dieting, card writing/angsting about not writing cards in time for the last posting date again, booking the online food delivery slot/angsting about missing all the online food delivery slots again…you get the picture. OMG I’m already exhausted just thinking about it.
With all that going on it’s little wonder that home decor has dropped down the priorities list. Aside from a hurried sticking up of the Christmas cards with sellotape on Christmas Eve, the tree is usually about the extent of it, adorned with a mish mash of decorations collected over the years; some inherited, some gifted, some homemade at nursery and school, and some cheapies bought to pad the rest out with each upsizing of the tree. Though gloriously packed with memories of happy family Christmases past, cohesive and chic it is not.
This year my ambition to have a beautifully decorated Christmas home has been reignited. The decorating action is already hotting up on Instagram and Pinterest and my goodness, some people really know how to make their home exude festive chic. Who could fail to be inspired? I’m not feeling confident that I can measure up, particularly on a scrooge budget (Christmas is every bit as expensive as it is busy of course) and being as time poor this year as ever. But I’m game to try.
Unless you live in a bungalow or flat you’re probably purchasing paper pom poms in job lots around now. Fuelled by some stunning inspiration on Pinterest, adorning your stair with poms poms is set to be one of the defining looks of the Christmas 2016. (Little blogger prediction for you there.) It appealed to me as a winning way to add some seasonal decor, ticking off contemporary, cool, cheap, and above all simple. So I set myself a pom pom mission. But did the reality live up to expectation?
Sourcing the pom poms
I planned a pared back Scandi inspired pallet of gold, grey and white in a variety of sizes for interest. After a bamboozling eBay session attempting to figure out whether it was cheaper to buy a bundle of mixed colours, or a pack of mixed sizes, or some combination of both (still not sure) I eventually checked out and waited for the goodies to arrive.
Needless to say, as ever with online shopping, there were some hits and some misses. I was delighted with the beautiful white and grey honeycomb balls. Just as I imagined, these could be transformed from flat to full and secured with paper clips (handily supplied) in a nanosecond. Genius. Also (thinking ahead) they will fold away beautifully and keep pristine for future use.
The pom poms however were a different matter entirely. The first disappointment was that the “pale gold” pom poms I had carefully selected were not the sophisticated metallic shimmering of my imagining, but in fact bright banana yellow. Perfect for a Minion themed party. But for my Christmas stair, less so.
A further surprise was that each “pom pom” required quite intensive self assembly, being comprised of multiple layers of compressed tissue which, to avoid shredding, had to be painstakingly teased apart with no more pressure than the gentle nudge of a butterfly’s wing. For the first half hour I tried to convince myself it was theropeutic. It was not. Also (thinking ahead) pressing these flat again for neat storage is as destined for failure as me squeezing back into my skinnies on January 2nd. The layering of texture against the honeycomb balls does look nice mind you. A decorating strategy for the trully dedicated perhaps.
The branches are beautiful foraged Scots pine. My home smells of Christmas. In November!! If you don’t happen to have a pine wood forest nearby, you could skip this part. I think the balls will look just as amazing on their own. You might need to style them with less space in between though to create the fullness necessary for maximum impact.
Tying it up
It’s all tied on with some clear fishing wire; the branches first, then the balls strung together first in clusters of two, three or four. This bit was much simpler than I imagined and it seemed that no matter what combination of balls I shoved up, they looked appealingly random and as though they’d been carefully styled. There was literally no faffing involved.
I’m loving my Christmas stair. Discounting the cost of my unused banana balls and the fishing wire which I had already the total cost was around £17. It took about 45 minutes to style, excluding the untold hours teasing the pom pom (non-honeycomb) balls into shape.
The soft reveal
Regular and eagle eyed readers will have noticed that this post includes some glimpses of my newly redecorated hallway. A more organised blogger would have done this differently. Room reveals I imagine are one of the best bits of being a blogger. The creative design process, the careful planning, the masterful execution, all brought together and shown off to readers in a big ta daaaa.
This post is not however a big reveal. I have made progress since I shared my plans for the hallway makeover earlier: the decorating bit’s done and the stair runner is laid. However, the chandelier (which, ambitiously, the Houses Husband and me are making from scratch) is not nearly finished and the walls are still bare. I’m not ready for the reveal.
But since I decorated the stair for Christmas and it looked so pretty, I had to share it with you. So, I’m billing this as a “soft reveal” of my hallway makeover. Let’s think of it as a warm up for the real deal reveal which is coming soon(ish).
Have you ordered your paper pom poms yet? I can’t wait to see your Christmas stairs.