10 beautiful period homes at Christmas

Be inspired by our selection of the very best Christmas homes, chosen by the team at Period Living magazine

Christmas dining room with crackers and tree
(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

Nothing gets us in the festive spirit like the gorgeous Christmas trees, beautiful baubles and glittering garlands that are showcased in our readers' Christmas homes. Have a look through our collection of our favourite houses all dressed up for Christmas, ranging from a Victorian chalet retreat to an elegant Georgian home, and be inspired.

Then, browse more real home transformations, and find out how to renovate a house in our guide. See more Christmas houses on our dedicated page, too.

1. A grade-II listed farmhouse filled with decorative delights

Christmas dining table in Cumbrian farmhouse

It’s hard to imagine that this elegant Georgian home in the Lake District was once almost derelict, covered with ivy, and surrounded by an overgrown garden. Now, for Christmas, the ivy’s back, along with branches of berries, twinkling fairy lights, beautiful baubles – suspended in the air like colourful bubbles – and ribbons in every imaginable colour. Owner Annabel Lewis, who founded VV Rouleaux, the ribbon company, has created a quirky Christmas with all the trimmings.

Read the whole renovation story here

2. Festive Cornish stone cottage

festive stone cottage

‘I prefer to surround myself with things that have a story,’ says Kerry, who rarely buys anything brand new for her home. ‘I’m a bit of an old soul, and I like things to talk to me.’

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

With fairy lights twinkling, wreaths on the doors and the table decorated with fir cones, candles and mismatched vintage plates, this 200-year-old Cornish cottage is brimming with warmth and festive charm. Yet, the house had not been well maintained before the Knight family made it their home. Ivy grew up the walls and windows, so had to be hacked back, while rot had set into the woodwork. Now beautifully renovated and filled with vintage pieces, it is a fabulous setting for a rural family Christmas – especially when it’s cold outside and the fire is roaring inside.

Read their fascinating story here

3. Elegant Queen Anne home 

Christmas dining table with flowers candles and festive atmosphere

"My approach is to team period furniture with up-to-date furnishings to create a comfortable family home" says home owner Sallyanne Hutchinson

Combining warmth and elegance, this spectacular 18th century Queen Anne house in Leicestershire, looks as though its made for Christmas. Every fireplace is lit and the house is decorated with lights inside and out to create a magical atmosphere which is perfect for entertaining throughout the festive season. Inspired by the love of the countryside, a red and green Christmas colour scheme illuminates the natural cream and wooden decor throughout the house. 

Learn more about the full renovation here

4. Christmas at Cobwebb Cottage

Christmas living room

(Image credit: Brent Darby)

If ever there was a room that captured the essence of Christmas, it’s this cosy beamed living room in tiny Cobweb Cottage near Worcester. From the feature red wall painted in Laura Ashley’s Summer Pudding, to the rustic rug on the limestone floor – with the stove lit and the candles flickering, it looks as though it was made for Christmas.

For further inspiration see the full home here

5. Converted 19th century school gets a festive transformation

living room decorated for Christmas in converted school

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

When Kim and Lewis Holmes’ stood outside this 19th century village school, it did not look like a home fit for Christmas. However, their loving renovation and celebration of its gorgeous period features and traditional, often salvaged, decoration has transformed the Old School into an extraordinary home, which with six bedrooms is perfect for a busy family Christmas. 

See the rest of this incredible renovation project here

6. Dreamy Victorian riverside cottage is brought to life for Christmas

(Image credit: Douglas Gibb)

Winter escapes don’t get much dreamier than this Victorian chalet retreat, set on the riverside in Perthshire. Formerly a laundry room, the property was in a dreadful state when its owner took it on, but it has now been transformed into a charming home that’s the perfect bolthole for a peaceful Christmas.

Explore the complete renovation here

7. Eccentric Christmas English townhouse

Christmas dining room with crackers and tree

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

A veritable emporium of antiques and curiosities, this elegant London townhouse provides a dramatic backdrop to festive celebrations. Blown glass chandeliers and swags of heavy silk curtain complement the feminine, continental antiques, while clever decorating effects, including Trompe l’oeil effect wallpapers and paint effects, accentuate the grandeur of a table dressed in gold-rimmed dinnerware and glittering decorations.

Click here to see more of this gorgeous townhouse

8. Jacobean hunting lodge makes perfect winter home

Fireplace with stone surround in a hunting lodge

(Image credit: Huntley Hedworth)

If Christmas is all about indulgence, then this luxurious eight-bedroom Jacobean hunting lodge, complete with indoor pool and gym, is just the setting. Yet, when Tim and Sarah Hopkins bought the property it was dark, dated and many aspects were nearing disrepair. It did however, boast a wealth of original features, such as a Jacobean ceilings, oak floors and carved stone fireplaces that captured the couple’s imagination. Having been completely overhauled and its warren of small rooms combined to create spacious living areas, it now makes the perfect place for the whole family to stay for Christmas.

See their renovation story here

9. A restored Swedish holiday home turns winter wonderland

Christmas kitchen in Swedish home

(Image credit: Helen Toresdotter/House of Pictures)

Filled with gentle candlelight, natural decorations and eclectic antique finds, Kim Månsson’s remote weekend retreat in southern Sweden resembles a little fairytale cottage at Christmas time. When she first saw the house nearly 20 years ago it had no hot water, the bathroom was in an outhouse, it had damp walls, a leaking roof and rotten floors. But that did not deter this self-confessed antiques fanatic, who carefully restored and breathed new life into this charming old home.

Be inspired by this continental renovation and find out more here

10. Historic Dutch farmhouse filled with festive cheer

dutch farmhouse exterior

(Image credit: Denise Keus)

Period Living Christmas December 2020 cover preview

(Image credit: Period Living / Josie Shenoy)

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With the candlelight flickering from every surface, roaring log fires, plenty of fresh seasonal greenery, a tree that almost touches the ceiling and tables laden with mouth-watering seasonal food, this Dutch farmhouse really sparkles at Christmas time. 

Passionate about home cooking and styling, the festive season is the perfect time for homeowner Leny to play hostess and channel her creativity, ‘I’d rather cook for 30 than two,’ she admits. Such a magical, welcoming scene, it’s hard to think that it once just a tiny kitchen and only one toilet out in the stable.

Yet slowly, over the course of 40 years, Leny and husband Harrie have lovingly renovated the property, converting a stable into a living space and haylofts into bedrooms and, of course, adding that all-important open-plan kitchen-diner, perfect for seasonal celebrations.

With beautiful interiors, see Leny's home in all its festive glory

More gorgeous Christmas must-sees:

Holly Reaney
Holly is Sub-editor and Features Writer for Period Living. She is busy putting her stamp on a pre-furnished flat by making cushions and upcycling second-hand finds.