Christmas

room-400x200

No Room at the Inn

If your house isn’t the biggest, but you’ve got quite a lot of family visiting throughout the Christmas period, then here’s some tips on how to make the most of what little space you have.

Put Function First

beds-webi

It’s a proven fact that People actually socialize better in smaller more intimate spaces, but you don’t want the intimacy to be uncomfortably enforced by falling over each other in a space that is too cramped and confined, so you need to put function first in a small home. Create your living space based on your personal habits, but for occasions like Christmas or other parties, consider what you will be doing most with your guests – eating or sitting chatting.

If people are sleeping over invest in or borrow temporary beds such as folding camp beds, guest beds, air beds or sofa beds.

sofabd-webi

Sofa Beds

guest-bed-webi

Guest Beds

underbed-webi

Under Beds

folding-bed-webi

Folding Beds


De-clutter and Get Items off the Floor

Get as many items as possible off the floor. For example, the CD collection that’s gradually grown into a sky scraper at the side of the TV may be something you live with every day, but it doesn’t need to be there. Clear out all the clutter. There’s nothing that makes a small space feel cramped more than having too much stuff. Work out ways to get your clutter out of view, organized behind doors, under table skirts, in boxes, or on shelves. With things neatly arranged and out of sight, the space that is in view will feel orderly and open.

clutterwebi

Try and think creatively in your small space and make it a family game trying to find clever places to store things. Be clever and repurpose where you can too to create space and style at the same time. If you can see the floor, the room will look larger. A really good tip is to hang your flat screen TV on a flexible arm, or on the wall where possible, as this eliminates the need for a TV stand or entertainment unit and frees up more floor space.


Balance the Room and Open the Way

Make sure you leave adequate seating (dining or lounging) for the number of guests you are having, then eliminate any excess pieces of furniture as well. People with small homes often try to create the space they want in a room by moving things to the outer edges, to create more floor space, but this just kills the warmth and the intimacy. Similarly, furniture and accessories blocking the view into a room and out to open spaces, will make a room look cramped. By moving furniture out and away from walkways, you’ll open up the space and make it feel larger.

To enliven the space, try a triangle or square arrangement with a central coffee table, with your furniture. Both arrangements are sociable and will leave floor space showing around the edges as well as walkway access, giving the illusion of space. And the great thing about this change is that it doesn’t cost anything! In addition, a tiny room doesn’t have to hold only tiny furniture. Often in a small space people avoid large furniture thinking it will dominate the room, but this isn’t true. You can make a compact room feel much bigger with a few large, well chosen, bold, pieces rather than several smaller ones, if you keep the main furnishings in proportion to each other.

You can incorporate smaller pieces to increase available seating for your extra guests and you don’t have to buy new furniture to transform or balance a room. Bring other pieces in from other areas of the house that can serve a suitable purpose, like an ottoman, an armless, open chair, or a low table. If it doesn’t match, paint it, change the handles to change the look or drape a throw over it to co-ordinate the look until you take it out again.Large scatter cushions are good for extra floor seating.

polly-table-webi A lot of the time when you have a house full of guests it’s the kids that end up on the floor so why not make them comfortable with some big cushions to lounge on. They’re inexpensive, a good way of adding colour to your Christmas scheme and can be neatly arranged on your furniture when not in use.

 

< Emergency Seating and Make-do Tables – beg/borrow or  improvise and drag an old table in from the garage or the garden. Don’t worry about it looking too shabby or scruffy as a gorgeous piece of fabric and a few accessories can make even the sorriest of articles look deliberately glamorous – and you can always pretend that the look is deliberate as you were going for the rough-luxe look. The only consideration that you need to make is that it’s safe and sturdy enough if you don’t fancy eating your Christmas dinner off the floor!!???

 


Go From Dark to Light

< You can make any room seem larger with new colours. A cramped living room will feel much more spacious if you choose soft, light hues to lighten the walls with. Dark, warm colours will make a space feel cosy and intimate, but light, cool colours make a space feel open and airy. For optimum effect, select soft tones and use a monochromatic colour scheme. That is, choose shades of colours that are in the same family for a tone-on-tone look. Cool colours and delicate warm colours on most surfaces will give the room a more open look.

elementi-blinds-cameo-webi

< And if you’re colour cautious then you can’t go far wrong with  a classic black and white combo. These simple sophisticated schemes are easy to coordinate with accent colours and suit any style, genre or period. These two images show perfect examples of how a different balance of dark and light can dramatically change the look and proportions of the room, but both to good effect.

 

If you need more advice on colour scheming take a look at the Colour Wheel and Living with Colour section of our on-line Interior Design Guide.


Coordinate Wall and Furniture Colours

Avoid bold patterns on your furniture. Contrasting colours tend to break up a space. Pieces of furniture are less interrupting and tend to blend with the space if they’re colour matched to your wall colour. A quick fix for heavily patterned or miss-matched furniture is to cover it with plain coloured or patterned luxury throws. They’re affordable, easily removed again and versatile as they can be used in many other areas of your home.

throws-magazine

 


Create an Illusion

striped-walls-webi

Wallpaper isn’t just on-trend, it’s practical as well. In small or narrow rooms wallpaper can create the illusion of space too. Just remember though, a small space is no place for high-contrast colour or bold patterns, so go for tone-on-tone muted papers and preferably stripes. Horizontal stripes to give width and vertical ones to add height. You don’t necessarily need to paper the entire room, just a single feature wall or prominent chimney breast will achieve the desired effect at minimum cost.


Create Reflections

Making a small space seem grand, depends on maximizing light. Use mirrors and glass to create reflections and bounce light around

mirrors-webi

Mirrors are a tried-and-tested way to open up space. They always help a small room look bigger, sometimes almost twice the size. They add a new dimension to a room and maximize the amount of light reflected by both day and night.You can further maximize the light reflected in a room by adding a glass coffee table or console table, rather than a solid wood or opaque one. You can do it by tucking mirrors into corners, and by hanging pictures with glass frames, which create even more interesting reflections. Glass chandeliers not only look great but reflect interesting light spectrums in both natural and artificial light.And nothing looks better reflected through a mirror than candlelight!


Think Vertically

Use valuable wall space to best effect as well. If you don’t want to paper or repaint you can use a large piece of wall art or a canvas in much lighter tones than your wall colour to give expanse to a dark wall, so don’t let the vertical space go to waste. Whether you’re hanging art or shelves, the trick is to draw the eye up making a space feel more expansive and giving the illusion of height. Any room with a low ceiling will seem loftier if you hang pictures up high.


Let the Light In

Any room will look larger if it’s well-lit, either by natural or artificial lighting. Swap heavy weight or dark coloured draperies for lighter shades and weights of fabric. Opting for ready-mades will help you to achieve this within a reasonable budget. Don’t worry about losing warmth and insulation for the winter months, opt for thermal linings for added insulation.Open up your windows to let as much natural light in as possible, by ensuring that curtain rods extend well beyond the window frame to give a generous stack-back area for the curtains to hang in, thus avoiding any of the window being obscured. Consider hanging curtains from the ceiling or directly underneath the coving line, rather than from the top of the window where possible, as this will add height and drama to the room.

let-the-light-in

For the evenings add more lamps or additional festive lights. (Just make sure they’re white!) Candles are an obvious accessory for the Christmas period, but that lovely, ambient, flickering, glow doesn’t have to be reserved just for the Christmas period, you can use it all year round. You can create a look that is either authentically traditional or stunningly modern with natural candlelight. Candles are available in a plethora of shapes, colours and sizes to complement any room style or colour scheme. Votifs, glass vases, tea-light holders, lanterns and hurricane lamps are all suitable additions for a Christmas interior. A portable light source, that can be refilled and used over and again year round, they eliminate the need for trailing cables or flexes, keeping your clutter free look consistent.

dining-400x200

Dining in Style

Equally as important as the living room, our dining rooms deserve special attention over the Christmas period. After all, one of the most important parts of Christmas day is the staging of that huge dinner that the majority of us can’t move afterwards! If you want to dine in style this Christmas and wow your guests with an impressive table arrangement, then again concentrate on style – your style – and the end result will definitely look like you know what you’re about with your interiors and your table dressing.

dining-in-style

 

For example, don’t go all out on red and green tartan because you think it’s traditionally Christmas-y, if your dining-room is duck-egg and beige with a very retro-modern feel. Similarly, if you have a cosy traditional dining room in warm reds and gold, then the silver and black combo just won’t cut it.

Be sympathetic to the style of your room and its decor and take your lead from that. When you dress the table consider practicality as well as aesthetics. Don’t overcrowd the table with so many trimmings and accessories that you don’t leave yourself enough ‘working’ space for dinner and the relevant crockery and cutlery that you’ll need. Sometimes less is more.

 

< Candles and fairy lights add festive glow and sparkle to this neutral colour scheme and complement the decor perfectly. The Christmas decorations add ambience to the decor rather than detracting from it.



dining-in-style-pinterest



art-silk-cream-dining-cameo

Simple Festive Elegance – Here’s a fabulous example of how simple but stylish a colour co-ordinated Christmas dining room can be. Simple creams and whites accessorized with a few gold touches and you’ve got a Chrsitmas-y look that wouldn’t look out of place all year round; and adopting this kind of base theme means you can glam up or down with the Christmas dec’s and lights as much or as little as you like to suit your own taste or budget.



 

centre-deco-webiCentre Piece – A center-piece is essential, but again think practically. Candles create a lovely ambient effect for any dining occasion but tall ones can hinder eye contact with other diners and naked flames are not ideal if you are passing things over the table. Think about using low level tea-lights or candles enclosed in lanterns or hurricane lamps. Coloured glass is always effective.


If you can cleverly and safely disguise a cable, fairy lights look great entwined amongst a center-piece, although battery operation sets are now available. If you have a glass topped table be ingenious and find a way of suspending the lights beneath the glass. In this instance, instead of using a tablecloth, use a sheer voile or organza over the top of the glass with co-ordinating placemats to protect against scratches, for a really stunning and clever effect.


Crisp table linen is a must (except on your glass table if you’re using lights underneath of course). Press your cloth and napkins before you use them so that you can’t see the creases where they’ve been folded, for a really professional finish. Table runners are a great way to add colour and texture. Most people us a single one down the length of the table, but try using two or three across the table in parallel lines for an extra stylish look. Co-ordinate with matching napkins in your wine glasses and protect your table linen with coasters and placemats – colour co-ordinated of course.


You can make your own table linen from cotton or damask weight fabrics, but make sure they are washable and pre-wash the fabric before hemming to finished size to avoid shrinkage afterwards; or  you could take a look at our great range of quality table cloths, runners and napkins further down this page, to help you get the stylish look you want for your dining table this year. 

tri-table-runner-cameo-webi



The Personal Touch – Add the personal touch. Personalised place settings or napkin holders show a lot of thought and consideration has gone in to the dressing of your table and home-made ones add an even more personal touch. You don’t have to be ultra creative or arty, keep it simple for best effect. Something like a pine-cone spray painted in silver or gold (or an unusual colour to match your colour scheme with a little ‘touch’ of glittery bling to add that magical sparkle) with a hand written name tag is sufficient. The tag can also be used for a greeting, a motto, a joke or the name of a film or book for table charades – always a good ice-breaker at dinner. You’ll find lots of how to blogs online for all sorts of craft related projects like this.

place-cards-webi



alt-chair-wrap-webi

Chair Wraps – Chair wraps can soften the look too and provide a far more sumptuous, comfortable inviting feel.

These can be as simple as a length of voile, organza or soft velvet chenille wrapped around the back of the chair, then tied and allowed to fall naturally into a soft tail or bow.

chair-wrap-2-webi



 

Colour Co-ordinated Table Linen


Traditional Red

trad-red-webi

Red and gold is always a sure fire winner for the Christmas table. Rich, warm red contrasted against bright shiny golds, or duller, more antique guilt shades is a match made in heaven and hard to get wrong.


Modern Blacks

black-table-runner-cameo-we

Black and white is a classic combination at any time of year, so don’t overlook or dismiss it at Christmas. The addition of silver to black and white and a subtle touch of glitter to provide Christmas sparkle, can create a stunning and often very modernistic style. So, if your home is modern with lots of black and white, then carry the theme through on to your Christmas dining table. The end result will be both impressive and dramatic.


Whites and Neutrals

white-table-runner-cameo

This is a lead text and needs your attention.

Traditional Gold and Cream

gold-dining-webi

Opulence is always a key look for Christmas interiors and what colour could we possibly associate more with opulence than gold. Historically the colour of the rich and wealthy, gold glisters, glitters and warms any colour scheme. Stick to golds and creams or experiment by mixing with other metallics such as silver, bronze or pewter.


Festive Greens

green-tablr-runner-cameo-we

Green makes a great neutral base to add white, red or gold to. Traditionally associated with sprigs of spruce, pine and holly, at this time of year, it works well with berry reds, warm browns and snow whites, to bring a fresh touch of the outdoors in.



Christmas Themed Table Linen – If you’re a traditionalist at heart or have a neutral and forgiving colour scheme in your dining room then our Christmas range of table linen might be right up your street. but if you’re not a red and green fan then there are some lovely white and cream based festive linens in our new range too!

TABLE-RUNNER-CAMEO-WEBI

Christmas Table Runners – Table runners, as we have mentioned, are a great way to add colour, texture and interest to your ‘tablescape’. Most people us a single one down the length of the table, but try using two or three across the table in parallel lines for an extra stylish look. Co-ordinate with matching napkins in your wine glasses and protect your table linen with coasters and placemats – colour co-ordinated of course.



Christmas Themed Cushions

christmas-cushion-cameo-webIf you want your guests to linger at the table and not to get up and leave as soon as they’ve eaten, then consider how comfortable your seating is. If you have hard chairs then consider some colour co-ordinated scatter cushions for added style and comfort. Cushions can also create cosy, themed, comfort for a Christmas living room that your guests can sink in to when they have retired from the table, full of their Christmas fare. The Stag one is a personal favorite!



Dining in Style Inspiration 

If that’s inspired you to do something sensational with your Christmas tablescape this year then here’s a little more  inspiration for you. Have a browse through the collection of images I’ve put together below to find your style – modern, traditional, unusual, colourful, monotone, etc., etc., there’s something for everyone……….

…….and I hope you have a deliciously designed dinner this year!

 

 


burlap-hessian-natural-cameRustic finishes, natural wood and fresh greenery go perfectly together for a kind of rough-luxe style, for those who are lovers of the great outdoors and prefer a more natural approach to Christmas decor.



rustic-cameo-2-webiAnd here are two more lovely examples of relaxed, rustic tablescapes that are both sympathetic to the feel of the interior decor. In both images their is a festive nod without over the top glitz and glamour or stereotypical Christmas trimmings.



fruit-&-veg-tablescape-cameA fragrant approach to your dining ensemble is a wonderful way to empathize with the festive season and to create a wonderfully welcoming aroma for your guests that will not only  invite them to come in but to stay and relax too. Citrus arrangements punctuated with clove and cinnamon spices, naturally fragrant springs of pine or eucolyptus branches or pots of fragarant herbs and fruits are all elements that can combine to create a fabulous fusion of seasonally evocative aromas……..and they look great too!



purple-trio-cameo-webiA passion for purple!?? Purple has become a popular colour for Christmas decor in recent years and as the three completely different images above show, can be an extremely versatile and accommodating colour for Christmas decor; from modern and simplistic to opulent and glamorous!



chandalier-table-scapeHowever, if glam glitz, sparkle and pzazz are your thing then look at this lovely example of a crystal and glass bedecked dining table. OK, this might be on too grand a scale for most people’s dining tables but take inspiration from the concept as an idea. Glass & crystal not only provide a touch of class and glamour, but are colour neutral too. Basically meaning that you can add it to any colour scheme with little effort but more importantly, great success! There is nothing excessively Christmas-y in this ensemble either, so you could make it more Christmas-y with the addition of crackers, name settings or baubles for example; or just use it as inspiration for a glamorous table setting that could be put together to impress your dinner guest at any time of the year!



light-&-bright-cameo-webiLight & Bright! In a similar way to the crystal ensemble, the two table settings above make use of reflective surfaces and an optimal light source. Both look fresh and bright without looking cold or uninviting and can again be glammed-up or down with any number of accent colours or Christmas accessories.



red-grey-green-cameo-webiPlay with grey! It’s probably one of the last colours to spring to mind when you’re talking about the Christmas dining table or Christmas decor, but grey makes a perfect backdrop for festive decor. You can keeps things cool and coordinated with silver and white and a touch of fresh greenery to give it a little zing, or you can warm things up a little with a sprinkle of striking Christmas red. Red complements dark, medium and light greys perfectly, so if your decor is predominantly grey based then consider adding a pop of seasonal colour in this way. Turquoise, deep teal, black, purple or metallic gold tones would make great festive accessory colours against grey too.



red-&-green-1-cameo-webi

red-&-green-2-cameo-webiThe classic Red &/or Green Christmas combo! Probably two of the most popular colours, often used in combination, of the Christmas season without a doubt; but still not necessarily everybody’s cup of tea (or cocoa) as some feel it is a little too twee and Santa’s grotto like. And I would agree that done badly (usually in excess with in your face Christmas overkill) it can be a little sugary and sickly. But done with care and balanced with the right amount of accent or base colours such as cream, silver and gold, can be opulent, elegant and inviting. Deeper reds with give more of an inviting and mature feel to a dining table than bright reds so keep them toned down to darker shades of the spectrum and add living or natural greenery where possible, to balance the combination.



green-cameo-webiFly solo with green! Without it’s bright and cheerful red counterpart green can still look stunningly effective. Teamed with fresh, crisp, white table linen and accessorized with silver and glass, green can look especially effective. Setting green against black will give it a bit of an opulent edge. You can experiment and achieve any number of looks with green from modern and contemporary to glamorous & opulent, or even vintage.



tartan-cameo-webiTime for Tartan! Tartan plaids have been trending and gaining popularity in interior decor for a few seasons now, but Christmas is definitely one time of year when it doesn’t look out of place and definitely deserves an outing. Whether it’s a simple satin bow accessory or an authentic woolen rug improvised into an interesting table cloth, tartan is stylishly versatile when it comes to Christmas.



gingham-cameo-webiAnd if tartan isn’t quite what you want for your ‘clan’ then maybe a more simplistic gingham check will tick your list for dining table decor. Extremely affordable and easy to accessorize with, gingham is equally as effective as a Christmas dining accessory as it is as summer one, so investing in a bit of gingham garnish could make your purchase a frugal one as well.



 

 

white-to-grey-cameo-webiWhite Christmas! We may dream of one, but the inclement and unpredictable British weather can never quite guarantee us that extra special touch for Christmas day, so why not create your own white Christmas – indoors??? Hard to get wrong and undeniably elegant and stylish, white, white, white is right, right, right for any style of home or size of dining party. Personalize the look with little touches of neutral tones, gold, silver or a touch of greenery, but keep it predominantly white, light and bright.



black-cameo-webiClassic Black and White. Just as elegant, stylish and effective as all white and just as hard to get wrong, but black adds drama too against white for a stunning Christmas tablescape. Keep it pure and simple with just black, white and greys or add a touch of gold or red for some finer detail.



 

wonderland-400x200

Winter Wonderland

If you have children in your family (particularly young ones) to make your Christmas extra special and exciting, then why not make Christmas extra special and exciting for them by creating your own winter wonderland at home.

A friend with children a similar age to my own little boy, asked me recently how she and her husband could make Christmas magical for them this year and wanted to know how she could create a winter wonderland at home, as she always loves the way that my home looks at Christmas?

Her children, just like my little boy, are still too young to properly understand the true meaning of Christmas but, in my experience, young children love all things magical and sparkly. This doesn’t have to mean tacky though, so don’t go ordering a ship load of foil streamers and all things musical and chiming!………read on a bit first…….


Use lots of twinkling lights wherever you can – (and it’s white, white, white all the way for me) – in clear vases, on your tree, in the centre piece of your dining table, swagged with drapes of soft voile up the staircase, in glass cupboards or on shelves in the kitchen (let’s face it, us mums spend a lot of time in there at Christmas, so why not make it a special room too?) and of course, don’t forget some in your little one’s rooms to make bedtime magical too over the Christmas period! The overall effect throughout the house is magical, mystical, welcoming and cosy; and this is one look that suits all homes, modern and traditional alike.

wonderlandtrees


Include your children in the Christmas run up. Everything from buying the tree and the decorations to letting them help decorate it. If, like me however, your Christmas tree is your centre piece of the season and your pride and joy (little fingers keep off!) then buy them their own and let them decorate it themselves with their choice of items. It could be multi coloured baubles, colour co-ordinated ones to match their room, traditional red and green candy canes and tartan ribbon, or (my personal favourite) all things home made. Not only will your children have great fun making things such as cotton wool snowmen, paper-cut snowflakes and felt Santas, but if you keep them safe you’ll be creating priceless keepsakes and family heirlooms of your children’s Christmas memories.

wonderland-decorations


Advent calendars are a good way of counting down the days (or sleeps) to Christmas, for excited little people. Invest in a re-useable one that you can have the pleasure of filling (and the extra pleasure of seeing your child opening) every year. All sorts of things are available these days from wooden trains with pull out drawers to fabric stockings with re-fill able pockets. Keep it tasteful and in-theme with your decorations to keep the winter wonderland theme going.

advents-wbi


footprints-montage-webi

I Believe - Whilst they are still believers, secret Santa tricks and magical little touches will help to personalize and fortify the magic and reality of Christmas in your little ones’ minds. My personal favourites for exited little ones are reindeer dust and Santa footprints.

Reindeer Dust – An extra special touch for Christmas Eve, after you’ve left the mince pies and sherry (or milk and cookies) for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph, is to go outside with your little one and scatter some ‘Magical Reindeer Dust’! To you and me this is simply a mix of porridge oats and glitter, tossed together in a little bag with a label on it. But, from a child’s point of view, it’s magical dust that you sprinkle on your lawn on Christmas Eve. The smell of the oats and the sparkle of the glitter, guides Santa and his reindeer to your house. Try it, it’s good fun! Just remember to scatter it a little before the morning though, or to leave a hoof print in it for that extra convincing touch!!!

Santa Footprints – This one is truly amazing if you do it well. The look on your little believers’ faces when they see these footprints is just priceless! Put a shoe down and sprinkle some powdered icing sugar or cornflour around it (anything that vacuums up again easily) to leave make believe footprints.Put a few on the hearth and a few on the carpet. For an extra special touch you could add some black and gold glitter to the powder first to represent a bit of soot & magical sparkle. This is particularly worth doing if you’ve already done the reindeer dust thing outside, as it looks like Santa has actually landed where the reindeer dust was, walked through it and trampled it in to the house on his boots.

Magic moments! This is how precious memories are made so just make sure you have a camera on hand to capture them!f

chaos-400x200

Christmas Chaos

Well……..it’s that time of year again when the shops are decked with overwhelming amounts of shiny baubles, tinsel and glitter and we are bombarded from all directions with tips and advice on how to cook the perfect Christmas dinner, make the perfect festive wreath, dress the perfect tree, and so on and so on as we start the countdown to Christmas!

I would urge you not to strive for perfection though, (it doesn’t actually exist and you’ll just stress over what should be an enjoyable experience) but to aim instead for personal style and satisfaction. Whether it’s the way you decorate your home, dress your tree or stuff your turkey! – be true to yourself, be individual and adopt a style or method that best reflects you, your personality, your way of life, your family and your home.

intro-images

I’m a traditionalist at heart when it comes to Christmas and for me Christmas is all about being together, at home, with my family.

Everyone has their own stand point on Christmas these days, from devout Christians right through to avid atheists; but regardless of our religious views, many of us relish the winter holidays and all the seasonal trimmings, social activities and time honored traditions that they bring. It saddens me though, that so much of the ‘happy holiday spirit’ that we all enjoy and look forward to, is all too frequently lost in the chaotic run up to Christmas; and among the mad high-street dash for the biggest and best present, the stress of frantically re-decorating the spare room before the in-laws descend on us, getting the 52″ flat screen installed in time to watch the Christmas day movie, the boxing day sport (and of course the Queen’s speech) and sorting emergency seating in case the new sofa doesn’t arrive – not to mention stock-piling food as though the shops may never open again after Christmas day! (yes, admit it, we’ve all done it, me included! ), the happy and enthusiastic outset that we embark on seems to diminish in this stressful dilution of the holiday spirit!

I take time off work at Christmas and just relax at home. Holidays booked at any other time of the year we tend to spend away from home, sitting on a beach or walking up a mountain somewhere; but I look forward to my family Christmas at home, eating chocolates, watching movies and going for long, crisp, winter walks wrapped up against the elements. My bright, inquisitive and comical five year old has mentioned his ‘Christmas List’ several times already, so I can only imagine what level of excitement we will have escalated to come the 25th December! Although in fairness I can hardly contain my own excitement, an these early school years are packed with festive events, plays and fairs, bringing parents and children together, strengthening old friendships and forging new ones at this sociable time of year!

And although my home is no huge mansion, I do transform it into a twinkly, cosy, spice scented, winter wonderland for the holidays. I go to town on my decorations – (all beautifully and tastefully colour co-ordinated in my favourite colours, duck-egg and turquoise of course!) – and on the run up to my annual leave I listen to Christmas songs that remind me of my childhood, I fill the house with seasonal scents and aromas, I produce hand-made, sometimes edible, gifts and I bake copious amounts of home-made mince pies and sausage rolls in advance anticipation of seasonal visitors and friendly get togethers.

Many of you may say that these ‘traditions’ and ‘trimmings’ have little or nothing to do with the true meaning of Christmas either and you would probably be right, but to me they are just another form of interior decoration and self-expression – and one that I only get to indulge in once a year. I could happily live with these cosy trimmings (such as twinkly lights, elaborate table settings and gorgeous garlands) all year round, but would probably be viewed as rather strange – even for an interior designer – if I had Christmas in my home all year round! Instead, I take the opportunity to temporarily indulge in unlimited festive creativeness!

The season of ‘good cheer’ is a feel good time of year to me and nothing makes me feel better than being happy and comfortable in a cosy home surrounded by the people who mean the most to me.

This feature is not intended to get you stressing and striving by telling you how you should be doing things on the run up to the big day, but rather to give you ideas and inspiration on how to achieve the things you want to, for a cosy, relaxed, family Christmas that even I would be envious of! You’ll find a great selection of our product plus some carefully sourced, seasonal images to inspire your imagination and bring out the creative Christmas streak in you.

Have fun planning your Christmas decor and I hope you have a really special Christmas.

Season’s Greetings to you all…

 

star-400x200

Five Star Treatment

If you’ve got visitors staying over this Christmas, but the spare room, box room, or home office that doubles as a bedroom, is shameful and needs a bit of attention, then here are some top tips, quick fixes and freshen up ideas that will help you to give it a new lease of life with little effort and minimal expense.


To start off with de-clutter.


Take anything out of the room that doesn’t need to be there. Even if you need to put it back again afterwards, you’ll be amazed how much more spacious and organized a room looks without the clutter – particularly if you can move things off the floor.

clutter-cameo-webi

If storage is an issue, pack the clutter in lightweight plastic storage crates or cardboard boxes and put it in the loft or garage temporarily. Always leave some drawers and cupboards empty for your guests. This will make them feel far more at home than living out of a suitcase. There’s nothing more embarrassing than your guests opening cupboards or wardrobes and being greeted by hidden clutter! Stack-able storage boxes, old trunks or even sturdy but decorative hat boxes, are good for spare rooms as they can double up as bedside tables as well as providing storage.


Freshen and add colour. 

Freshen up the walls or even a single feature wall, with a coat of paint and maybe a new colour?

refresh-paint-cameo-webi

This is undoubtedly the quickest and most effective way to transform a room with little effort or expense; and it’s easily changed afterwards, if you feel like you’ve made a hasty colour choice that you can’t live with long term.


Break out the emergency bedding.

Launder the spare bedding so it’s fresh and clean for your guests or invest in a new duvet and duvet cover, with a matching throw and some coordinated scatter cushions to make your guests feel a little spoilt and pampered. I’ve put together a small selection of some of our latest luxury, designer and everyday bedding as a starting point, but you can view or extensive full range here or by clicking on the catalogue image below.


bedding-seasonal-style-webi

Seasonal Style – You could go for a cozy seasonal look with a beautifully co-ordinated range like our Tatton Patchwork bedding above, where all the hard work of matching and accessorizing is done for you. This beautiful set in neutral taupe and grey shades with splashes of seasonal & warming red has been carefully and tastefully put together with everything you need to create a stunningly stylish and fully co-ordinated bedroom scheme. The set would look impressive at any time of the year, but the thistles and stags heads cleverly incorporated into the design give it a seasonal nod that makes it both inviting and attractive. The set includes everything from the duvet cover to the pillow cases, curtains, bed throw and cushion accessories.


bedding--colourfull-style-w

Colourful Charisma - If seasonal style isn’t your think though and you’re a more of a colourful interior decorator who likes do add a little charm and charisma to impress your guests, then here’s another fully coordinated set where the hard work of accessorizing has all been done for you. Our Marinelli bedding set again comes with all the coordinates you will need to create a spare room with year round five star quality and style.


bedding-nautical-style-webiNautical Style – Maritime and nautical themes, although usually popular throughout the summer months are also very popular as a year round style because they are a sure fire way of creating a fresh, bright and breezy scheme that is both welcoming and uplifting during the darker and colder months of the year. This set appropriately named ‘Reef”, is available in ‘Navy’ blue, vivid red and a neutral taupe shade. So if you do decide to set your sail towards a nautical look this season, this appealing set will most definitely have you on the right course.


bedding--neutrall-style-web

 Neutral Luxury – If classic luxury is more the style for your home or for your guests, or even if you’re just a play it safe kind of person when it comes to colour, then here’s the perfect solution. Our Charleston bedding set in a gorgeous warm grey is sumptuous, luxurious and opulent, but yet not overstated or showy. Guaranteed to impress with stylish flair and glamour and the perfect base to add any number of accent colours to for accessorizing to match existing furnishings or instantly create a new scheme.


hotel-bedding-webiDress to Impress – And finally if you really want to impress your guests this Christmas but you’re not up for a room overhaul or a new colour scheme, then why not just indulge them in some five star luxury with some of our 200 count hotel quality bedding? Perfect for any occasion, any style of room, any age and any genre, in crisp whites and soft creams, you’ll be on to a sure fire winner and a definite 4 – 5 star rating from your guests!


To see our full and extensive bedding range click on the catalogue image below.

five-star-bedding

 


Change your window dressings.

Miss-matched furnishings just scream ‘make do!’, so invest in some new window dressings to match your bedding and decor.

runners-cameo-webi

At the very least you could add some matching cushions and a runner on the bed, to say that the look has been ‘thought about’.

 

eyelets-cameo-webi

If all you have at your window is a blind, add style, colour and warmth by putting up some co-ordinating curtains. Eyelet curtains on poles are quick & easy to install, need no dressing & are very user friendlyGo floor length where you can for more impact, just because it’s the spare room , it doesn’t mean you can’t add a bit of wow factor to make your guests feel that they’re in a special room instead of the spare room.

 

Similarly if all you have is curtains, or nothing at all at the window of the spare room, then consider adding a blind for added colour, texture and light protection. 

blinds-cameo-webi

Blinds are an inexpensive, stylish and easy to fit solution to window dressings; and blackout roller blinds are great if you want to give your guests a good nights sleep and come in many colours and textures these days, for a fully co-ordinated look. The few suggestions above show how effective plain or patterned blinds can be, from a textured sparkle that will add seasonal glister that will look stunning all year round, to a themed pattern or soft floral. Check out our full range of ready made or made to order blinds here or hover on the image above for specific details of the blinds featured.


Add a touch of luxury.

Make your guests feel like they’re getting true 5 star treatment by putting fresh towels in their room daily. I keep a set of what I call my ‘posh guest towels’ for this.

towels-cameo-webiThe ones we use every day are absolutely fine, but I like to make my guests feel pampered and special with some luxury fluffy towels. It makes a big impression with very little effort and dare I say, is a sure fire winner for impressing the mum-in-law! There is something for everybody in our on-trend Urbanite range shown above, but check out the full range of luxury towels by clicking on the catalogue image below.

gift-it-towels


Flick the switch.

Lighting is very important and can change the mood of the room at the flick of a switch. Table lamps and up-lighters will  give adequate reading light as well as an ambient effect. Make sure your female guests have plenty of light near a dressing table. And if we’re talking about things that plug in, then plug-in aroma diffusers with warm Christmas spices or fresh floral fragrances will give either a clean and fresh or warm and inviting feel to the room too.

 

let-the-light-in


Seating Plan.

Whenever possible, include seating in the room for your guest’s comfort. A stool, chair or mini chaise maybe, or even a blanket box at the end of the bed that will provide storage as well as seating. A dressing table always gives a more sumptuous feel to a bedroom and is usually a welcome feature with your female guests as well as providing yet more storage space.


Re-jig the furniture.

Obviously, where you place your furniture will largely be dictated by the size of the room and the position of the door and windows. Most important is the bed, decide where that will go first as this will take up the most space. If you already have the bed, don’t be tempted to push one side up against a wall or a radiator thinking that you are creating more floor space. This isn’t a good look and it’s very impractical if two people are sharing it.

beds-webi

sofabd-webi

Sofa Beds

guest-bed-webi

Guest Beds

underbed-webi

Under Beds

folding-bed-webi

Folding Beds

Size things up.

If you need to purchase a double bed for a fairly small guest room, consider firstly buying a single bed instead, but with a guest bed underneath. Under beds, often referred to as trundle beds, are particularly good space savers, as they leave you with more space available in the room when the bed is not in use. They pull out from beneath the main bed when needed and store away neatly again after use. However, check the overall size of the two beds side by side before you order, as you do tend to end up with the equivalent of a 6’ wide bed. If this won’t fit, consider a double divan base bed or a lift up ottoman style bed to create extra storage so that less storage items are needed in the room, thus freeing up the valuable limited space.

 


Cover up!

Consider re-carpeting or invest in a statement rug if your flooring needs some attention. Rugs are great in a number of ways. They add warmth, colour and texture to laminate or wood flooring and wood, they are great for dividing room space and will cleverly mask the ‘bad-bits’ of a worn or tired carpet.

 

Rugs are not only stylish and practical , they make a good investment too as they can be moved around the house for use in other rooms.

five-star-rugs


Cozy toes.

If you’ve got a tiled or vinyl floor in your bathroom or in a guest’s en-suite, putting a bath mat down can add instant, extra, warmth and comfort or again, simply provide the perfect guise for tired flooring. We have a great new range on-line which has made a welcome addition to our homewares section.

bath-mats-webi

 

gift-400x200

Gift It

If you’re stuck for a gift idea this Christmas, our homewares section is expanding all the time. Most of us know someone who is doing up their home or moving house, or a young couple getting married and setting up home. Gifts for the home are a good way to go if you’re unsure what to buy for individuals, so here’s just a small selection of gift ideas available from Terrys.


All Wrapped Up!

For starters here’s a lovely idea….

Why not wrap an extra special present (or just wrap a present to make it look extra special) in some festive Christmas fabric? This not only gives the gift some perceived value and says that much thought has gone into it being given, but is especially perfect if you’re giving to someone who crafts or sews. You’ll be giving them something they’ll delight in, as with their creative flair and abilities they will no doubt turn it into something delightful that may even come back your way next year!

gift-wrapped


Picture Frames

Always a safe bet as a gift, picture frames are a welcome addition to most homes as they hold things that are precious to all of us – images of special people and treasured times and memories. Terrys now has a brand new range of contemporary, modern and decorative frames to suit all home styles. Here’s the full collection.

gift-it-photo-frames


Cushions

You can never have too many cushions! Honestly…you can’t. If you’re buying them as a gift, you can’t go far wrong with your choice as long as you know the recipients colour scheme; and failing that, something in a more novelty vein that reflects the recipient’s likes and interests would make a more personal gift.

cushions-cameo-webi

 Maybe you’ve got a black & white movie buff in the family, or a dog lover or a crafter? Click on the catalogue below to see our extensive full range.

gift-it-cushions


Towels

Good quality towels are a valuable addition to any home, old or new and make an ideal luxury gift. Soft and durable our Supreme Egyptian towels are incredibly affordable if you have a tight Christmas budget. For an extra special gift, our 800gsm Boutique Turkish towels are luxurious in quality and feel, but still won’t break the bank this Christmas!

towels-cameo-webi

And if you’re after on-trend, up to date and modern, take a look at our Urbanite collection by clicking on the image above. Or view our full range by clicking on the catalogue below.

gift-it-towels


decadent-400x200

Decadent Decor

How do you decadently dress your home for Christmas, without sacrificing style?

Well, style is something that you don’t have to sacrifice these days as the plethora of Christmas products available cater for all tastes and styles. In addition, the move towards all things artisan, handmade and personalised means that if you can’t find what you’re after on the market, you, or someone else, can make just what you want for you. Either way, the result will be a beautifully decorated, totally coordinate and personalised festive home.


You no longer have to go with traditional red and green used with pine garlands and trees, a much more contemporary look can be achieved.decadent-living

The key is to keep to a theme or style and not to mix it up too much. Be sympathetic to the colour scheme or decor in specific rooms, or use a neutral style throughout the house that will blend in, yet create festive charm at the same time. Metallics are great for this as all metallics are neutral. My personal favourite is gold and silver used together. Gold tones give you warmth and character while silver empathises with the crisp frosty tones of bright, snow white, winter mornings. White fairly lights on clear flex can be used anywhere and everywhere to add winter charm without sacrificing style or clashing with your colour scheme.


A Stylish & Colour Coordinted Christmas

If you’re looking to spruce up your living area/room for a stylish Christmas, then glam up for a colourfully elegant one with these sumptuous drapes and matching cushions for example.

renaissance-turquoise

duckegg-matle-webiThese turquoise and gold curtains provide the perfect colour combination for adding mixed metallics to.  Mixing metalics together in our interior schemes and teaming them with sumptuous velvet, chenille or pearlised finishes is bang On-Trend at the moment, so this collection couldn’t be more perfect for a Christmas interior that will stand the test of time once the decorations are stowed away for another year!

< And here’s a great example of colour co-coordinating festive decor with an interior colour scheme like the one above; and incorporating the a fore mentioned  mixed metallics to give it a touch of glamour ans seasonal sparkle, whilst still maintaining elegance and style too. Picking an accent colour out of your interior decor in this way is very effective and pulls the look of the room and your Christmas decor together to look like a well planned and thought out scheme, just like a professional would do.

And if you are more of a traditionalist and the Red and Gold combo is more your thing for Christmas then…ta -daaa!!….

Here’s the same collection ion a sumptuous red and gold combo!

renaissance-burgundy


 Go Traditional with On-Trend Tartan

And if you’re a true ‘die—hard’ Christmas Traditionalist and the full-on  Santa’s workshop, log cabin and big comfy armchair kind of person, then you can never go far wrong with a tartan plaid for your interior scheme.

archie-red

Tartans and stylish wool or wool-look plaids have been trending for a couple of seasons now and still remain popular into A/W 2015/16. So you need not worry that investing in a tartan scheme will be an expensive and short lived purchase just for the Christnas period. This look is elegant stylish and timeless. And if red isn’t your thing then fear not, simply pick your favourite on-trend shade of tartan and accessories your Christmas dec’s to that instead!

cushion-cameo-webi


Decadent Decorations
alt-trees-webi

You don’t have to have a traditional Christmas tree. Go for a modernistic metallic or wire famed tree and decorate it with simple items in contemporary colours such as small presents for guests to open on Christmas day, or clear or coloured glass droppers.


number-of-ways-cameo-webi

You don’t have to have a tree at all. You can decorate your home with your chosen Christmas colour scheme in any number of ways from table and mantle decorations, to contemporary wreaths, garlands, wall art; or simply some Christmas themed cushions to add some instant festive cheer. Even wrapping your existing cushions with some satin ribbon or fabric, to look like parcels wrapped with bows, is stylish and effective – not to mention thrifty and affordable!



vase-baubles-webi

Look through ‘festive eyes’ at what other everyday objects can be ‘beautified’ for the Christmas season.



steps-sculpture-webi

An interesting, sculptural piece is sometimes all you need to add festive style. A branch sprayed in silver, for example and set in a simplistic tall vase, or a steel bucket with just a few accessories and some lights, can make an impressive, statement, piece too.


oversized-bauble-webi

Particularly effective is a collection of oversized baubles suspended from varying lengths of metallic twine or ribbon. You could try this in the corner of a room where the tree would have normally been possibly, in a window recess, or over the dining table where it is unlikely anyone will walk in to them. The effect is arty, stylish and inexpensive.


star-cameo1-webiOver sized stars are becoming increasingly popular in place of a traditional tree too; and as you can see from the images above and below……..


star-cameo-2-webi……can be used in any number of stylish and arty ways to add a little un-predictable and slightly unusual Christmas charm!


baubles-webi

There is an amazing array of ideas for unusual hand-made and home-made decorations these days as well, that you could really make an outstanding, unique and personalized display with. So challenge yourself to do something a bit different and unique in your home this Christmas. You’re guaranteed to create a talking point which will get a great reaction from all your visitors, not to mention a fair few compliments!


white-webi

For lots of festive inspiration, inspirational images and DIY tutorials, check out our ‘Christmas Decor and Decorations’ board on Pinterest.