Seasonal sparkle

It’s that time again – a time for loved ones to get together, catch up, laugh, eat and get slightly merry!

This year, like many families, we’re on a budget. So, I’m going to share some money saving tips to help you decorate your home for Christmas.

Go natural

My first budgeting tip is to go natural. Foraging for pine cones, fallen fir leaves, conkers and berries is free (as long as you are on public land!). Utilise plain glass vases and glass hurricane lamps and use your nature collections as a base for other foliage displays or candles. Don’t place foliage too near to candles though – I learnt that lesson myself one year!

Make your own

A Christmas wreath makes a great welcome to your front door, especially if you are hosting the festivities this year. If you bought one last year, you can recycle it by taking the old leaves off the wiring and replacing them with fresh foliage. Even very simple ones can look beautiful. I’m personally a fan of half-filled metal rings, which are still on trend and a great starting point for a wreath novice. Go online for wreath making videos or there are also some great workshops in the area, which may not necessarily be budget saving for this year, but once you have the skills, you can make your own for future years! See below for workshops in the area.

For seasonal decorations, there is an overwhelming wealth of options on offer locally. Second budgeting tip; obviously there are shops that provide some great deals, but try your local charity shops too, then you can feel satisfied that you’re giving something back this Christmas! A lot of mid-range interiors retailers have their pre-Christmas sales now, so look out for their great discounts and, of course, if you want to plan ahead, hit the new year sales for big reductions on your decorations for 2024!

My third budgeting tip is for Christmas trees, as they are soooo expensive these days. So, to save your pounds, buy a small tree and place it on a coffee table with some foliage and baubles around the bottom, then place the presents on and under the table (saves on poking your eyes with pine needles when crawling underneath bigger trees too!).


OKA’s outlet store, based locally in Godstone, sells decorations including seasonal flora and fauna (and other accessories and furniture to tempt you too), all with at least 25% off. Visit for location details.

While there, pop over to Flowers for Florists opposite. Open to the public, it has an array of lovely flora and fauna and will be hosting wreath-making workshops in early December. Visit to book.

Some other local wreath making workshops to try:

  • The Potting Shed, at Wickham’s Court in Limpsfield.
  • Polesden Lacey, in Great Bookham near Dorking, is running workshops up until mid-December. Or check out National Trust sites across the south east for wreath and decoration workshops.

However you decorate your home this year, have a beautiful Christmas. And, if you are planning a renovation project in the new year I am always happy to chat interiors!

Deborah Smith, is the founder and design director of Menagerie Interiors. Enquiries to, and follow her on Instagram.

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