Colour and lighting for vibrant festive cheer in your home

Wednesday December 19 2018

Use theme lighting to give your

Use theme lighting to give your home a Christmas look. Shutter photo 

By EDGAR R. BATTE

The festive cheer is catching on and it is traditionally about beautiful things and moments. The home being a dwelling place where we gather to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, planning to brighten it up, is only natural.

Giving it a fresh look using lighting and colour is one option. Sheila Nakitende, an artist, says coupling lighting with thematic colours of the festive holiday, or Christmas at that, is perfect.

Christmas has got four main thematic colours; red, green, silver, gold and a touch of white so when you are looking for lights, it would be ideal to interplay between the colour of lights you choose in consideration of the colour of the walls of your house as well as decorations.

“Certain places require particular theme colours. Large spaces would accommodate almost all the colours. Where you have small spaces, one has to blend colours. For example, you can choose to get brown or bronze lights for small spaces and blend them with white, a pop of red or green decorative materials,” Nakitende, director of Zaabu Interior Art and Design company.

The tradition
Decorator and fashion designer, Melanie Luyima, agrees with Nakitende and adds that traditional Christmas decorations are usually designed in ‘reds’ and ‘greens’.

If you are looking at incorporating some foreign ideas, feng shui is an impressive option that roots for your existence with nature. In an email interview Diane Gallin, a Wind and Water Feng Shui Consultant, says Christmas trees represent the wood element which combines the use of green and red colours to warm up a cool space even during winter.

Neutral colours
“It is therefore advisable to adopt a neutral colour for the wall and ceiling. This makes the room appear spacious and warm. A beautiful Christmas tree should be your focal point.

Choose a colour theme for your decorations: a green Christmas tree may not work well in a less spacious living room. Instead, go for the white Christmas tree and while at it, minimise the decorations for purposes of elegance and class,” Luyima explains.

In the same line of thought, Zaabu’s director advises that small areas do not need a lot of decoration and colour combination, and as such, simplicity is the best for limited spaces. One or two colour blends are ideal. Luyima implores you to remember that your living room is a social hub for your house.

Therefore, keep the decorations simple, classy and welcoming. Too many details will create clutter and might be disturbing to the eye.
If you have enough space, Luyima advises that you fill glass bowls, jars and vases with colourful sweets. Marshmallows are a good start.

“Attach a strand of lighting going up or down the wall. Snow white lights are good with small rooms and so is a white Christmas tree. Coloured lightning works well in a spacious environment.”

“Some people prefer white lights and glittering silver or gold decorations which represent the metal element (Feng Shui) that we see in the moonlight and bright stars of the winter night sky. They help light up the night sky and dark spaces on a chilly night,” Gallin’s further tips.

Nakitende says getting decoration material does not have to cost you a penny but rather putting your creative juices to work.

You can turn some of the stuff at home into decoration for instance old clothes, plastics, glasses and more.

Make use of the internet
To do this, you can turn to You Tube for some tutorial videos on how you can put together some cool decorations. That will give you some independence on creating unique items that suit your taste and space.

Some of the materials Nakitende recommends you use could include dry pine fruit, rustic balls, plants, calabashes, gourds and flowers as well as lights that can be fused to bring out beautiful décor.

Many of these materials are available in craft villages, in organic materials and shops downtown. Nakitende is using her artistry to offer some work to those looking at adding colour and design to their living spaces. She has pine fruits sprayed in silver and gold colours, silver and gold balls, flowers and wrapping papers all on sale.

Her advice is that areas facing windows are good placing points for colourful items because of the natural lighting they let into the house.
“Some people with big houses work can add alot to their staircases, corners and doors.”

Luyima calls on you to involve children in the decoration because it will make it a lot more fun. Her other tip is to keep a good collection of Christmas music playing to create the special mood.

The sound should be moderate; not too loud to enable usual conversation at home. So, you have every reason to turn your festive cheer on using light and colour. Go on and make it happen.

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