Getting into the Spirit of Christmas
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
As the weather starts to become unbearably cold, I start to dread the long winter season as soon as fall waves goodbye. Despite my constant complaining about the weather, the holiday season has always been my favorite time of the entire year. The city gets all decked up with twinkling lights and holiday décor and walking around town never fails to make me smile. Once I get home, I can hardly wait to get started on decorating my apartment.
The decorations start early at my home-sometimes as early as the first week of November. Every year I try to come up with a theme that's slightly different from previous years and that's really part of the fun. Last year, I broke all traditions and went with blue. Imagine three hues of blue ornaments with blue LED lights on my tree. Violet blue flower arrangements and blue candle holders were scattered around the home. It sounded good in theory but looked a bit too cool and modern. My home also felt very cold and although I hate to admit it, lacked warmth. So this year it's all about making my home warm and cozy using red and gold with touches of rustic charm.
*All photos taken by myself
What's Your Holiday Style?
What is your favorite holiday style?
Welcome to My Home
First impressions make all the difference and this usually means the entrance to your apartment or home. Living in a small apartment in Tokyo surrounded mostly by other buildings, I like the entrance of my apartment to be as inviting as possible, providing a comfortable transition between the outside world and my home.
My entrance is basically a small counter-top space that's limited by size as well as height. It may seem difficult at first but these restrictions actually make it easier for me to decorate. Last year I went the minimalist route by having a single blue candle on the counter. This year, I did the exact opposite by combining various objects I already had with some new candles that I purchased for the season. To minimize the look of clutter, I used a wooden tray to group some of the items together.
Telling a Story with Small Spaces - In addition to the entrance, I decorated other nooks and crannies in my home.Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Best Tips from Martha
All the Small Details
When it comes to decorating a small apartment, details matter. It's hard to ignore all the nooks and crannies when there is a lack of space. When my friends come over, they never fail to notice these things.
I remember a friend of mine who pointed out the microscopic strip of paper that I had not seen behind the TV stand in the very far left corner of my living room. And he noticed this from my dining room!
In order to distract people from random trash I may have forgotten to pick up, I strategically place decorative items around my apartment. I have a huge wreath hanging on the right side of my living-dining space to help keep their eyes away from that infamous left corner of my living room next to the TV stand ( most of the small pieces of random trash mysteriously ends up there ) .
Of course, it's not really about covering unsightly areas in the home but really more about making the home feel warm, cozy and festive.
Do details matter when decorating for the holidays?
For me, the most crucial part of the entire holiday season is planning the menu for my Christmas dinner. Most families in Tokyo eat chicken ( sometimes KFC chicken! ) and a strawberry shortcake while stylishly people are too cool to cook and go out to a high-end restaurant.
I myself, like to have dinner in the comfort and warmth of my very own apartment. Sometimes I have friends over while other times, it would be just me and my partner. There were a few years that I was simply too busy to cook and just made do with store-bought items. However this year, I already have my menu planned. I was successful in creating some new dishes I had never made before. I even learned how to make gingerbread snowflake cookies!