Christmas is the perfect excuse to transform our homes into our own little winter wonderlands. Whether you prefer traditional or yearn for minimalist décor, take note of the latest interior trends to create an ideal sanctuary this winter.
SINK INTO VELVET
Evoking warmth and comfort, the use of velvet in our homes has fast become one of the most popular trends of late and is perfectly suited to winter months. From velvet sofas in bold, jewel colours to statement chairs in contemporary prints, the fabric adds a touch of bygone glamour to any space.
Crimson, forest-green and gold velvet accessories are, of course, ideal for the festive period. Meanwhile, a palette of silver, pale pink and ice blue, echo the frostiness of winter and add a contemporary feel. Whatever shades you opt for, the richness of colour you can get from the fabric adds to a celebratory feel in the home. What’s more, it is easy to reference the trend by simply adding cushions or sumptuous pouffes. Check out Smallable and West Elm for a wide choice of eclectic accessories.
For a larger investment, a new sofa in a dramatic colour will become your new talking point. Marrying traditional style with a modern flair is the chesterfield range by Sofas by Saxon, for instance, which is available in festive colours, such as Nordic Pine, Pinoit Noir and Cinnamon Bark.
Feather & Black’s Louis bed in indigo velvet is perfectly on trend to create a cocooning bedroom, and the store is also a good source for soft velvet throws and cushions. Creative director, Nicky Line, says: “Velvet is well known for being the most luxurious fabric, but the great thing about it is that it is also very versatile. It brings a touch of glamour to any room, no matter what your interiors style. With such a rich depth of colour within the fabric you can use bold jewel tones for a sense of drama or subtle neutrals for elegant texture.”
There’s something about an elaborately festooned mantelpiece that shouts “Christmas is here” like no other spot in the house, while gathering around a roaring fire harks back to the traditional times we love to evoke at this time of year.
Offering a practical alternative to real fires are wood burners, such as those from ACR Stoves and Morso. Not only have the latest designs become more sophisticated but they make for a charming focal point in any living room.
Decorating fireplace mantels has long been a holiday tradition. For a contemporary, pared-back feel, look to creating a Scandi style, which favours an all-white, minimalist display. Meanwhile, evergreen garlands, mercury-silver candlesticks, shiny votives and, of course, hanging stockings will give a traditional feel that harks back to the Victorian era.
“Christmas is the ultimate sensorial experience,” says Tolly Nason, creative director of The English Listed, Cambridge-based experts in architectural renovation. “We think there’s nothing lovelier than the flickering glow of candles on dark wintery nights leading up to Christmas.”
As well as scented candles, layer up soft rugs, throws and cushions to create the ultimate cosy corner, while fresh seasonal wreaths and blooms will add a fragrant touch. Luxury florist, Wildabout, creates seasonal wreaths which are perfect for both interior and exterior decoration ideas. All made with real flowers and foliage they add a statement design to any Christmas colour scheme and sit effortlessly above a fireplace.
Meanwhile, Hayford and Rhodes’ ‘The White Coco Wreath’ and ‘The Pink Coco Wreath’ give a fresh and elegant design using ‘hypericum,’ a glossy winter berry in Pink Flair, White Coco and Green Bamboo.
Sarah Cole, founder of Ines Cole, a homewares brand renowned for its reformed vintage pieces, gives her top three fireside buys
Candles Birch & Brook’s candles, with their evocative, nostalgic scents, such as the signature ‘Library’, are particularly calming.
Natural sheepskin There’s nothing like curling up on a natural sheepskin throw on a chair. They are also great as bedside rugs, taking the first step of the day onto the deep soft pile, you know you’re getting off to a good start!
Lamp light Our contemporary Marble and Solo Lamps give a soft, warm glow, and are ideal for creating a wonderful ambiance.
TALES OF TREES
Of course, the Christmas tree is the main star of the show at this time of the year. For a choice of baubles and decorations to make yours ‘pop’, then visit Homesense, which has a wide range on offer. For a sleek look, go for the same colour palette – crystal and white decorations, for instance, complement each other and give a sophisticated aesthetic, while matching turquoise and purple gives an exotic feel. You can’t beat red, gold and green, of course, for a timeless creation.
You can also echo the tree’s ‘naturalness’ around the home by further adorning rooms – and your Christmas table – with festive garlands and minimalist wreaths, like those available at Bloomon.
How to choose the perfect Christmas tree
Wyevale Garden Centres’ David Mitchell, a tree expert, gives his advice
- Buy a tree that has had the netting removed so you can see the shape and condition.
- The colour of the needles should be a dark green and feel waxy to the touch, not dry.
- Choose a Nordman Fir variety, which does not easily drop its needles.
For some, it’s all about a maximalist approach and Christmas is nothing without a heavily-laden tree, complete with fantastical baubles and fairy lights. Carry on the ‘more is more’ theme with a bold and playful sense of style throughout the house by using splashes of candy-colours and bright neons.
Known as the Queen of Christmas, due to her expansive range of decorations, Gisela Graham’s latest designs include the vibrant and eminently cheerful ‘Christmas Bake Off’ collections.
“We love a bright theme and what better than fruit and cakes?” she says. “We have glass strawberries, pears and cherries, assorted berry bunches, multi-coloured glass balls, cupcake decorations and our own retro fairies, all of which make a fantastic addition to the tree. After all, it’s the happiest time of year!”
Lauren Harris, DFS senior designer, on how to dial up the boldness
- Trust your instincts and throw out the traditional Christmas rule book when it comes to brights. It’s all about creating a room with personality and visual interest.
- Keep the walls and floors neutral – a whitewashed backdrop is all you need.
- Bring in a modern twist by opting for contemporary Christmas decorations – oversized paper honeycomb baubles; a modern minimalist tree adorned with only lights and some colourful candles will create quirky and playful talking points.
This article is also published in the December 2017 issue of The Cambridge Edition Magazine