Our home at Christmas
T'is the season to be jolly, for sure! Does anything beat getting the home ready for Christmas? Ramaging through the loft or garage (or under eaves) to find all the tangled fairy lights, the old decorations.. Braving the cold for yet another Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.. Decorating, baking and fighting others for a place in the queue while buying your presents... Oh Christmas..!
Come on, it's not that bad! The husband is in the garden, as I write, getting the roof of our shed updated, having stripped back the old felt and before that the rumbler rose. He's coming back in in a few minutes and I have yet to cook anything for him (it's 13.30 Sunday, can I get away with it?)
So how does Seasons in Colour get ready for Christmas?
We have two rooms that we decorate: our living room and the dining room. The dining room which I will cover in this post (mainly because there's not enough light to shoot the living room which is also painted in Mole's breath grey) is our 'informal' eating area.
At the moment (Dec 2015) it features a large antique Swedish table and chairs which have been Annie Sloan chalk-painted, a 2-seater sofa which - for the holidays - is covered in a beautiful faux fur throw, and a Welsh dresser which was a fab Ebay find 4 years ago and which has also been shabby chic-ed with the help of chalk paint (also by Annie Sloan).
The room, which is a good size rectangular, is complimented by a deep red Persian rug, which pretty much led the way for the rest of the room's decoration (curtains, wall canvas). The theme is as the post implies, rustic! Let's break it down!
1/ Tree decorations
Decorations must be in red and were possible, wooden, red and natural wood ones (scandi like). Alternative: use red baubles in different sizes.
We get a medium tree in here, which our son decorates. Obviously, being a 6 year old boy, he has better things to do, so getting him engaged for like 8 minutes and 32 seconds in the process is a new record for us.
I shall keep the result of his decorating momentum in my memory and only share with you the re-touched tree. Because, said 6 year old's effort was concentrating heavily on one long strip of the tree only. Like, ALL the baubles in the same place. Cute. *or not*
2/ Shabby chic decor
Country curtains, window like mirrors and wicker baskets all add to the theme. Avoid empty spaces under the tree by filling the space with gift wrapped boxes.
3/ Berry wreaths on chairs
These antique chairs were painted in Annie Sloan French Grey chalk paint. The berry wreath was a TK Maxx find and I added that with grosgrain ribbon and a couple red baubles. Obviously you have to tie it outside the chair or your guest will not fill very nice...
4/ Winter flowers
Add eucalyptus and other winter flowers in simple vases around the table or lay on the middle of the table over a runner.
5/ Table setting
If you are not afraid of damaging the table surface, go bear, forget tablecloths or add a linen one. Go for plain crockery - white or grey works the best.
6/ Focus on Art
Add something interesting in the room, a talking point but old-looking. The canvas that we have in the room is from Surface View. You can see more of it here. Hand stretched to order, with deep timber frame and artist quality canvas this is part of their Victoria & Albert Museum collection and shows artwork painted on paper and mounted on silk in Korea, late 19th century.
Consider adding lots of candles around the room for a relaxed atmosphere. What the Danes call Hygge. A cosy atmosphere as you relax in the presence of friends and over a good glass of wine.
I bought the Anthropologie candlesticks from their Spitafields store - a smaller store but still packed with treasures! I am waiting for my Ester & Erik candles (see below) to arrive now and this will complete the look.
Faux fur or wool throws are great to have around. Here I updated the 2-seater antique sofa with a faux fur and added cushions with deer on them. Sweet. A small faux fur throw on the table adds something extra to the scheme.
Above: Wrapping paper, John Lewis. Faux fur throw and stag cushion, TK Maxx. I will actually be taking two of these fur throws and the cushions to ski resort Bansko this month, for a styling challenge.
9/ Other furniture
For a rustic look, farmhouse mirrors like this one work best. I was lucky enough to also have a welsh dresser in the room, which I think compliments the look.
Entertaining rustic style means hearty, comfort food, dipping bread in sauce and puddings that taste better than they look. And open a good wine of course!
How are you decorating this Christmas?