In this short 2 week series, we dive right into the Christmas spirit and explore affordable ways to stage, style and celebrate! Check out these tips for styling your home to find simple but elegant ways to create on a budget, whether you are selling, just moving in or looking for some inspiration for the home.



Week 1. Christmas: the perfect time to stage and sell!

One of the most fascinating things about real estate is how it ebbs and flows -- how some parts of the year, everyone jumps on board buying and selling, while in other parts, sales basically come to a standstill.

Traditionally, Christmas is one of those times that sales really dry up and it's for a lot of reasons -- people go on holidays, solicitors aren't available for exchange and so on.

But with new technology like Sale Ezy, Christmas will not only be a great time to sell, it will also be an unbeatable opportunity to stage a home in a way that says, 'this breathtaking scene could be your family's next festive focal point!'

When you’re staging or selling during the holiday season, your aim should be to create a simple, yet warm and festive feeling within your home. When a potential buyer walks inside, they want to feel the atmosphere to the point they can imagine their family sitting around the tree, tearing into coloured paper and squealing with delight at the gifts they find hidden underneath.

But Christmas staging doesn't have to cost as much as Christmas shopping. Taking an affordable approach, here are a few home styling tips you can apply to deck your property halls!

Tip one: Share your holiday cheer

Before you make the mad dash to Kmart and Target to stock up on staging and holiday supplies, take a minute to consider when styling your home, what type of decorations will match your current décor. Steer clear of religious ornaments and decorations, as this may be off-putting to some buyers, and keep with the 'less-is-more' approach.

If you have a natural or earthy theme, apply tones like forest greens, golds and white, with a hint of red. If you have a clean white theme, make your place shine with white candles, silver baubles, white fairy lights in a glass jar, or a white or snow-touched Christmas tree.

Kmart have 36 baubles – silver look & black for $5, lengths of 3m twinkle lights for $4, non-fragrant candles for $4 and Bell Jars for $6.




Tip two: Art can be generic without losing warmth

Styling is so often about a blank canvas, and while to a degree you want to stick to that concept, you don't need to do it to a point where you lose warmth in the home.

Keeping your personal photos up for staging during the holiday season could be beneficial, as you want to create a homely feel; however, if you wish to pack them away for privacy, be sure to replace them with something equally as inviting and warm.

Kmart have a $19 mirror with shelf, which could compliment 2-3 smaller ornaments, such as a pine cone, small Christmas tree and a reindeer. The $4 three berry picks, (which are each sold separately) could be styled in three individual glass vases, placed all in a row. The $9 Noel sign could be added to a shelf, hanging or above a fireplace. The $15 three box shelves could be placed on the wall, with small baubles or ornaments.

Remember, when considering styling your home, make sure you aren’t over-crowding the space you’re working with, but complementing it.


Tip three: It looks like holiday spirit -- it should smell and taste like it too!

Just like you see in the movies, a great styling tip is to bake some cookies before potential buyers come over, which will leave the house smelling delicious and create the idea of not only holiday, but a true sense of being at home.

Choose two or three different shapes for your cookies and place them on a simple tray or wooden board – you can pick up a cookie cutter set for $5 from Kmart. Target and Kmart also offer a range of options for serving, including mirror trays for $12 for more of an elegant feel, or a folding serve tray for $15 to elevate your buyers eyes – the brass look tray for $7 could go down a treat, if you go down the gold and white theme.

Take it up a notch by really driving those traditional Christmas aromas home -- even if you haven't baked mince pies, candles with subtle clove and cinnamon scents remind us of spiced Christmas cakes and the movies we watched as children.



While staging your home is usually about creating a blank canvas, this doesn't have to be the case if you have very carefully defined your target buyer audience -- giving you a better chance of selling.

If catering to families, styling your home in a way that inspires images of future Christmas celebrations and family bliss can really help a buyer form an attachment, look forward to a future in the property and set their sights on a sale.



Beautiful Christmas table decorations for the holidays.

When staging your home for sale in the holidays or even just decorating for the long list of guests who will no doubt visit, you want to convey a feeling of welcome, warmth, joy and love.

With that in mind, what better room to choose as your main focus, than the dining room, where everyone comes together for their Christmas meal?

Here are a few tips on how to create a low-cost and beautiful setting using simple Christmas table decorations.

Tip one: Holiday season – make your table the centre of attention

In our previous article, Cost-effective styling for an effortlessly chic dining table, we discussed the idea of creating a personalised vignette on your table, and how it can tell the unique and charming story of your home.

A well-designed vignette, paired with simple crockery and cutlery that complement each other, can work wonderfully on the dining table, and can easily be created to tie in with your theme.

Kmart have a $7 glitter twine wreath or a $5 green wreath, which can be positioned centre of the table, with $3 white candles of different sizes -- you could even tie some natural twine, which comes in a six pack for $6, or white ribbon, to add further effect.


Tip two: Guide the eye with balanced design

Table runners are so often not a part of our decor anymore, but rather, fabric relics that have been left behind in the kitchens of yester-year.

Well -- we say bring them back! Just because they aren't often on The Block, doesn't mean they can't make a beautiful visual guide for your Christmas table decorations, that ties in together and brings a kind of harmony and cohesiveness to you table.

An elegant and stylish table-top design runner can create balance, -- make sure you draw on your chosen Chrissy design theme from the rest of the house to guide your fabric choice.

Keep colours and designs understated and simple to present the idea of sophistication to buyers – for example, white or light browns will work best if you like a natural colour palette, but don't be afraid to splash out with soft, dreamy silvers, muted golds, or a beautiful royal blue if you're feeling brave.

If you’re going down the path of family cheer, you could first start with a beige table runner for $6 from Kmart, or the Jute woven table runner for $8 to introduce some texture, and add a few $7 white geometric reindeers, paired with a $15 large silver reindeer from Kmart, or perhaps a $9 garland, which you can cut into smaller pieces and spread out.

Add in some pinecones from the local park (collecting them is a lovely adventure with the kids!) and a few silver and/or white baubles to give it a little extra holiday feel.

Tall white candles, mixed in with green pine and baubles will also lend a sense of style and warmth.

If you’re looking for more of that traditional, frosty Christmas concept, or the spices and colours of the season, you can add in a straight line of mason jars with colourful boiled sweats, spices or fruits like cranberries, combined with foliage from pine in every first jar, and candles with faux snow placed in every second jar.


Tip Three: Last but far from least – finishing the table with crockery

If you go with the option of a table runner, as suggested in tip two, placemats are likely not required -- whether or not you incorporate them into your design largely comes down to space and balance. A table should look well-dressed, but not cluttered!

If you have a simpler design with minimal items styled on an elegant runner, or you opted for the use of the centre piece, placemats might dress the table a little more and add some extra volume.

White plates from Target will cost $4 per large plate, and $4 per plate for the smaller side plate – try layering these and placing gold cutlery from Target for $25 on either side.

Combining a cinnamon stick, which you can pick up from Woolworths in your next grocery shop for$5 per container (45gs), with a small cutting from a pine branch at $5 from Kmart (or source them in our beautiful outdoors!) will finish dressing the table nicely.


Remember, whatever you decide while styling your home, make sure the themes all tie in together, and there isn’t too much going on -- the last thing you want to create in buyers’ minds, is a busy, chaotic feeling -- there's enough of that for most people at Christmas already!

Keep your Christmas table decorations simple not only at the dinner table, but throughout the entire house.