Allow us to introduce one of our all-time favourite designers: Lydia Maskiell. Her work has been featured in all the top home and design magazines, including Home Beautiful, Adore Magazine, Inside Out and Better Homes & Gardens. She is an awarded interior designer (you could say she’s a decorated decorator!) and the director of Lydia Maskiell Interiors, a boutique residential interior design and decorating practice based in Tasmania.
Recently, Lydia welcomed us into her home and offered some tips on styling during the festive season. With her sweet children munching on cookies, and the family pooch cleaning up the crumbs from the floor, she gave us an inside peek at how she likes to style her front door, Christmas tree and table.
A home’s entrance is where first impressions are made. At this time of year, we have the opportunity to set a mood of celebration and festivity. Lydia makes use of her home’s tall ceilings and breezy hall by hanging oversized golden baubles, stars and native garlands to introduce Christmas to guests and give them a hint of what awaits in the main living spaces.
“At your door, don’t forget that you introduce both yourself and your home.”
Lydia’s Christmas tree is tucked into a well-lit corner of the lounge. It reaches about six-foot in height and has a lovely, even shape. Yes, it’s a faux Christmas tree, but we’re not judging: who has the time to clean up the mess of pine needles!
A clever rattan tree skirting in black hides the typically unsightly base, and has the effect of disappearing, drawing the eye up to the decorations... or sideways to the presents.
Lydia has selected ornaments in muted metallics, white and cream — all which contrast beautifully with the deep forest green of the tree’s branches.
“I chose dramatic, antique gold flowers that are really quite large to fill gaps in the arrangement. Gold is the key colour and everything flows from there.”
As she arranges sprigs of pine in a vase on the festive table she has set in the formal entertaining space beyond her kitchen, Lydia shares why she takes time to style her home for Christmas.
“Christmas is about relationships. What I’m doing is fostering connections with the spaces we occupy, positioning talking points in each room, and including items and designs that bring people together.”
Whether that’s in a practical way (the comfort of a chair, the ambiance of lighting) or a nostalgic way (decorations the children have made, gran’s pudding recipe) — it all comes together with a thoughtful warmth that guests cannot help but appreciate.
Lydia’s table is pared back, with an emphasis on layering. She has opted for natural tones and gold so that the food plays hero. Different colours and textures are overlaid: woven placemats, gold-rimmed glasses and linen napkins with wooden bead napkin rings (which are actually repurposed Christmas decorations!). There are fairy lights, plenty of shade against the glare of the summer sun, and large Christmas stars hanging overhead.
“Just don’t overdo it! Make sure you leave room on your table for the food and elbows.”
The progression from front door, to tree, to table in Lydia’s home is one seamless aesthetic that calms like a lullaby, celebrates like good bubbly and promises the making of many fond memories.