A South African Christmas means sunblock and bare feet, cold beer and hot coals... and, of course, the obligatory paper crown firmly adhered to a sticky forehead.
The pine branches sprayed with fake snowflakes, the glasses of spicy gluhwein, the chestnuts roasting on an open flame are jarringly out of kilter with sunny-season festivities.
For this reason, the curators at Decorex SA have compiled five warm-weather festive décor trends, allowing you to enjoy a hot-climate Christmas with a South African flair.
Trend 1: Beachcombing bling
Seashells, driftwood and polished pebbles beg for a place on the shore-chic festive table. Toss the tinsel and, instead, scavenge the seashore for the discarded homes of marine molluscs to use as ribbon on your tree or as table embellishments. Half-fill glass globes with sea sand and insert periwinkles and cowries to create tiny sea-inspired ornaments for hanging from the branches of a whitewashed wooden tree. Or lay a log of driftwood across the table and insert pillar candles between its curves.
Trend 2: African edge
Look beyond the prevalent bead when planning a celebration fit for the Mother Continent. Turn a table into a talking point with bold Ndebele and shweshwe prints. Sculptural bouquets of proteas and pincushions, strelitzias and agapanthus will bring the vibrant vermilions, shocking fuchsias and moody mauves of the indigenous landscape into your African-inspired festive scheme. Jars filled with silver baubles are a stylish eco-alternative to electric lighting and, when it comes to the tree, forgo the fir in favour of wire.
Trend 3: Safari celebration
Black and white, tan and taupe may not be your habitual Christmas colours, but they lend a graphic edge to bush-inspired festivities. When combined with earthy textures and raw materials, like natural cotton, wood, stone and concrete, the use of animal print – on napkins or runners, for instance – will lend a smart masculinity to a celebratory scheme. Use seedpods and dried gourds in place of the customary pine cone and fashion simple wreaths from pliant twigs or plaited grasses. Bouquets of porcupine quills form quirky mantelpiece adornments while a branch of acacia takes first prize as a tree. Raffia, hemp, natural twine lend a handmade authenticity to gift-wrapping.
Trend 4: White hot
Still dreaming of a white Christmas? Cool things down with an all-white scheme, overlaid with the iridescent shimmer of pearlescent baubles, reflective crystal and flickering candlelight. Haul out the good silver when dressing the table and hang strings of pearls where you would otherwise have done the tinsel. Pair starched linens with lightweight voiles to keep the look easy-breezy and well suited to a southern-hemisphere celebration
Trend 5: A taste of the tropics
Zesty citron, blocks of oceanic blue and vivacious coral pink are the season’s hottest hues and who says they can’t shine at Christmas time? Summery daisy yellow underpins a retro-funky scheme when used with plenty of balancing white – think canary coloured napkins with white candles, the dark silhouettes of pruned fruit-tree branches adorned with acid-yellow bow ties or paper butterflies. Fill glass baubles with multicoloured jellybeans and hang from the tree. For a blushing pink Christmas, choose a warm coral smartened up with accents of deep navy or marsala.
* For more decor ideas and trends, diarise Decorex Durban, which opens on March 18, 2016 and runs until March 21, at the Durban Exhibition Centre.
For more, visit www.decorex.co.za