Few days are left before the New Year, but not all have festive spirit already in their homes. Sometimes, there’s a trite lack of time or inspiration, and sometimes even that of fantasy.

Fashion dictates its own rules of New Year home decorations. Designers often work wonders of ingenuity to bring something new into traditional holidays. ForUm finds out new trends of the coming year.

Focusing on unusual

Living pine and fir-trees are no longer in vogue. As eco-designer at Upcycler workshop Anastasia Kostenko explained to ForUm, today people are increasingly taking care of trees, and show a creative approach.

"Now everything unusual is in trend, for example, when a New-Year tree is made of cloth or straw. New-Year tree decorations should be original and beautiful. For example, knitted balls or baked gingerbread are very popular".

According to the designer, eco-art is in great demand today. Painted bottles, garlands of textile, crafts of sackcloth, grain and tins will give your home not only festive, but also a stylish image. Do not be afraid of decorating a New-Year tree with bagels, corks, lamps and old "grandmother" toys – the more non-standard look they have, the better.

Modern designers make New-Year decorations of cardboard, reproductions of famous artists and old fabrics. Collages from old magazines and children's drawings also remain in trend.

A new trend includes making decorations of recycled materials: plastic bottles, egg trays, newspapers, compact disks.

According to commercial artist Veronica Kolomiyets, Scandinavian style with its simple shapes and light blue colors also gains momentum.

"Examples of the Scandinavian style in New Year decorations include simple wood balls, wood letters, lamps of geometrical shapes. This style also echoes the rustic style with its wreaths of sticks and pine cones, pained white. And to emphasize, you may add some red color, like ashberries, for example."

Moreover, as ForUm learned from the designer, knitted tree decorations remain popular for some years already. Among interesting samples there are knitted cases for regular objects: tea pots, vases, boxes, table-mats.

Vintage style is also popular this year. Do not hesitate to decorate your New Year tree with textile ornaments of linen, laces, ribbons, beads. If you search for something even more peculiar, recall the postwar epoch, when decorations were made of cotton, glue, colors and paper.

However, the key rule of decorating is not to exaggerate.

"Excessive glittering details in all corners will not beautify your house, but, on the contrary, will create fussiness. Excessive wood decorations will make your house look like a sawmill, and contrast colors cause visual irritation. Red and green or blue and orange room will get on your nerves pretty soon," Veronica Kolomiyets explains.

Out of fashion

In case you do not know, presents in wrapped boxes under the tree are bad manners nowadays. According to Veronica, the latest thing is to give presents wrapped in Furoshiki, a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth traditionally used to transport clothes, gifts, or other goods. Currently Furoshikis are made of different fabrics, including silk, cotton, rayon and nylon.

To make children happy, Anastasia Kostenko recommends to put sweets or small gifts into a New Year sock or boot, to hide larger presents and put the treasure map under the tree.

It is also out of fashion to decorate the tree in "soviet" style. Designers recommend to find an original idea or use handmade decorations. In this respect, internet is the best source of ideas. As for the eco-style, the closest park or forest can easily help you with this.

Classic red and green colors of decorations go out of fashion and give place to gray and pink, white, white and blue, turquoise colors. Designers recommend to chose one color scheme and decorate the whole room and the tree in it. For those who prefer extreme and exotics, dark-blue and black remain up to date.  

Moreover, more and more people prefer to replace the traditional tree with other ideas, for example a garland, hung on the wall like a New Year tree silhouette, or a tree made of wires and decorated with flat paper ornaments. 

"The vogue of advent calendars has also come to Ukraine. Many take the form of a large rectangular card with "windows" to open every day leading up to New Year Eve. You can make it in a form of tree and decorate with mini gifts to open every day until the event," Veronica Kolomiyets explains.

The usual festive table with cloth and Russian salad is also considered a bore. Designers recommend to introduce "islands of nature", like little bowls with natural moss, trees-pyramids of dried oranges, berries or simple wood sticks. If you want decorations to shine, use satin ribbons and gilt pine cones. You can also use glass bottles of various shapes, height and width and fill them with decorative stones, glass balls, paper starts and snowflakes.   
Tips for astrology fans

According to the Oriental calendar, 2014 is the year of the blue wooden horse. Therefore, all those, who believe in astrology, should know that the coming year is associated with blue, dark-blue and green colors, which can be safely used in the home decoration. Horse’s element is fire, so it loves various manifestations of creativity. This can include anything: decorated walnuts or photos on a New-Year tree, wood or ceramic horses placed throughout the apartment, branches of trees decorated with beads or sequins.

It is also appropriate to recall the old traditions in the Year of Horse. Firstly, a favorite delicacy of horse is all kinds of sweets, especially apples and sugar, so it will certainly appreciate such generous gifts and will surely bring you happiness in return. Secondly, people of Old Rus and the East believed that sweet and edible Christmas decorations bring home owners success and prosperity.

Taking into account the preferences of the symbol of the year, it is easy to guess that the horse will be delighted with wood and straw decorations, charms and souvenirs in form of horseshoes. All this also echoes with the current fashion trend of Provence, which main features are simplicity and elegance. Decorations of a New-Year tree should be done in two or three colors. As regards the form of ornaments, it is better to give preference to all the varieties of horses, snowmen, stars and snowflakes.

The most unusual trend of the season is decorating a New-Year tree with living flowers. You just have to remove the flower bud from the stem and pin it to a Christmas tree. It’s better to use flowers, which do not fade for a long time, such as lilies, freesia and orchids. You can also try to extend the life of floral decorations keeping cut flowers in water with the dissolved aspirin for several hours.

Safety as a trend

The most important thing during New Year holidays is to remember about safety. The State Emergency Service of Ukraine warns Ukrainians that not all New Year garlands and decorations are safe. The majority of decorations are made of flammable and toxic materials, and many fires occur due to short circuit in garlands.

While buying New Year decorations, consumers must always demand the passport of producer and code certificate. Switching on your garland always control the wires and lamps. If the wires are hot and lamps are flashing, switch it off and do not use again. Moreover, remember that decorations made of paper and cotton are highly flammable and are better be replaced with ornaments made of glass or nonflammable materials. Always install your tree far from radiators or heating devices and never use any open fire near it, like candles, sparklers, firecrackers or fireworks.

In case your New Year tree takes fire:

- disconnect the garland;
- topple the tree on the floor to prevent inflammation of wallpapers and furniture;  
- cover the burning tree with a strong fabric or pour water over it;
- call "101"- fire-fighting service.

Regardless of the style you chose to decorate your home on New Year holidays, do it with feeling and wisely, and then magic will appear.

Photos by Anastasia Kostenko and Veronica Kolomiyets, and from websites: http://handmadeidea.com.ua, http://milena.mzzhost.com,  http://www.emeraldday.com

Anastasia Pika



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