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Seriously stylish festive charm: deck your hall

Let your entrance hall become a mouthwatering taste of what lies ahead with the holidays this year. Be daring and bold, with a collection of timeless pieces that look as though they should stay up all year long. Planning an Entrance Ask yourself what first captures your soul when you walk through the front door of friends and family.

Then, replay this role as you enter your own home and really feel the atmosphere for the first time. Cleanliness, lighting, scents and the aesthetic effect of the area, all race through the mind at once. These factors are filtered and categorised into one final thought. I wonder what is next? This can be a terrifying, or a tantalising feeling to have. Make sure the latter describes your hall that can be decked out in beauty, using the right form.

Styles that Roll

Regardless of modern, contemporary, country or traditional, select items for your entranceway that roll easily into the next area. Using lots of whimsical notions, like Santa's, bells and lights might be fitting for a child's birthday party, but has no place when trying to pull a welcoming Christmas atmosphere together. Consider the colours on your tree and main entertaining are, and stay within these boundaries.

You can use cheap rugs, of your colour scheme. Rugs are a 'must' with traffic coming through the door. A striped or plain rubber backed runner could save you from extra cleaning later, and not take away from the highlights. You cannot go wrong with a little greenery along chair rails or surrounding a mirror. Weave small wooden apples, pine cones or tiny silver bells throughout the linear display.

Having an entryway table is a plus because you can really deck it out with goodies. Start with plain table runners and small lamp that serves as the design in the next room and use an assortment of seasonal cut flowers that make the hallway feel fresh and new. Use one eye-catching picture, statue or home-made item, that resonates Christmas intrigue and joy.

Finish off your tabletop with a few scented votive or tea light candles that remind everyone of the season. If there is room, add a pillar candle and a couple of elegantly wrapped boxes. Decking your hall with charm and beauty will give, not only your guests, but yourself, as well, a new traditional, holiday welcome. You may even find your family using the front door, instead of the back door, just for the pleasing experience.

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