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We find Christmas to be one of the best times of year. Delicious food, time with family and friends, and of course decorating the Christmas tree and the dining table. There's much to enjoy, but Christmas preparations can also be stressful. That's why we'd like to share with you the ultimate tips on decorating the dining table and the Christmas tree, coming up with a Christmas menu and useful storage tips for your Christmas items. 

Christmas atmosphere: Grandma Annie's décor dilemma

Grandma Annie is 86 years old and lives alone in the house where she lived with her husband. She has a hotchpotch of (antique) furniture that she has collected over the years. This December she'd like to freshen up her home and give it a cosy feel. IKEA shows you that you don't need to renovate to give your home a new look! As Grandma Annie would say: "Bring on the Christmas atmosphere!"

    Christmas decoration

    You have plenty of different styles to choose from for Christmas. Traditional Christmas decorations such as red and gold baubles and Christmas lights aren't essential to create a Christmas atmosphere at home. Follow our Christmas decoration tips below and create an unexpected atmosphere at home with natural materials (moss, pine branches & wood) and neutral colours!

    Let your festive meal steal the show on a table set with a laid-back look in calming colours. Set the table with original Christmas decorations such as origami (kids have fun making these), some beautiful twigs in a vase and a plank as a table runner. Ideal for those delicious dishes full of delicious food. Place small Christmas lights along the plank for an added festive touch.

    Peace and serenity

    A classic dining table set with decorative glassware, candles and sturdy tableware. The overall look stays modern; a transparent material tablecloth and black-and-white colour palette give it a graphic effect. Contrast this setting by adding greenery such as pine branches, wreaths or berries.

    You can buy ready-made Christmas decorations, but why not make your own? Do you prefer your Christmas decorations to have a modern touch or a more traditional look? We can offer you both...

    Make it using moss

    Create an attractive display in an open cabinet. You can also choose to do this on a small table for example. The basis for creating this atmosphere is moss. Use a drawer mat to protect your furniture. The main pieces in this Christmas arrangement are a pair of beautiful glass domes that you can fill with flowers, plants and beautiful Christmas accessories. Begin in the cabinet and make your way up.

    Add to the décor with a few other items such as candlesticks and vases. You can also include funny objects in the Christmas display. One last tip: go for different heights as this will make your display more playful as a whole.

    Must-have Christmas decoration: the Christmas wreath

    We're not referring to edible chocolate wreaths, but those used to create an atmosphere with lights in them. Choose a minimalist style by decorating your wreath with paper stars, ribbon or a wooden ornament.

    Little room, big effect

    Would you like your home to have a Christmas atmosphere but don't have much space? Give small nooks at home a Christmas upgrade. Put a small vase with a pine twig on the windowsill and place some Christmas decorations around it. Do you have candlesticks in your home? Tastefully add Christmas decorations to them.

    No tree needles

    The item that always steals the spotlight at Christmas is the Christmas tree! The biggest downside of having a Christmas tree is finding needles all around the house. Alternative: a home-made Christmas tree. Embrace your creativity and make a tree-shaped frame out of thin wooden boards. Decorate with as many lights and Christmas decorations as you like! Aside from this alternative Christmas tree, we've also come up with five other alternatives!

    1. Embrace a small Christmas tree

    Not literally, because that would hurt... If you don't have the space for a large tree but can spare some in a cabinet, this is the perfect way to bring the Christmas feeling into your home. Place the tree in a basket or pot and surround it with Christmas presents. That small table will now become a beautiful spot to gather all your gifts.

    2. It's personal

    If you don't want to have to deal with needles, use your wall to create an alternative Christmas tree. You can make it as elaborate as you like. Slide a coffee table against the wall and work your way up with your favourite accessories.

    Top your tree with a shining star. Lights will also look great on it. Alternatively, you can make a Christmas tree on the wall completely out of lights. Beautiful! If you like this option, perhaps the following alternative Christmas tree can be a fun addition...

    3. That's fab(ric)!

    This Christmas mobile is something completely different. Use an iron circle as a basis. Decorate it with pieces of fabric and Christmas decorations.

    Use fabric scraps you have at your home and combine this with Christmas baubles and other accessories in the same colours. Hang it on the ceiling to make of a statement of it. Missing something green? We know what you need!

    4. A Christmas tree alternative on the wall

    How about a graphic touch? You could go for a mini Christmas tree as part of a display. It looks great as a decorative piece among other photo frames. Create an attractive overall look by using similar frames. Is this just a little too minimalistic for you? Then you can also consider our last alternative Christmas tree...

    5. Bye tree, hello plant!

    This option might be thinking way outside the box but that doesn't make it any less fun. Decorate your plant like you would a Christmas tree. Do you have a tropical plant at home? Match your Christmas decorations to it.

    Choose bright colours or ironic decorations. Don't be too neat when decorating your plant and choose a free and easy style. You plant has never felt so beautiful!

    Now that your home Christmas atmosphere includes a Christmas tree, it's time to enjoy your meal!

    Baking Christmas biscuits with the kids

    It's not just fun to make Christmas biscuits together, it's also a great way to boost your child's self-confidence. All you have to do is to keep an eye on them and provide some assistance. Great right?

    Pre-rolled dough for Christmas biscuits

    You can of course make your own dough, but you can make it easier for yourself by using pre-rolled dough. Let your little chefs take the dough out of the packaging themselves and roll it out. They can roll out a smaller piece of dough using a child rolling pin. After rolling it out, it's time to get out the biscuit cutters.

    Sprinkling with flour

    Sprinkle some flour on the kitchen top to make sure the dough doesn't stick. The thinner the dough, the shorter time the Christmas biscuits need in the oven. When the dough has the thickness you want, it is time to cut out the biscuits. Tip: leave a plate with some flour and get the kids to dip the cutters in it before cutting. This makes it easier to take the cutter out of the dough.

    Time to taste!

    Of course you'll have to taste your biscuits when they are ready. With a cup of tea and a blanket on the sofa. You can hang any left-over Christmas biscuits in the Christmas tree with a ribbon or if you're feeling really creative, make a Christmas gingerbread house. Only have crumbs left? Then there's only one option: another baking session!

    The bold chef: cooking at Christmas

    We're always at full steam for the Christmas meal. Supermarkets are unnecessarily busy in the days that lead up to Christmas and we buy so much food, afraid to go hungry. The bold chef (Nigel) helps you with easy recipes that are delicious and look fantastic too! So you can cruise through Christmas and New Year without any fuss.

    The bold chef cooks for Christmas — salmon tartare

      The bold chef cooks for Christmas — cheese board with drinks

        The bold chef cooks for Christmas — Swedish meatballs

          The bold chef cooks for Christmas — waffles with chocolate and fresh fruit

            Tapas (without cooking!)

            Over-the-top not your style? There's no need for excess at the table. Just make small tapas dishes. The tapas speak for themselves. Go for a nice laid-back look and place a number of wooden cutting boards down the length of your dining table. These will soon be filled with delicious food.

            Don't forget the bread

            You can't have a festive menu without delicious bread. Place different types of bread on the table and include crackers for some variation. A glass of bread sticks are always a good addition of course!

            Butter, cheese and…

            It's time to add the main ingredients of the festive menu to the table. Choose a mix of different types of cold meats and cheeses. Add a few tasty spreads. This will create the look of a delicatessen.

            Green finger food

            The next step is to include greens and vegetables. Cut up cucumber, carrots, broccoli and for instance peppers and place them in glasses on the table. Cherry tomatoes and radishes are also good additions. Choose glassware of different sizes. This will create a beautiful overall look.

            Hot tapas

            It is always tasty to serve something hot as well, so you can add some small bites. Think quiches, meatballs and vegetarian balls. We might be biased, but ours are really tasty.

            Another option is a home-made quiche or soup. You can make these during the day so you just need to warm them up in the evening. Easy does it!

            Almost ready…

            Add small bites such as olives and nuts as a final touch. Make the table especially festive by stringing Christmas lights along the wooden cutting boards. This looks fantastic!

            Storage for Christmas baubles? Three essential tips

            The holiday season is over; time to put away the Christmas decorations. Entangled Christmas lights and baubles rolling in all directions... Packing up the Christmas tree can be a hard job. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid frustration. These smart tips make store Christmas baubles easy! By storing away everything neatly, you feel the frustration rising when you set up next year's Christmas tree. Pinky promise.

            1. What a box

            Store Christmas baubles easily in a box with compartments. Place the most fragile Christmas decorations in a storage box with a lid. Use a drawer divider for optimum organisation. You can protect fragile baubles with pieces of fabric. That way you can be sure that you'll be able to use them again next Christmas.

            2. Knotted or nice
            One of the most frustrating things? Entangled Christmas lights. You can prevent this by storing everything neatly. Roll up the shorter strings neatly and tape them together. Put them in plastic bags so they can't become entangled.

            Wind the larger strings of lights around a bucket in which you keep the other Christmas lights. Then you can be sure that in a year's time you can hang them straight back up again.

            3. Packing up Santa Claus

            Store large Christmas decorations — including your artificial tree — in large transparent storage boxes. That way they are easy to find and stay dust-free. Choose boxes on wheels so that they can be moved easily.

            Is there anything breakable? Use cloths or for instance your special Christmas blanket to protect the decorations.

            Christmas tree out, in comes a plant!

            Now that all your Christmas decorations are packed away the house can feel empty. April and May have tips on how to deal with this using indoor plants.

            A green start to the new year

            You can work with plants in many ways and in (almost) every room in the house. Plants liven up the atmosphere (literally). You can put plants in unconventional places, such as along a wall (a plant wall) or behind this bench with a planter.

            Get creative with flower pots

            Try to play with the shapes and materials of flower pots. We have used a candle holder and lampshade as a decorative flower pot. The white colour of the lampshade brings out the green nicely.

            See more home décor inspiration