Vienna Fir artificial Christmas tree with Scandi style decorations
Angela Slater
Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas

How to have a Scandi style Christmas

A budget Christmas is easy to achieve with a cool muted colour palette

Tree pictured above is a Vienna Fir

Bright, brash Christmas decorations such as cerise pink, bright turquoise, orange and purple have fallen out of fashion in the past couple of years and muted neutral colours and natural materials have taken over. Younger home-makers also tend to steer away from the traditional, preferring to match the tree to their décor. This contemporary Scandi chic design gives a muted palette in harmony with nature and perfectly complements todays decorating schemes of soft greys and neutrals. Adding cosy soft furnishings makes it easier on the eye and gives a more comfortable relaxed feel.

As Christmas is a hugely expensive time many people are starting to realise that beautiful decorations can be made by gathering natural materials and either leaving them or spraying with metallic paint. Making Christmas decorations is especially great for keeping children occupied and as an added bonus they get exercise walking in the countryside to gather the foliage. Twigs sprayed with silver, gold or bronze metallic spray or fake snow can be used in lots of ways from a table centre-piece, mantle-piece décor, arranged in vases or used to make stars, wreaths or hearts. Once you have made your shape it can be left plain and used as a card holder or adorned with a small set of battery operated LED lights or some natural materials. Plant seed heads, such as poppies, hydrangeas, teasels, phlomis or cow parsley sprayed all look fantastic just arranged in a vase or stuck to a wreath.    

frosty phlomis head
Frosted Phlomis head

Keep colours to a maximum of three or four in the same tonal range of neutrals with a touch of pale blue. If the blue is too cold you can substitute it for a touch of Christmas red. Mix the colours with wood, hessian, copper, cones, twigs or willow to complete the look. Complement the hardness of the wood with fake fur or cable knit throws, cushions and Santa stockings. Still popular with this scheme are antlers and fake animal heads to give a hunting lodge look. If you have a large tree placing animals or antlers into the tree will nicely fill any gaps. If you need help with picking a colour scheme just click here to read the blog ‘How to choose the colours for your Christmas tree decorations.’

Warm white lights usually suit a warm natural palette better than the stark bright white, and multi-colours are definitely a no-no. Not only are Christmas lights for the tree but the battery operated LEDs are great for decorating a mantelpiece, down the centre of the dining table, around the bannister or simply arranged with some glass baubles in a large glass vase or dish. The baubles have to be glass as shatterproof don’t give you that lovely luminescent quality. As the lights are LED and cool to the touch there is no fear that articles placed next to them will combust. As a cheaper substitute for glass baubles try using cones sprayed in copper or antique gold.

A simple elegant mantle decoration can be achieved by placing a small wooden European style house and some twigs on a bed of snow sprinkled over battery lights or lit with tiny tea lights or church candles. A simple elegant table arrangement can be made by just using a wooden bowl, some dried seed heads and church candles. If your bowl doesn’t have a flat bottom secure the candles in some horticultural potting grit.

table arrangement in wooden bowl with church candle, hydrangea heads and teasels
Table arrangement using all foraged natural materials and a church candle

Artificial Christmas tree design is moving away from the old fashioned cone shape to a more natural look with bigger gaps between the branches and a more random structure. The most natural looking of our artificial trees is the Windsor Spruce which would be our recommendation to complement a Scandi palette. Frosted, snowy and flocked trees also suit this palette, although the heavily flocked trees can make a real mess, just wear something smooth and shiny when putting them together otherwise the flock sticks to your clothing and is a real pain to remove. If you want a truly alternative Christmas tree just cut some fairly upright branches, from a deciduous tree, Silver Birch works well with this theme, and either leave them natural or spray with a metallic paint and dress with lights and a minimum amount of plain baubles. If space is at a premium cut some lengths of twigs, about 1cm thick, in graduating lengths, tie them together with natural string in the shape of a tree and hang on the wall. Keep decorating to a minimum and just use warm white LED lights and the odd small bunch of seed heads.

bundles of twigs

Scandi design is really easy to achieve and an ideal choice if you are celebrating Christmas on a budget as you can utilise a lot of natural objects and what’s more the colour scheme is bang up to date.