As the song goes ‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas’ and despite the mild weather, which has manifested itself in blossom on the trees, spring bulbs emerging and even the return of my local wren who normally never puts in an appearance until March or April, I’m feeling rather festive.
Given my roots in New Zealand, I’m particularly fond of Christmas in England and love nothing more than being indoors on a dark evening cocooned from the cold with the fire roaring, Christmas lights twinkling and candles lit all around the house. I’ve been busy decorating all areas of my house, from the front door to my recently redecorated living room.
A Christmas view from the street
I like to start the magic of the festive season from outside on the front door to welcome guests and begin my scheme, so a beautiful wreath is obligatory. I bought this year’s one from a local flower stall. It looks and smells great. Also note the doorknocker – I found this vintage style in a local shop called Quirky Dovetail.
A welcoming entrance
Once inside, there’s plenty more to see. First, there’s a vase of red Amaryllis in front of the hall mirror adorned with tiny coloured lights from the Conran Shop. I always associate red Amaryllis with Christmas and often give and receive bulbs as a gift. They’re fascinating to watch growing and last for weeks and weeks once in flower. Also in the hall, I’ve placed a vintage preserving jar full of holly and some candles to add a touch of magic.
At the top of the stairs I’ve carefully placed another reminder of Christmas – my faux tree from The White Company. I bought it two years ago and the plan was to adorn it with decorations suitable for the younger ones as my annual Christmas houseguests from Italy have a small child. It’s a table-top tree and the branches, covered in snow, have LED lights in them so you just plug in and it’s instant wow factor. I always include my snowy white owl from Jayne Copperwaite Flowers, as he fits so beautifully in the snowy branches and I love his facial expression.
Christmas in the kitchen-diner
I continue the festive feel in the kitchen-diner by decorating a large mirror with white lights I bought from John Lewis, little linen-covered clip-on birds and vintage pink baubles, which I bought at an antique shop years ago. There’s also a cabinet I refer to as my workstation, where I store the items I need for my interiors business, as I work on my kitchen table. I dressed this with gorgeous faux branches with pearls arranged in a ceramic vase.
The Victorian fan light, below, in the kitchen is a favourite area of mine where I display vintage bottles and other items. I’ve added a few sprigs of holly and spruce to some of the bottles and a tiny white poinsettia plant. You always need a token poinsettia at Christmas, but for me, definitely not a red one!
Last but not least is the pièce de résistance in my home for Christmas – the tree. This year, it’s a real Norwegian spruce. My criteria is that it has to be taller than my two sons, who are both about six feet four inches, so they can look up at it the way they did when they were children. Plus, it has to be tall and narrow, with gaps between the horizontal branches so that the baubles can hang nicely – I’m very particular about it, but love the final result.
It sits in the back corner of my sitting room with a mirror next to it, which reflects the tree lights. I like the tree to welcome people indoors but also passers-by, so positioning it next to the French door allows the tree to be seen by everyone. I tend to only use one or two colours when decorating the tree. This year I chose silver and purple as my colour theme. I always use the same fairy on the top, which was the one my parents used on our tree when we were growing up in New Zealand. There are also one or two other decorations from my childhood. As you can see, I allow sentimentality to get the better of me.
I would love to hear how you decorate your homes for Christmas – let me know in the comments box below. In the meantime, may I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy holiday and festive season and a healthy and safe 2016! See you next year for more about my home renovation.
Follow Angela on her blog and social media channels: