For ten years Donna Brown has been adding the sparkle to Christmas celebrations in homes and businesses across Lancashire. And for ten years she has put up the decorations in her own home at the last minute.

‘This year I’m determined to put my decorations up by the middle of November,’ she says. ‘That is probably a bit early but if I leave it any later, I’ll be too busy with everyone else’s.’

Donna launched the business after arranging fundraising events for her niece when she

‘I always had a passion for events and parties – every home party had to be bigger and better than before. I had a desire to create and have fun and when my four-year-old niece got very ill we had to raise a lot of money very quickly.

‘Although her treatment in America was funded, the living costs for her family were not, so we held all kinds of events and I realised how much I enjoyed organising events and that I should be doing it full time.’

She started as a wedding planner with a secret – she only had one of everything. When couples selected a certain theme she would go out and buy more of what she needed and her stock grew over time. They now have a huge warehouse in Chorley packed with décor, baubles, flowers and sparkle.

Great British Life: Donna Brown of Pure Elegance Events. PHOTO: Kirsty ThompsonDonna Brown of Pure Elegance Events. PHOTO: Kirsty Thompson

‘After five years she brought in a business partner to help manage the workload. ‘Amanda Taylor was one of my brides and she came on a course we ran,’ she said. ‘When I broke my ankle while setting up a wedding, she came on board and we found we worked well together.’

Her Pure Elegance Events business now has weddings booked into 2026 and a team of 12 planning and dressing events for domestic and commercial clients. And each Christmas they decorate hotels, businesses and homes.

'Some give us what they have and ask us to work with that, other people give us a budget to work to,’ Donna adds. ‘We can provide everything or we can work with what they have, or work to a budget.

‘We love what we do and we’re very passionate and really care – that makes such a difference and then it doesn’t feel like a job. We’re very lucky to be in an industry we love.’

Here, Donna shares five of her top tips for decorating your home.

Great British Life: Select a colour scheme that suits you and your home. PHOTO: Getty ImagesSelect a colour scheme that suits you and your home. PHOTO: Getty Images

1. Work with the house. Choose styles and colours that will complement the décor and aesthetics. Make sure you set a colour theme based on the room. Black and champagne is still very on trend, as it black and white. Gold can be good when used as an accent, but it’s easy to overdo gold – less is more. Bold pinks and purples can create a really striking contemporary look. For a more muted look, try a Scandi theme with wood, cinnamon sticks and dried fruit. Dry slices of fruit in a low oven and mix them with berries and sticks to create a centrepiece that can look impressive but costs pennies.

Great British Life: Foliage can work well as a runner. (c) Getty ImagesFoliage can work well as a runner. (c) Getty Images

2. If you’re using fresh foliage, don’t prepare it too early or it won’t last until your guests are there on Christmas Day. Fresh greenery can look stunning. If you have the room, with conifer down the table like a runner, with dried fruit, lights and fragrances – mulled wine works well. But consider the number of guests you have and how you plan to eat. If you’ll have the table full of food, it’s no use having a table scape that takes up a lot of room and leaves you nowhere to put the potatoes. If you don’t have a lot of room, work upwards with pedestals for candles, lights foliage or flowers.

Great British Life: Feathers can create a dramatic effectFeathers can create a dramatic effect

3. Real trees are great but there are advantages to artificial ones – there's no dropped needles, no need to water them and some of them come with in-built LED lights, so there’s no untangling the fairy lights every year. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colours, too, so there’s bound to be one that will work with your room and colour scheme. Be creative with your tree decorations – it doesn’t all have to be baubles and tinsel. A small wreath can be used to create a focal point, to highlight a special ornament or bauble, maybe. Peacock feathers can create an eye-catching effect and ribbons curling down from the top of the tree can be striking – and they can also hide any less than perfect branches.

Great British Life: If your table is small, go tallIf your table is small, go tall

4. Keep a balance and remember that not every space needs to be decorated. A tree is usually the main statement piece and then you can add smaller items such as lights, garlands, ornaments, or soft furnishings like festive cushions to continue a theme without overwhelming a room. Be clever with the space you have – add lights, tinsel or a garland to banisters and mantelpieces, or display baubles in a bowl with a string of lights.

Great British Life: Let children get creative. PHOTO: Getty ImagesLet children get creative. PHOTO: Getty Images

5. Remember not everything needs to be straight and symmetrical – play around and have fun to create the look you want. But if you do want things to be just so, it might be an idea to give children a tree of their own to decorate. Allowing them to decorate their bedroom gives them a chance to express themselves, or you could showcase their creativity by incorporating something they have created into your decorations.