Three Quirky Christmas Tree Designs

Writer & Stylist, House of Home
This year our Christmas decorating style is about defying convention and creating unique Christmas tree themes with daring décor that will amaze, delight and are totally unexpected.

At House of Home we love little surprises, and not just when it comes to receiving gifts! We got to thinking about how we could create an alternative Christmas tree that could function well in any type of home, from established family homes to apartments and holiday homes. We considered that not all families spend Christmas day the same way. While some host Christmas lunch or dinner, others travel, some dine out and some spend the day hopping from the in-laws to the parents and so on. Not everyone wants or needs a fully-fledged Christmas tree.

Many families and couples tend to go away over the Christmas break and don’t have the time to invest in putting up and taking down a tree. Then there’s the folks who are just like the team at House of Home who love to create something that is unique that no one else has.

With that in mind, we have come up with 3 super simple ways to create an out-of-the ordinary Christmas tree that can be put together in just 10 minutes or less (we timed it) and taken down in just seconds with minimal effort required.

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Creating a home with your own style

‘Creating a home with your own style’
Carli Harrison, Founding Director Design it Yourself

When it comes to designing our homes, it’s easy to get caught up in the millions of images of décor inspiration that are available to us and lose sight of what our own sense of style really is.

We live in an online world where there are so many resources to inspire our creative side. Looking through home magazines and browsing online images can assist greatly when determining the foundation of your style.

Creating a folder of images that you like is a great place to start, however keep in mind you don’t need to duplicate something out of a magazine to create a beautiful home – your own style is what will make your home beautiful.

With Design It Yourself you can recreate and redecorate your rooms on screen as many times as you like, saving your favourite items to a shopping list for later.

“Decorating your home is a very intimate and individual process. Home is the place you go to relax and recharge and it should reflect your personality entirely. Your interests, hobbies and particular tastes should weave their way through your space,”

“It doesn’t have to be blatantly obvious that you are crazy about cats or that pink is your favourite colour!  Add some subtle touches that are a reflection of you – there’s always room for things that make you smile.”

So where do you start?  Here are my top tips on how to infuse your home with personality when styling:

Get serious about furniture

“Having a ‘key piece’ of furniture to work with has been fundamental for me when renovating my own homes.  If you find one piece that you are instinctively drawn to then you can build your room around it – it’s surprising how quickly your style can emerge and evolve from that one item.

“I also find furniture without a purpose or function is unnecessary. You should always think about practicality and functionality with your main items.  In contrast to this, styling and soft furnishings don’t always have to have a purpose so you can unleash your creativity!”

Focus on layouts and architecture

“One way to make sure key pieces of chosen furniture are more personalised and stylish is to be realistic about the space you’ve got and where they will fit. That means deciding on the best layout so that the room is functional and the space has effortless flow.

“Make sure you think about how your furniture will match up with your existing space to beautifully contrast and enhance the architecture of the room – it can change quite dramatically!”

Add eye catching art that steals the show

“You might not know much about art and that’s OK! From prints, photography or paintings, first and foremost you have to choose a print or piece of artwork that you love. It’s no good just buying a piece for the sake of having something on the walls. Art is such a personal choice and you’ll have to look at it everyday so the only thing that matters is that you like it!

“Once you’re more comfortable with your own style you might consider investing in ‘real’ art. Just remember that this is much more of a long term commitment, and it’s  about the connection you make with a piece – it should make you feel something.”

Images are all Design it Yourself Style Boards. You can create these great inspirational boards yourself on DIY.
Make small DIY changes

“It might seem crazy to change or alter new or used items you purchase, but if you’re really looking to add your own personal touch to your home, small DIY projects can truly give a zing of personality. From a stripe of colour to dip-dyed legs, there are a lot of DIY options to brighten up pieces you have – and this is when Pinterest can really come to the rescue!”

Overall, Carli believes there is no right or wrong when it comes to your own personal style. “You have to be self-interested – remember it’s YOUR home, trust your instincts. It doesn’t have to be ‘on trend’, if it appeals to you then that’s a good indication that it’s part of your style.

“If you think about it, this is where you are going to spend your time, your personal space, your safe haven where you’ll create life long memories. So do you want it to look fresh out of a glossy magazine with no relation to your own character, or do you want this to be a place that you feel most at home and that is in tune with you and your life?

“Remember, a home’s soul comes from the lives lived within it.”


See you soon,
Carli & the DIY team

Simply Styling with Design it Yourself

Welcome to Simply Styling with Design it Yourself

Our blog is designed to provide you with support to gain the most out of your DIY experience and will also give you some useful styling tips along the way.

Our Director Carli Harrison envisaged an easier way to get a coordinated look while cutting images out of home magazines and retailer catalogues and the design it yourself concept was born!

The platform allows you to create a room of your choice with a selection of fabulous products from a hand picked group of retailers we know you will love.

We have all been there right?

We have either picked the wrong wall colour or selected the wrong cushions because they looked great in the store and its surroundings, but when you brought it home it wasn’t quite what you expected.

We all love shopping with convenience and now with DIY this will bring you one step closer to the styled room of your choosing.

Where do I start?

Introducing Taubmans brand ambassador Shaynna Blaze as she shares her tried and true colour suggestions.

Image features Taubmans Snowdrop
Bullet proof colours for a fail proof room maker.

Everyone knows the ease and convenience of a wardrobe essential. The chic ’n’ simple little black dress you always reach for amidst a rack of colour, pattern and print – or the tailored navy suit that somehow never feels wrong. They’re confidence-boosting no-brainers which get the job done. And often the same goes for interiors.

I’m regularly asked if I have any tried-and-tested colour combinations – or “bulletproof” palettes – which I can recommend to people who are time-poor or lacking in particular inspiration (or possibly both!).

While some of us love the creativity of narrowing down the plethora of colour choice from the 5000-plus different shades within the Taubmans family, there are times when taking the guess work out is required. A case in point: if you were updating a property you intend to rent out or sell, you’d want to paint it in a colour scheme with a broad base of appeal, rather than colours which reflect a more personal aesthetic. My list of bulletproof colours largely falls into three distinct camps: the greys, the whites and the neutrals. The biggest decision you need to make is surveying your interior and seeing which of the three best suits your particular needs.

Image features Taubmans Metal Glow
Shades of Grey

My top three greys are Taubmans Endure Windy Beach, Stormy Shadow and Secret Passage. Use any one of these as a starting point and you can’t go wrong.


  • Grey is one of the most versatile colours to work with and makes an interior crisp, edgy and sophisticated. It makes a traditional room feel modern and a minimal contemporary space feel less stark
  • Teamed with a sharp white, e.g. Taubmans Brilliant White, grey creates the perfect backdrop that comes alive even with a limited range of colour in the room
  • Pair your grey with an emerald green colour such as Taubmans Ming Beauty for a jewel-like interior, or soften with a warm linen colour such as Fawn Beige to create a country retreat look and feel
  • And if you’re passionate about purple and love lilac you’ll find that grey is your new best friend, bringing an elegance and restraint to your room. Try Taubmans Lightly Lilac or Purplicious
Image features Taubmans Crisp White
The Right Whites

My top three whites are Taubmans Endure Tahira White, Aspen Snow and Akimbo.


  • The first step is to choose a colour for your trims and doors. Taubmans Tahira White and Aspen Snow are two solid choices that will highlight any features in a space. If you’re after a more traditional pure white option then try Taubmans Snowdrop or Taubmans Crisp White
  • To keep the interior simple you can do your trims and doors in gloss and use the same paint colour in low sheen for the walls to create a very modern and classic interior
  • To make an architectural feature stand out, use a soft green on your wall (Taubmans Seagull) or medium grey (Taubmans Hedgehog) for a modern interior
  • Cotton Ball is a yellow-based white that works well in period homes when you want to work with softer tones in the colour scheme. Team with Taubmans Canyon Trail or Luna Rock for a touch of romance
Image features Taubmans Phoenix Fossil
The Neutrals

My top three neutrals (or naturals) are Taubmans Endure Taupe Stone, Abstract Half and Martini.


  • Neutrals can be used on every part of the house from the exterior, to the ceilings, trims and walls to provide a subtle base for your scheme. Team with a sympathetic white such as Taubmans Crisp White or Akimbo for a neutral interior with a little spark. If you want to keep the scheme subtle, look at quarter strength of the same neutral, but make sure you have a combination low sheen for walls and gloss for trims and doors to give texture
  • Using the one colour on both walls and trims is gaining popularity in contemporary settings and creates a strong, clean look
  • A clever way to create light and space is to use the lightest colour on the largest surface area, such as the walls, and a slightly darker tone on woodwork. A lot of European interiors are starting to play with this idea. The use of a darker colour on skirting boards, that matches the floor colour makes the walls appear lighter in contrast, making the overall feel of the room lighter


Tips and advice

For loads of tips and advice on prepping and painting, check out the range of How-To videos at

See you soon,
Carli & the DIY team