High on the success of my English Home magazine coup (I still have no idea how we made it into this interiors magazine maven) I thought that I would go through each room with a little more detail as to how we created our cosy cottage Christmas. I spend days decorating our home every year and I genuinely believe that it makes the festivities feel far more special (that and the Baileys), the children are beyond excited to open each spider webbed box (our loft is an arachnophobes nightmare) and greet our decorations like old friends “Oh I had forgotten about this” “Oh my angel from year 1” (half a paper plate vaguely decorated and stuck on a pink faced wooden spoon).
I bring most of the garden and much hedgerow into the house (twice as they don’t make it past the Christmas Carols party in mid December) and cover everything in sparkly lights and twinkly candles. There are always fresh mince pies on the island and invariably a vat of mulled wine on La Aga. The kitchen is probably the best place to start as at any time it is the heart of the home but at Christmas it is a cosy creating machine!
Every year I create garlands to go over both dressers. I use the offcuts from the Christmas trees and bind them together with florists wire working from the centre symmetrically outwards. Once I have a long enough base. I add in boughs of Lawson Cypress which smells incredible and looks wonderfully rustic with the miniature cones. I also add in berried ivy and once in place I wrap fairy lights around the garland and my vast collection of Miss Havisham dried flowers.
Ivy is thrown with gay abandon over paintings and mirrors and the kitchen tree is decorated with folk art inspired woollen baubles, fir cones, candy canes and teasels to create a less formal tree.
Even Dame La Aga gets a Christmas make over with festive paintings (by Emma Perring) on her beam and more garland joy. This is a wonderfully cheaty garland: I bought a fake garland that I pull out every year then add plenty of garden greenery and mix in fake berries with real berries and hips and more teasels and wrap in fairy lights.
The big proper tree (my husband annually points out that the tree in the kitchen gets bigger every year…) is placed far away from the woodburner and next to the piano for ultimate festive cheer. I decorate this tree with a more elegant feel in silvers, golds and coppers, metres and metres of fairy lights and my extra special, tissue wrapped Halinka fairy that makes my heart beat faster as I carefully, carefully lift the lid of her beautiful white box.
Cox and Cox are my go to for tree decorations, they have a fantastic selection and hit the right balance between beautiful and Christmas fun. I use their clip on white birds with sparkly tail feathers, copper stars, white and copper baubles and mix with glitter balls of varying sizes, little silver baubles, gold and silver glittery stars and shiny sparkly metallic snowflakes. This is all trimmed with lashings of fairy lights, hessian bows and a few personal baubles that we have collected as a family over the years.
This year I will be adding the most glorious Burleigh ornaments – their modellers decoration which is just the most perfect present (although I am keeping mine).
The beam over the fireplace also gets a garland – again a fake garland that I then cover with real foliage, berries and pine cones as well as the ubiquitous fairy lights.
I use tartan wool cushions (Harrison Cropper), as many soft throws as I can..well..throw…at the sofas and as much sensory texture as I can squeeze in with velvet floor cushions (Graham and Green), soft sheepskin rugs (Fruity fleeces) and candles not so judiciously dotted everywhere (top favourite Christmas candles are: Winter by The White Company, Perfect Peace by Neom Organics and The Spices by Home County Candle Co:
The other half of the room also receives the fling half the garden at it treatment with a huge long garland of ivy that I construct section by section in situ above the bookcase and then wrap in warm white fairy lights. Each painting and mirror has a small nod to holly and the piano is garlanded and crammed with as many candles as I can fit between the foliage!
Even the bathroom doesn’t escape my festive foliage frolicking, with more winter roses adding deep rich colours as well as sprays of real and fake berries and sparkly snowflakes that twinkle in the winter sunshine.
I borrowed this incredible Jewllers cabinet and filled it with copper battery fairy lights and gorgeous antique jewel like baubles. Please Rach and Karl (Original Homewares) can you source another one like this??? I need it for my Christmas joy x
Ordinarily at Christmas, I hang fairy lights over our beams and silver sparkly snowflakes from available old nails that have been hammered in over the centuries so it is a little haphazard but Naomi Jones has restyled our bedroom for Christmases ever more!
Simply by adding @flowersandlifestylebymargot’s incredible wreath over the bed and two vases of Christmas roses and waxflowers, adding a colourful bedspread and cushions, our bedroom felt immediately warmer and cosier.
The children have their own boxes of Christmas delights which do mainly consist of paper chains that they made when they were toddlers and are now rather straggly, baubles full of dents and tangled chains of stars, tinsel and Christmas creatures that make all sorts of unusual sounds when their paws are pressed. We gently edited my daughters room for the shoot removing the slightly alarming spoon angel but leaving her paper chains, Nutcracker toy, paper angels and soft felt decorations in pride of place.
Decorating for Christmas should enhance your home, it should make each room feel super special and sparkly beautiful but it is important to also enjoy the decoration. The beauty of Christmas is the fun and the craziness seen through the eyes of a child, so haul in trees and branches, sprinkle with fairy lights and make everywhere sparkle with joy.