Decorating your new home for your first Christmas
There’s something very exciting about spending your first Christmas in a new house. It’s a relief to be wrapping things up as presents rather than for the removal van, and first Christmases in a new home are always memorable occasions.
Appropriate festive decorations are a matter of personal taste, but new buildings require slightly more care and attention than older properties when it comes to decorating. These are our tips for ensuring your first Christmas in a new home doesn’t require an emergency visit to the DIY store…
- Treat plasterwork with care. It takes up to a year for plasterwork to fully dry out, helped by leaving window trickle vents open and keeping internal doors open during the day. New plaster might not be able to support the weight of chunky wall-mounted decorations. Indeed, it’s generally advisable not to wall-mount anything heavy (TVs, bookshelves, etc) until your home has had twelve months to settle in.
- Avoid pinning anything up. Your freshly-decorated home could go several years without needing a paintbrush if you look after it. Punching dozens of holes into the walls to support paper chains or Christmas card display racks will achieve the opposite effect. Once the decorations come down in the New Year, you’ll need to fill those holes in – or spend eleven months ‘admiring’ December’s handiwork.
- Match decorations with new décor. We tend to accumulate Christmas decorations over the years, but colour schemes chosen for our last home might not work as well in a new house. Would a real tree leave needles stuck in your new cream carpet, or clash with a green feature wall? Would the 8ft artificial tree from your Victorian student flat work in your new kitchen? Neutral internal walls let bold colours stand out.
- Think about practicalities. Building on the last point, consider how your new home will suit things you’ve done before. Do you have spare plug sockets in the living room for tree lights, and where would the tree look most appealing? Can you fit everyone around the dining table on December 25th, or entertain New Year’s Day visitors in comfort?
- Look for new opportunities. Many people move to new houses from flats, and suddenly have extra spaces to decorate. Staircases can be enlivened with low-energy bulbs and garlands, while front gardens are ideal for displaying wooden sleighs or wicker reindeer. Do consider your neighbours by avoiding anything overly tacky, or excessively bright objects that might shine into surrounding properties.
- Test new chemicals or products on a small area first. Before covering your windowsills with fake snow, or using sticky pads to hang up paper chains, test these products on inconspicuous areas of paintwork and plaster – behind furnishings or doors, for instance. If anything causes damage or discolouration, you can avoid using it in more prominent places and then having to undertake repairs in January.