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Decorate Your Home With Festive Style This Christmas

Expert Christmas Decorator Anya Banks shares her tips for decorating your home this Christmas

It’s time to dig out those boxes of Christmas decorations, stick on some carols and start transforming your home in to a cosy winter wonderland! Toast.Life chats to professional Christmas decorator Anya Banks to hear more about her fabulously festive business, the wonder of wreaths and we get her top tips on how to decorate your home like a pro this year!



We all have a fantasy dream job, right? A chocolatier. Food critic. Spa reviewer. Dog walker (ok, maybe that’s just me). How about professional Christmas decorator? If, like me, the sight of Christmas decorations in November makes your heart soar and a bubble of almost over-whelming excitement rise in your chest, then let me introduce to Anya Banks - a professional Christmas decorator from Warwickshire.

“Some 20 years ago a girlfriend remarked on my how beautiful my Christmas decorations where and suggested that I should perhaps create them for other people, but at the time my energy was channelled into other areas, so I didn’t pursue it” Anya explains.

“Then the opportunity arose to look seriously at possibilities of doing it as a business. That was around 13 years ago, and I am still doing something I love!”

As Shakespeare once said – ‘the course of true love never did run smooth’ and the same could be said for Anya’s journey to where she is now. Her career began in catering management, and then retail management, before she had two children. Working from home, she then set up a business creating artwork on leather wear and costume jewellery, followed by an ironing business, and then - account management!

“And after that I finally ended up doing what I am really passionate about - Christmas décor!” she smiles.

“Creativity was always destined to form my career - my mother was a fashion designer and a skilled interior designer and my father could build anything, so I followed the family line of creating!”

And now, Anya spends her time creating truly fabulous Christmas displays for private homes and businesses throughout the UK. Her service provides beautiful decorations that have a truly personal touch, whilst taking away any decorating stress and freeing up time to enjoy the festive season. Anya’s style is relaxed and approachable, with an exceptional eye for detail and the ability to bring any client’s vision to life.

“Christmas is quite a personal and individual thing to each household” she explains. “I try to keep to the use of glass, lots of lights, soft in shades, and lots of greenery”

Once Anya fully understands what her client is after she then puts together a concept and costings. Once approved, she then sources all the necessary décor (mostly from the UK and a small amount from the States) and build the decorations herself before installing it all with her talented team of elves, creating stylish and completely beautiful Hollywood movie-esque Christmas magic in any home or office.

“Christmas can be captured in a little sparkle and dazzle for a luxurious glamorous look or festive greenery which is so typical of this time of the year - cones, berries and eucalyptus. And any woodland throws up wonderful inspiration for Christmas wreaths” she explains.

 Anya Banks White Christmas

“I’ve been lucky enough to work in some beautiful homes across the UK and spend enjoyable time with their owners. Some high profile, some families who just want to take away the stress from the Christmas event. I think the added bonus is clients’ children who are always so excited by the whole experience or various pets who become inquisitive and have even ended up in the vehicles, luckily spotted before we leave!”

Whether you’re after reds, greens and golds to create a traditional, cosy environment, or fancy channelling some festive glamour with whites, silvers and plenty of sparkle – Anya can deliver it all, and she is also well-versed when it comes to what’s hot and what’s not this year in terms of stylish, seasonal décor.

“There has been such a distinct change in trends over the years - gone is the tinsel and coloured trees, especially the black ones!” she laughs.

“This year it’s all about rose soft hues and coppers followed by the rich reds of Christmas, married with snow dusted greenery and moss baubles. Even the retro multi colours are creeping back in! No tinsel or hard bright white lights - it’s all about softness.”  

 Fireplace Garland

Garlands Anya Banks Christmas

And as a professional Christmas decorator, I long to know how Anya plans to decorate her own home this year…

“Well I love the luxurious look of crystals, pearl creams, champagne golds coupled with ivy” she explains. “So I’ll go for birch branches in soft golds with crystals hung from our old oak beams – this creates such a stunning warm cosy atmosphere with a touch of glamour to match the special time!”

As well as the beautiful décor inside the home, Anya also specialises in creating wondrous wreaths with wow factor. There’s nothing more welcoming than a beautiful wreath hung on the front door – to welcome family, friends and neighbours throughout the festive season, and of course to make you smile when you return home from the chaos of Christmas shopping!

“A wreath is a statement to greet people arriving and it also allows a little taster of someone’s style to filter outside. Wreaths can also be hung on inside as they add instant drama to any room” Anya explains.

“Also, wreaths are not just for Christmas - they are for all year round! Hang a show stopper on the door to welcome guests into your home for a special celebration or event, or to mark the changing seasons we experience. You can use spring or summer flowers, autumn leaves and berries, or even make a wreath for Halloween!”

Natural Wreaths Anya Banks

So for instant impact and welcoming festive style it seems that a wreath is most definitely the way forward, and if you’d like to make your very own beautiful, natural wreath this year then don’t miss Anya’s brilliant How To Guide over on TheEdit now. But before you go – read on for Anya’s expert tips on how to decorate your home like a pro this Christmas! 

HOW TO DECORATE YOUR HOME LIKE A PRO THIS CHRISTMAS

WITH ANYA BANKS

  • Colour Pallet - This year is all about hues of rose, coppers, champagne golds, a little sparkle - super luxurious and glamorous!

  • A Traditional Christmas - If you’d prefer to keep it traditional then go for rich shades reds in berries, rosehips, eucalyptus and ivy snow dusted cones – think natural woodland.

  • Use Greenery - Try using different greenery such as herbs for aroma, such as mint, rosemary, thyme.

  • Be Different - Don’t be afraid to use something different to stand out from the crowd!

  • Ribbons & Bows - Try taking ribbons and trailing them from the top of the Christmas tree to the base.

  • Less is More - Go easy on the bows and make sure they are structured.

  • Christmas Scent - Use diffusers to create a Christmas scent in your home.

  • Take Care of Your Tree - With a real tree, try drilling a hole into the base to help the tree draw up water. Put a yellow tennis ball into the tree water reserve to tell if it has enough water and remember to top up DAILY!


If you’d like to work with Anya  you can find more information and contact details on her page in Toast.Life’s Little Black Book, and don’t miss her brilliant Christmas wreath How To over on TheEdit now.

 
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