Chinese New Year approaches as we enter the January of 2022, many of us are still traumatized by the past few years of festivities.
As good as it sounds, not everyone wants to have a house covered in red!
It has been a tough year and it is decidedly easier to decorate your home sufficiently for the whole year, while definitely keeping the prosperity of the spring festival in check.
We asked our interior designers for their secrets and what they would do to spice up for the lucky season, welcoming the new year!
I love juxtaposing sharp green against colourful flowers as they can instantly transport me to a foreign environment that goes beyond my home's plain walls.
It's a spring wonderland that I try to create every year just so that I can get festive even though Singapore is already so flourished.
I would recommend using lavender, english ivies, silver queen, bamboo shoots or any evergreens!
Lavenders are one of those houseplants that serve multipurpose, one being visually stunning with its soft ethereal colour palette and texture, while the other perfuming the air.
The evergreens and english ivies have interesting textured leaves that look so different from what you can usually find around the streets of Singapore.
Bamboo brings in the lucky value you need for the new year.
People generally underestimate the effectiveness of houseplants because they are blase about the caretaking procedure.
It’s worth the effort when it makes you happy looking at it! If you think about it, spring festivals celebrate the growth and birth of life- a perfect demonstration is a room full of flowers!
Fairy lights have been getting a heavy comeback when social media fell head over heels for its sheer fantasy-like glow, but the idea behind it is what I'm getting at.
Getting a good set of decorative lights is important because obviously we need lights to see, but what the light comes out from is so important!
You can have fairy lights if you want but it might not be the most formal set to put out during holiday seasons. I do love a sputnik light as well as an abstract chandelier.
The more avant garde the better!
Its shape parallels a set of fireworks since many Singaporeans cannot purchase one during the holiday’s season.
It's great to have something that reminds us of the holiday but also usable after that one chance per year.
Light is a good way to spice up the lunar new year because we don’t usually associate that visual sense with the festivities unless its at night!
Textured fabric is one way in which I incorporate interesting elements into my home because I love the Scandinavian hygge aesthetic.
I don’t believe you have to sacrifice your own aesthetics to make it festive!
Pillows and rugs are a good way because it reminds you of the cold environment.
I never have had heavy textured fabric around the home growing up because Singapore is already so hot!
For my personal style, I would go for earth tones- dark green and cadmium red are definitely my favourite go-tos.
I have also been into crocheting my own textured art piece that I can use as a decoration around the house, it's an interesting substitute to any heavy mass sculptures that might not be kid-friendly.
It serves as a good transition from Christmas to New Years to Chinese New Years!
I try to do something new every year because I like the freshness from something undone in terms of home decorating.
That is because how I perceive the holidays is the expectation of something newborn, much like the year, so I always play around with the newest trends on pinterest.
It's cathartic to be able to start the new year with a whole kinda new looking home!
My favourite year is split between two ideas I played around with.
The first one was experimenting with candles of different kinds at multiple parts of the home.
The candles were probably gifts from friends and family during the season, so they provided a quaint glow of red, orange and yellow that really serves the festivities we need in our home.
Not to mention that the lit candles give out such a pleasant smell when you have so many visitors coming in and out.
The other time was when I crochet an entire living room worth of fabric covers for the living room (done during the pandemic lockdown), and this really brought a child-like fantasy I’ve never experienced before.
I’m very sensitive in terms of home decoration because I don’t like to have excessive clutters, be it decorative patterns or furnishing, hence I prefer the minimalist route.
This makes most festive decorations really tacky when overdone.
However, it is very difficult to have seasonal decorations because by default they tend to be a bit visually chaotic.
Instead, I experiment with smell and sound as interior factors to help lighten the festivities.
One easy way would be to fill the air with the smell of baked goods, which I do so with some baking of tarts and egg biscuits.
You can even heat up a few tarts or bakwas in the oven on non-baking days just to add some fragrance to the air!
For the sound, it is quite simply playing festive music in the background just to create an ambience that decorations just cannot provide.
Every year during Chinese New Year, my mother would have the same set of decorations for the season because it tends to rack up a cost if you are buying different furnishings every year.
Her greatest tip for me when it comes to decorating for the holidays is to use a lot of flowery plants and always decorate empty spaces.
If you go to her house during the Chinese New Year season, you can always find ang paos and snacks huddled up within the empty spaces of the cabinets or coffee table.
This is very effective because our eyes are drawn to empty spaces when staring at furniture and with a mosaic-like assemblage like hers, it really pulls!
I think as a new parent, we try to forge festive customs for our children so holiday seasons seem significant since they grow up so quickly.
During holidays season I always get together with the children to hand create decorations we would put around the home to build up the celebratory spirits.
Be it the Lunar New Year or even Christmas, it’s never tacky when your little ones put their heart and soul into the decorative pieces.
There's very simple methods like folding origami lanterns with used red packets, or creating decorative ornaments by painting over paper mache balls.
If you’re worried of the furnishing becoming tacky, maybe exercise some creative control over the outcome.
It might sound lazy but I find that when it comes to the festive season, the opulence comes easiest when all your decoration is golden.
I have a set of gold tint ornaments that I bring out every year during the festive season and the
bright hue instantly brings excitement for the end of the year!
I also try to limit myself in terms of the colour because with a variety of colours it might seem cluttered and too chaotic for a time of the year where you just want to calm down and celebrate the entirety of the time before.
My favourite pairings would be red and jade pieces to complement the gold majority, but bear in mind to keep it minimal though.
This tip is probably for busy individuals who don’t have the patience to plan new decorations every single year since it usually takes up too much time and money!