Dark brown walls

5 fun Christmas decorating ideas

Traditionally December is the time for giving your home some last-minute spruce-ups before welcoming guests. A fresh colour in the guest bedroom, a touch-up for the downstairs bathroom, a new look for the hall. When painting projects come in small packages they can make the perfect place to have some fun – and to commit to a bolder choice than you would normal make. After all, you can always change it again when you fancy, or fashions change. To that end we’re rounded up five fun ideas for small paint projects at home that tie in with this season’s Christmas decorating trends.

Christmas fireplace

Image from Amara

A (Robin) Red Chimney Breast

Rich, deep reds are blazing away in homes this year. Regal, historic and warming, a red wall is the perfect backdrop too for the deep green foliage of Christmas. Painting a whole room is great, but red is such a powerful colour that it can change a whole room even when used in just a small area. We propose the chimney breast – or the alcoves around it for a more knocked-back take – making a focal point of the fire, ideal for festive gatherings.

gold and pink bedroom

Image from Dunelm

Go For Gold

With nudes and powder pinks having been the biggest colour trend of the last two years, many homes across the country will have a pink room or two. Transform it into something truly indulgent with gold decorations – and perhaps some playful paint effects too? We love this quirky take, where gold seems to be dripping from the ceiling. Mark the gold area out in pencil and carefully fill in by hand with a super-fine brush. Or for a version that won’t hang around into the new year, check out a similar version in a wall decal – a frieze sticker which can be removed once the season is over.

Christmas dining table

Image from Debenhams

Weathered Walls

If you didn’t paint something pink in 2018 then its odds-on you must have painted something grey. This cool neutral has been around for a while, so for a fresh take think about this mottled, creased paint effect which gives the look of concrete, giving genteel grey a rougher and more dramatic edge. It also makes a wonderful backdrop for metallic decorations and rich textures – perfect for a space to hold a grown-up festive dinner. The web is full of online tutorials with ideas for how to create the effect with paint – use a grey base with a little white, black and maybe even blue, applied patchily with a roller, built up gradually and then scraped to capture that textured finish.

Dark brown walls

Image from Farrow & Ball

Indulge In Chocolate

Be brave and give a wall a real make-over with a rich, dark brown. Perfect for a single wall – like using black, a dark brown will make any artworks or decorations pop like crazy, holding together disparate colours and styles in one place – or for a small space like a hallway. The advantage of a deep brown over black is that it is more forgiving, warmer, and can sit more easily alongside warm, pled neutrals.

blackboard Christmas tree

Image from Homesense

Draw Your Decorations

A cute idea for a kid’s bedroom or a kitchen, a blackboard wall offers a quirky way to display a tree. Paint a whole wall or mark off your ‘blackboard’ with masking tape to just use a section of wall. Then get the kids to design their own tree in chalk – or just write a list for Sanata somewhere no one will be able to miss the hint.

Ros Anderson


Ros Anderson is an interiors journalist and blogger who has worked for The Guardian, Elle Decoration, Ideal Home and many more. In 2009 she co-founded cult interiors blog My Friend's House with Jill Macnair, as a place to write about design in a more honest, spontaneous and humorous way.

The Chromologist 2019 | Farrow & Ball

The Chromologist